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Monday, February 26, 2024

Quartararo dominates, Espargaro blunder prices podium

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Reigning world champion Quartararo – who introduced he’d re-signed with Yamaha for 2 extra years final Thursday – ended Friday’s observe “anxious” about how the low grip on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was affecting the Yamaha.

However he confirmed no such indicators of wrestle as he lead from lights to flag to strengthen his lead within the championship together with his second win of the season.

Quartararo grabbed the holeshot from third on the grid, leaping a poor-starting Francesco Bagnaia and poleman Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia.

Bagnaia’s race would final just some extra metres as LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami crashed behind him, wiping out the Ducati rider together with his head whereas his errant RC213V skittled Suzuki’s Alex Rins.

The incident was put beneath investigation however no additional motion was deemed to be required, with Nakagami being taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks.

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Bagnaia did remount, however pulled into pitlane on the finish of the second tour – his championship hopes wrecked.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Crew

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Ducati’s day received worse eight laps in when Enea Bastianini crashed out for the second-successive race, the Gresini rider’s championship aspirations taking a extreme knock.

On the entrance Quartararo, in clear air, rapidly started to place daylight between himself and the pack behind on the opening lap as Espargaro got here beneath assault from a rejuvenated Jorge Martin on the Pramac Ducati.

Martin out-braked Espargaro into the primary nook at the beginning of lap three, with Johann Zarco on the sister Pramac GP22 shut behind in fourth.

However Martin might do nothing to bridge the hole to Quartararo, who was 1.5s clear at the beginning of lap 4 and had that benefit as much as two seconds by the tip of the sixth lap.

Espargaro took second again from Martin into Flip 1 on lap 10, whereas Quartararo opened up his result in 4 seconds 4 excursions later.

By this stage of the race Espargaro’s medium entrance tyre started to cry sufficient and Martin was capable of hound him once more, the Pramac rider retaking second at Flip 1 on lap 16.

However that place would change arms once more because the Aprilia’s mild nature on tyres allowed Espargaro to ease previous the fading Ducati on the first nook with 4 laps to go.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Crew

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Espargaro rapidly put area between himself and Martin, however Quartararo’s tempo by no means faltered as he eased to the chequered flag by over six seconds.

Quartararo’s day was made higher by a sensational blunder from Espargaro, because the Aprilia rider celebrated a cushty second a lap early having thought the race had ended on the finish of lap 23.

Espargaro realised his mistake as he waved to his house crowd by means of the primary few corners and rapidly handed VR46 Ducati’s Luca Marini at Flip 5 – however fifth was all a crestfallen Espargaro would get for his efforts having misplaced eight seconds on the final lap.

In consequence, Martin was gifted second – his first podium since Argentina – whereas Zarco was promoted to 3rd.

Joan Mir additionally benefitted from Espargaro’s blunder, the Suzuki rider making a surprising launch from seventeenth to sixth on the opening lap and taking the chequered flag fourth.

Marini shadowed Espargaro in sixth, with Maverick Vinales unable to make his delicate rear tyre gamble work in seventh forward of KTM’s Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira – who ran off observe at one level attempting to overhaul his team-mate – and Alex Marquez, who rose from final to tenth on his LCR Honda.

Remy Gardner took eleventh on the Tech3 KTM forward of fellow rookie Darryn Binder on the RNF Yamaha, with Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha), Ducati’s Jack Miller and Raul Fernandez (Tech3) taking the ultimate factors right down to fifteenth.

Honda’s Pol Espargaro had a depressing afternoon and was final of the categorised runners in seventeenth behind Ducati take a look at rider Michele Pirro, whereas RNF’s Andrea Dovizioso, Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio and VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi additionally failed to complete.

Quartararo is now 22 factors clear within the championship of Espargaro, with Bastianini 53 adrift and 66 over Bagnaia.

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