MotoGP: Maverick Viñales takes victory as Bagnaia bails out

Published on September 20, 2020
By Short Shift News

Maverick Viñales has taken victory in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after a late crash for Francesco Bagnaia at his home Grand Prix.

Maverick Viñales dominated his way to victory in Misano, but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Spaniard. From pole position, Viñales slipped to second behind Australian, Jack Miller. Viñales, however, showed the character that he’s lacked over recent rounds, snapping straight back at the Pramac Racing rider, retaking the lead.

As the field sorted themselves out, Aleix Espargaro was the first rider to run into trouble, sliding out of the race on the opening lap at turn eight, forcing Franco Morbidelli to run off the track to take evasive action.

However, the Italian heartbreak was yet to come as Valentino Rossi slid off his Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP machine at turn four at the start of the second lap, remounting, The Doctor continued but later retired from the race due to an issue with the bike.

Brad Binder was the next rider to crash out, the South African had made an impressive start to the Grand Prix, but a small but costly mistake at turn 14 ended his race. The KTM rider remounted and later crashed again.

With his first maiden victory staring Bagnaia in the face, the 23-year-old crashed out at turn six, handing Viñales the win he desperately wanted.

Eyes now turned to the battle for second with Pol Espargaro determined to keep Fabio Quartararo at bay. The KTM’s rear tyre was finished, but the aggressive former Moto2 champion knew where to position his bike, leaving Fabio frustrated in third. Little did they know, Joan Mir was slowly catching the field, the Suzuki cleared Quartararo at his first attempt and despatched of Espargaro a lap later.

Quartararo was eager to finish what he started, passing Espargaro into the fast turn three, however, his troubles were soon to get worse. Frustrated behind Espargaro, Quartararo found himself running off the track, picking up track limit warnings which ultimately ended in a long lap penalty.

Unaware of this, Quartararo continued as normal and was awarded a three-second penalty at the line, demoting the Frenchman to fourth.

The victory for Viñales catapults him into title contention; Andrea Dovizioso retains the championship lead ahead of the Catalan Grand Prix with Quartararo and Viñales joint second, just one point behind. Joan Mir lies fourth, four points adrift of the top spot. The gap from Mir to Morbidelli in fifth lies at 16 points, while a non-score for Rossi demotes him to ninth, 26 points behind Dovizioso.

The MotoGP World Championship continues to throw up surprises and with the championship this close, who will be next to stand on the top step?

MotoGP returns in five days time as the paddock heads to Barcelona for round eight of the MotoGP World Championship with free practice one kicking off on Friday at 09:55 local time.

Full results: here

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