MotoGP

Morbidelli takes first MotoGP win, Quartararo crashes twice

Sep 13 2020
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Petronas SRT Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli took his maiden MotoGP win in the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, as his erstwhile championship leader team-mate Fabio Quartararo crashed twice.

Yamaha was expected to dominate the race after locking out the top four on the grid yet only Morbidelli proved out of reach for rival bikes.

Poleman Maverick Vinales was sluggish off the line, dropping behind Morbidelli and works Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi but staying ahead of Quartararo – who himself paid for a subpar start and slipped behind the Ducati ‘rocket’ of Jack Miller.

Franco Morbidelli Petronas SRT Yamaha Misano MotoGP 2020

Morbidelli then defended hard from his mentor Rossi at Turn 8 to maintain the early lead, while Miller forced himself in the middle of the Yamaha quartet by sliding down the inside of Vinales at the Turn 9 right-hander for third.

With Vinales the sole rider to select the hard rear tyre and off the pace, he began to hold up Quartararo as the top three started to break clear up ahead – and on lap six, as Vinales slipped to a second and a half back from the lead, Quartararo launched it down the inside of Vinales to pick up fourth place.

But just as he looked set to rejoin the lead battle, Quartararo’s Yamaha folded at Turn 4 the next time around and he fell, rejoining the race a distant 20th.

Fabio Quartararo crash Misano MotoGP 2020

With Quartararo and Vinales’ dramas providing a buffer and Miller soon beginning to lose contact with two leading Yamahas, Rossi put heavy pressure on Morbidelli through the first few laps, yet after the 10-lap mark Morbidelli suddenly started to break away.

Rossi had no answer to his protege’s escape, fading to two seconds adrift over the next few laps and finally coming under pressure as the early breakaway was negated.

However, it wasn’t Miller who reeled in the seven-time world champion but Suzuki’s Alex Rins and Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, the pair having made quick work of a struggling Vinales and then dispatched Miller with similar ease.

By the 20th lap, both were right in Rossi’s wheeltracks, and with Rins unable to get past, he was left vulnerable to a brave attack from Bagnaia at Curvone – which then allowed the Pramac Ducati rider to clear Rossi at the same rapid right-hander a lap later for second place.

With Morbidelli nearly three seconds up the road by then, Ducati 2021 works ride contender Bagnaia looked to have second wrapped up – yet having quickly gone half a second clear of Rossi, he then fell back into the Yamaha man’s clutches.

Yet Bagnaia – making his return after a three-race absence due to a femur fracture – narrowly held on to second and a maiden podium, while both Rossi and Rins fell prey to a late charge by Suzuki’s Joan Mir.

Mir picked off Rins on the start-finish straight at the end of the penultimate lap, went through on Rossi a few corners later and came up just 0.073s short of overtaking Bagnaia too.

Behind Rossi and Rins, Vinales arrested his early-race slump to claim sixth place, his pace having improved substantially in the second half of the race.

Ducati factory rider Andrea Dovizioso saw off LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami and a struggling Miller to take seventh, and has taken over the championship lead in the process. Nakagami was then demoted behind Miller post-race for exceeding track limits.

Pol Espargaro won a three-bike intra-KTM battle for 10th, as the Austrian manufacturer struggled to replicate its form from Brno and the Red Bull Ring.

Quartararo, who had rejoined the race in 20th, fell again on the 18th lap and retired, with Avintia Ducati’s Tito Rabat joining him among the retirements and Aprilia’s Bradley Smith crashing too, but going on to finish 19th.

Quartararo now trails Dovizioso by six points, with another nine riders within 28 points of the championship lead after six races of 14.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Bike Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 27 27 42m02.272s 1m32.748s 0 25
2 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Racing Ducati 27 0 +2.217s 1m32.706s 0 20
3 Joan Mir Team Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 27 0 +2.29s 1m32.816s 0 16
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 27 0 +2.643s 1m33.036s 0 13
5 Alex Rins Team Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 27 0 +4.044s 1m32.835s 0 11
6 Maverick Viñales Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 27 0 +5.383s 1m32.741s 0 10
7 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team Ducati 27 0 +10.358s 1m33.024s 0 9
8 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 27 0 +10.839s 1m33.208s 0 8
9 Jack Miller Pramac Racing Ducati 27 0 +11.155s 1m33.003s 0 7
10 Pol Espargaró Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 27 0 +12.03s 1m32.942s 0 6
11 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 27 0 +12.376s 1m33.089s 0 5
12 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 27 0 +12.405s 1m33.05s 0 4
13 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 27 0 +15.142s 1m33.213s 0 3
14 Iker Lecuona Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 27 0 +19.914s 1m33.18s 0 2
15 Johann Zarco Avintia Racing Ducati 27 0 +20.152s 1m33.336s 0 1
16 Danilo Petrucci Ducati Team Ducati 27 0 +22.094s 1m33.266s 0 0
17 Alex Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 27 0 +22.473s 1m33.305s 0 0
18 Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda 27 0 +37.856s 1m34.052s 0 0
19 Bradley Smith Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 27 0 +1m18.831s 1m34.689s 0 0
Tito Rabat Avintia Racing Ducati 22 0 DNF 1m33.487s 0 0
Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 18 0 DNF 1m33.034s 0 0
Franco Morbidelli wins Misano MotoGP 2020

What did you think of this story?

Share via
Copy link

Adblock Detected

We have detected that you are using an adblocker browser plugin to disable advertising from loading on our website.
The revenue earned from advertising enables us to provide the quaity of content you're trying to reach on this site. In order to view this page, we request that you disable adblock in your plugin settings.
I have disabled adblock for this site. Reload this page.