After an excellently controlled 27-lap race at this 12th round of 14 in the world series, Joan Mir took his first MotoGP victory, extending his championship lead, with his Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins in second place.
Coming into the race with a 14-point lead in the championship over French Yamaha star Fabio Quartararo, Mir managed the pressure well.
From his fifth place grid spot he slotted into fourth off the line before swiftly moving into third, and just four laps into the race he had put in an excellent pass to snatch second place.
The Mallorcan displayed phenomenal race pace as the circuit claimed several victims, and on Lap 17 he passed Rins at Turn 11 to take the lead.
From that point on there was no looking back, and amazingly he set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 20. Riding within his limits and looking smooth and confident, five laps from the end he had a one second lead over the field and he went on to take a superb debut victory and extend his title lead to 37 points.
Rins got a rocket start from second on the grid, and his precise and confident style saw him become race leader and set a great pace from the second lap onwards.
Rins held his spot at the front of the field until Lap 17 when he was passed by his team-mate. He did a great job to hold off third-place Pol Espargaro (KTM), who remained close to the Suzuki pair throughout the race. By the end of the 27 laps, Rins was on for a solid second place – his third podium in as many races. He now moves to within 37 points of his Team Suzuki Ecstar team-mate, on equal points with second place in the standings, Quartararo.
Quartararo finished a disappointing 14th at Valencia.
Team Suzuki Ecstar have now had three consecutive double podiums in a row, but this weekend’s outcome marks the first time Suzuki have had a 1-2 result since the German GP in 1982 – when Randy Mamola, Virginio Ferrari and Loris Reggiani blocked out the rostrum. Team Suzuki Ecstar also lead the Teams’ Championship and Constructers’ Championship.
“It’s been an unbelievable race, I’ve been dreaming of a Suzuki 1-2 for a long time and today we managed it!” said Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio.
“Thank you so much to all the Team, and to Joan and Alex of course! We’re doing something fantastic this season – we’re leading all three championships and our riders are so strong in the races. I would like to have this wonderful feeling forever, but we still have two races to focus on, so we will stay calm and keep our heads down. Let’s try to continue in this way!”
As for Mir, he was naturally thrilled with the result.
“I’m just so happy, the team and I put together a perfect weekend!
“It’s difficult to give 100% when you’re fighting for a title, because you always have to be a bit cautious, but today I saw the chance for my debut victory and I had to take it. I knew what I had to do, and I felt really great with my bike.
“I don’t really have words to describe how amazing it feels to be a MotoGP race winner, and it gives me an extra boost, especially after a tricky weekend in terms of conditions. Things are still close at the top, so I need to stay focused and continuing working for next weekend.”
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here
RESULTS & STANDINGS
GRAN PREMIO DE EUROPA – Race Classification:
- J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 41:37.297
- A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +00.651
- P. ESPARGARO – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +01.203
- T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – +02.194
- M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – +08.046
- J. MILLER – Pramac Racing – +08.755
- B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +10.137
- A. DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – +10.801
- J. ZARCO – Esponsorama Racing – +11.550
- D. PETRUCCI – Ducati Team – +16.803
- F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – +17.617
- S. BRADL – Repsol Honda Team – +24.350
- M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – +25.403
- F. QUARTARARO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – +39.639
- SAVADORI – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 41:14.361 – 25 laps
- MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 35:37.901 – 23 laps
- RABAT – Esponsorama Racing – 20:40.929 – 13 laps
- CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda CASTROL – 07:54.372 – 6 laps
- BAGNAIA – Pramac Racing – 07:52.229 – 5 laps
- ROSSI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 06:21.123 – 5 laps
- ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 00.000 – 1 laps
2020 MotoGP World Championship Classification – Rider:
1 Joan MIR Suzuki 162
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 125
3 Alex RINS Suzuki 125
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 121
5 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 117
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 117
7 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 106
8 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 105
9 Jack MILLER Ducati 92
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 90
11 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 77
12 Brad BINDER KTM 76
13 Johann ZARCO Ducati 71
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 67
15 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 42
17 Iker LECUONA KTM 27
18 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 27
19 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 26
20 Stefan BRADL Honda 16
21 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 12
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 10
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4
24 Lorenzo SAVADORI