Marquez leads Honda 1-2 while Quartararo seals MotoGP title - The Race

Marquez leads Honda 1-2 while Quartararo seals MotoGP title

Oct 24 2021
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Fabio Quartararo became Yamaha’s first MotoGP champion since 2015, sealing the title with two races to spare after Francesco Bagnaia crashed from the lead at Misano, while Marc Marquez took a second straight win.

Poleman Bagnaia looked well on course to take his second Misano win of the season and keep the title fight going into Portimao, but a crash at the very end immediately made Quartararo – charging from the middle of the grid – champion.

It also created the first Repsol Honda 1-2 since 2017, led by Marquez, who claimed his third win of the season.

Team-mate Jack Miller had bailed out of a potential lunge on Bagnaia at the start and slipped behind the fast-starting KTM of Miguel Oliveira, only to repass him almost immediately.

It left Miller serving as rear gunner to Bagnaia in the opening laps, with Marquez having likewise passed Oliveira and beginning to hound the Ducati pair – and the buffer offered by Miller evaporated on the fourth lap when he lost the front into the left-hand penultimate corner, tumbling through the gravel at speed.

Marquez immediately eradicated the gap to Bagnaia, settling in to run within three tenths of Bagnaia for much of the race, but never getting close enough to attempt a lunge against the Italian.


And with five laps to go, Bagnaia finally looked to have broken Marquez’s resistance, establishing a lead of nearly a second but then mimicking Miller’s crash into the penultimate corner.

Quartararo was running fifth by then. Starting a career-worst 15th, he dropped two places off the line, but was up to 14th by the end of the opening lap. He broke into the top 10 by the end of lap six, at the expense of Tech3 KTM’s Iker Lecuona.

On lap eight, he outfoxed Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin through the top 10 left-hander, with Martin then going on to have a fast crash at Turn 1 while running in 10th place.

Quartararo then reeled in a group of riders battling for fifth, and team-mate Franco Morbidelli, who had held the position in the early going, was his next victim, going backwards through the order as he continues to struggle for fitness.


The Valentino Rossi-tribute liveried Ducati of Luca Marini was next, Marini opening the door with a minor error, while with 10 laps to go Quartararo picked off Alex Rins for sixth.

A bold overtake into Curvone on Aleix Espargaro followed, taking Quartararo to a fifth-place that looked likely to be his finishing position, with nothing but daylight ahead.

However, Bagnaia then crashed, promoting not only Marquez but his team-mate Pol Espargaro, who held third for most of the race after passing Oliveira and got to celebrate his first podium as a Honda rider in second.

And while Oliveira should’ve completed the podium, which would’ve broken a rotten run of results for the three-time KTM race winner, he crashed mere moments after Bagnaia.

This gave the chance for Quartararo to celebrate his title with a podium, yet there was still the matter of Enea Bastianini, the Avintia Ducati rookie increasingly prone to late-race charges. Bastianini reeled in Quartararo on the final lap, lunging down the inside of the Turn 14 right-hander and snatching the podium from the Yamaha man.

It was a move that may have big ramifications for the manufacturers’ title race, but could obviously do nothing to prevent Quartararo’s coronation.

Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco ended his spell of poor results in fifth, while Rins settled for sixth in what was a massively attritional race. The two Aprilias of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales completed the top eight, just a tenth apart, with Vinales celebrating his best finish yet on the RS-GP.

Marini converted a shock front-row start into ninth, followed home by mentor Valentino Rossi in what should be the MotoGP legend’s final race on home soil.

KTM rider Brad Binder crashed on the sighting lap and started from the pitlane, before incurring a long-lap penalty for track limits – the same fate that would befall Andrea Dovizioso (Petronas Yamaha) and Morbidelli.

Binder finished 11th, ahead of Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, Dovizioso and Morbidelli.

Suzuki’s Joan Mir initially jumped ahead of Quartararo through the start and looked to follow him through the field after dropping behind the Yamaha man, but incurred a double long-lap penalty for having jumped the start.

He then collected Tech3 KTM’s Danilo Petrucci in a failed Turn 2 lunge, seemingly offering his apologies to Petrucci right away as they shared a hug in the run-off.

A few laps later, crashes followed for Takaaki Nakagami and Iker Lecuona, both running in the lower reaches of the points, while Nakagami’s LCR Honda team-mate Alex Marquez had to retire with an unspecified technical issue – with it unclear whether the two LCR men had made contact.

Nakagami did remount and was ultimately the final finisher in 15th.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Bike Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 27 5 41m52.83s 1m32.256s 0 25
2 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 27 0 +4.859s 1m32.577s 0 20
3 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Racing Ducati 27 0 +12.013s 1m32.244s 0 16
4 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 27 0 +12.775s 1m32.718s 0 13
5 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 27 0 +16.458s 1m33.049s 0 11
6 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 27 0 +17.669s 1m32.819s 0 10
7 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 27 0 +18.468s 1m32.791s 0 9
8 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 27 0 +18.607s 1m32.533s 0 8
9 Luca Marini SKY VR46 Avintia Team Ducati 27 0 +25.417s 1m33.044s 0 7
10 Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 27 0 +27.735s 1m33.083s 0 6
11 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 27 0 +27.879s 1m33.083s 0 5
12 Michele Pirro Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 27 0 +28.137s 1m33.21s 0 4
13 Andrea Dovizioso Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 27 0 +41.413s 1m33.339s 0 3
14 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 27 0 +42.83s 1m32.99s 0 2
15 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 27 0 +1m22.462s 1m32.973s 0 1
Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 22 22 DNF 1m31.171s 0 0
Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 22 0 DNF 1m32.694s 0 0
Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 12 0 DNF 1m32.927s 0 0
Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 10 0 DNF 1m33.293s 0 0
Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 9 0 DNF 1m33.203s 0 0
Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 3 0 DNF 1m32.84s 0 0
Danilo Petrucci Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 2 0 DNF 1m36.021s 0 0
Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 2 0 DNF 1m35.551s 0 0

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