Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo capitalised on the strong pace he had shown all weekend with a podium finish as the MotoGP World Championship returned to Andalucía. The factory Yamaha rider gave his all in a mesmerising fight for victory in front of the returning Spanish fans but narrowly missed out on maximum points, finishing the Spanish Grand Prix in second.
Having demonstrated blistering pace across Friday’s practice sessions, Quartararo looked certain to be in the hunt for victory. With temperatures higher for Sunday’s 25-lap Grand Prix, a strong start from the middle of the front row saw the Frenchman hold position in the opening stages as he settled into his rhythm.
Locked to the rear wheel of Francesco Bagnaia, it would soon become clear the battle for the victory would be a two-horse race as the duo opened a comfortable gap to the riders behind. Keeping the pressure on the race leader, the Yamaha rider looked to take the lead in the opening half of the race but couldn’t find a way by the Italian.
Knowing his mid-to-late race pace was strong, the Frenchman picked up the pace at the midway stage and began reducing Bagnaia’s lead, bringing the gap down to less than half a second. The 23-year-old was determined to secure his second victory of the season and put on a relentless display, matching the leaders' lap times in what was an enthralling cat and mouse battle.
Unable to get his Yamaha M1 within striking distance, Quartararo started the final lap just half a second adrift of the race leader. Continuing to close the gap, the Spanish Grand Prix looked set for a grandstand finish, but Quartararo was too far back to pull off a move, finishing second, a narrow 0.285 seconds behind the winner.
It was a difficult affair for Franco Morbidelli who picked up a point for 15th place. The Italian started the Grand Prix in 16th, but a tough start didn’t see the number 21 make the progress he had hoped for in the opening laps. Sitting 16th at the halfway stage, Morbidelli lined up a pass on fellow countryman Luca Marini to claim 15th place. A last lap battle with Maverick Viñales saw the Roman rise to 14th briefly but he dropped back a position at the final corner.
WithU Yamaha RNF Racing’s Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder had counted on their pre-season experience as they returned to Jerez. A tough weekend saw Dovizioso start the Grand Prix from 23rd position and endured a tricky start to the race. Slipping down the order in the first laps, the experienced Italian worked his way back up to the cusp of the top 20 and continued to make progress in the closing stages, ultimately rounding out his Grand Prix in 17th.
Team-mate Darryn Binder enjoyed a strong start to the race and was sitting in the points battle before a turn two crash saw him slide out of 17th position. Re-joining, the South African pushed on, but later retired to the pits, ending his sixth premier class race early.
Claiming 20 World Championship points, Fabio Quartararo sees his championship advantage grow to seven points with an 89 points total. Franco Morbidelli sits 16th with the RNF Racing Yamahas in 20th and 21st place with Dovizioso 2 points ahead of team-mate Binder.
The MotoGP teams are back in action for the post-race test on Monday after which they’ll enjoy a short break before returning to action across the weekend of 13-15th May for the Grand Prix de France at the Le Mans circuit.
Gran Premio Red Bull De España Results
1. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team
2. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +0.285
3. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing +10.977
4. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team +12.676
5. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team +12.957
6. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +13.934
7. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU +14.929
8. Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP +18.436
9. Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team +18.830
10. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +20.056
11. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team +20.856
12. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +23.131
13. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda Castrol +23.306
14. Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing +27.358
15. Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +27.519
16. Luca Marini - Mooney VR46 Racing Team +29.278
17. Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team +35.204
18. Fabio Di Giannantonio - Gresini Racing MotoGP™ +35.361
19. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +38.922
20. Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +43.378
21. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing +44.299
22. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing +67.681
NC. Stefan Bradl – Honda HRC 10 laps
NC. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing 9 laps
NC. Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF Racing MotoGP Team 5 laps
2022 MotoGP World Championship Standings
1. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 89 points
2. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing 82 points
3. Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP 69 points
4. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 69 points
5. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 56 points
6. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 56 points
7. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing 51 points
8. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 48 points
9. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team 44 points
10. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 points
11. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 42 points
12. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 35 points
13. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing 28 points
14. Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing 27 points
15. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 21 points
16. Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 18 points
17. Alex Marquez - LCR Honda Castrol 16 points
18. Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 15 points
19. Luca Marini – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 14 points
20. Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 8 points
21. Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 6 points
22. Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 3 points
23. Raul Fernandez – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 0 points
24. Fabio Di Giannantonio – Gresini Racing MotoGP 0 points
25. Stefan Bradl – Honda HRC 0 points
26. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing 0 points