MotoGP season continues and it was time for the Catalan GP at the Barcelona circuit. It was Dani Pedrosa who took pole position at his home track. Jorge Lorenzo made his first front row start with Ducati and Danilo Petrucci completed them there as well.
Marc Márquez (who crashed 4 times on Saturday), Aleix Espargaró and Héctor Barberá (who went his 250th GP across all categories) were in the second row. Andrea Dovizioso, Jonas Folger and Maverick Vinales started from the third row.
Yamaha wasn’t in a very good shape there as Folger on 8th place at the grid was the best one. Rossi and Zarco even didn’t make it into Q2.
Andrea Iannone was going his 200th GP.
Sylvain Guintoli replaced Alex Rins once again. Alex should be back on his Suzuki bike on Monday during the Barcelona test. However, Guintoli didn’t feel well and he didn’t take part in the qualifying. But he was ready for Sunday although he wasn’t 100% fine.
Bradley Smith crashed in the FP3 and he injured his little finger. He then had to go to the hospital for some check-ups. Doctors declared him unfit so he didn’t take part in the rest of the race weekend (but did grid interview with Scott Redding on Sunday).
On Friday the riders were going at a new track when new chicane in turns 13-14-15 was added. But MotoGP safety comission then decided (after MotoGP riders were complaining about it) to change it back to 2016 modification. So from Saturday they went the track layout like in 2016.
As MotoGP qualifying positions about Q1 and Q2 are decided based on combined FP1/FP2/FP3 results it meant that only FP3 would decide who qualifies straighly to Q2 and who would have to go to Q1. It was because after Friday the times were cancelled as the track layout was different.
With very hot weather conditions which also meant high track temperatures the tyre choice seemed to be very crucial for the race.
When the red lights went off Jorge Lorenzo had a perfect start as well as Pedrosa. It was Pedrosa who went into the lead but later Lorenzo overtook him.
Already in the time right after the start Danilo Petrucci made some weird move and he had a contact with Marc Márquez. Luckily nothing serious happened there.
Jorge Lorenzo was in the lead, Marc Márquez moved to second place, Dani Pedrosa was third.
Andrea Dovizioso was then behind them chased by Aleix Espargaró, Jonas Folger, Danilo Petrucci and Álvaro Bautista.
Valentino Rossi didn’t have good start as he was 13th, his Yamaha team mate and Championship leader Maverick Viñales had even worse start as he was only 15th.
Jonas Folger was doing great job there, he even set the fastest lap of the race. It took him some laps to be 4th and part of the leading group.
Marc Márquez overtook Lorenzo, then also Dani Pedrosa did the same. Lorenzo started to drop some positions. Later also Dovizioso, Folger did the same. So in a few moments Lorenzo did come from P1 to P6.
In the 8th lap Dani Pedrosa went to the lead. Andrea Dovizioso moved to second, Marc Márquez was third, Jonas Folger was behind them on great 4th place.
In that time Aleix Espargaró had to retire from the race as there was some smoke coming from his Aprilia. Looked like his engine went off.
In the middle of the field Johann Zarco and also Álvaro Bautista overtook Lorenzo so the Ducati rider was already P8, just 1 position ahead of Rossi.
When there were 12 laps go to Danilo Petrucci was trying to catch the group ahead of him. In that time also Jack Miller crashed.
Pedrosa, Dovizioso and Márquez escaped a little bit from Folger while Petrucci was already behind the German.
In lap number 16 Andrea Dovizioso went into the lead. A lap later Marc Márquez went to the second place and he tried to catch his italian rival. But Dovizioso was building a solid difference. It was suddenly already about 0.8 second in the lead. Then Márquez reduced it to 0.4 but then Dovizioso started to increase it again.
Meanwhile, there was a battle for 6th place among Bautista, Lorenzo and Zarco and it was close there. Firstly it looked like to be just between Bautista and Zarco but then suddenly Lorenzo passed them both in one corner! But he went wide. But later the battle continued.
In that time Danilo Petrucci already overtook Folger for 4th.
Meanwhile, Maverick Viñales made it to top 10 as he overtook Barberá and some others before. But Héctor Barberá didn’t give up and later he overtook him back.
Lorenzo, Zarco and Bautista made it close to Petrucci and Folger and Lorenzo overtook them both and he gained 4th place.
Álvaro Bautista ran off then and he lost contact with the riders from the group.
With 2 laps to go Danilo Petrucci crashed from the race.
Andrea Dovizioso increased his lead to 2.9 seconds already.
In the last lap Johann Zarco made it to pass his team mate Jonas Folger for P5.
Andrea Dovizioso won his second race in a row! Marc Márquez finished second, Dani Pedrosa was third.
Good recovery for Jorge Lorenzo who in the end made it to 4th place. Johann Zarco was 5th, Jonas Folger 6th so it was great day for Tech 3 duo and they were also the best Yamaha riders.
Álvaro Bautista was 7th, Valentino Rossi 8th, Héctor Barberá 9th and Maverick Viñales completed top 10. He looked very unhappy after the race as he stopped his bike, checked the rear tyre and shaked his head.
Cal Crutchlow was 11th, Loris Baz 12th, Scott Redding 13th, Karel Abraham 14th and Tito Rabat took 1 point for 15th place.
Not a good day for Suzuki as Andrea Iannone was 16th and Sylvain Guintoli 17th. Pol Espargaró finished 18th, Sam Lowes was 19th.
As already mentioned in the post, Danilo Petrucci, Jack Miller and Aleix Espargaró didn’t finish the race.
Maverick Viñales keeps the Championship lead as he has 111 points. But Andrea Dovizioso starts to be serious contender as he is already 2nd with 104 points. Marc Márquez has 88 points, Dani Pedrosa has 84 points, Valentino Rossi has 83 points.
Yamaha leads the Constructors’ standing with 139 points. Honda is on the second place with 125 points, Ducati is 3 points behind.
Movistar Yamaha leads the Teams’ standing. They have 194 points as second Repsol Honda has 172 points. Ducati is on the third place with 163 points.
Next race weekend will be from 23rd to 25th June in Assen, the Netherlands.