Catalunya MotoGP Race Results | Quartararo masterclass amid Espargaro howler

Fabio Quartararo romps to a dominant second 2022 MotoGP win of the season as Aleix Espargaro throws away a second place finish by celebrating too early

Fabio Quartararo - Yamaha Factory


Fabio Quartararo has moved clear in the 2022 MotoGP World Championship standings with a dominant second win of the season in the Catalunya MotoGP on a day when his key title rivals floundered, not least when Aleix Espargaro committed a bizarre howler of an error on the final lap.

Coming into the weekend with a slender eight-point advantage over Espargaro, who looked the hot favourite to score a much-vaunted home win from pole position, Quartararo’s decisive lunge for the lead at turn one would prove crucial as he sprinted clear to win by more than six seconds.

However, the Yamaha man certainly lucked into a few extra points in the closing moments of the race when Espargaro, who looked on course for second place, lifted off as he crossed the line coming into the final lap.

Believing the race to be over as he waved to the crowd, when rivals streamed past at full speed, he was forced to knuckle back down, the Aprilia man salvaging fifth but left crestfallen at the flag. The gap between the two riders now sits at 22 points, rather than 13 points.

A race of high drama and high attrition, for Quartararo it was otherwise another unobstructed masterclass effort spurred on by his hole-shot over Espargaro under braking for Turn 1. From here, he simply multiplied his advantage over an engrossing battle for second between Espargaro and Jorge Martin that ebbed and flowed throughout.

After three swaps of position between the duo over the course of the race, Espargaro looked to have completed the deed with an out-braking manoeuvre into Turn 1 with four laps to go, only to commit his faux pas just a lap from what would have still been a popular and valuable podium.

The error - which cost Espargaro eight seconds - meant Martin collected second place for his first podium since Argentina, while Johann Zarco lucked into a fortuitous third place to give Prima Pramac Ducati a fine double podium.

Pramac’s efforts will bring scant joy to the Ducati crew as a whole though as Pecco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini’s fledgling title hopes were dealt a massive blow due to crashes early on in the race.

A strong contender for a third win in four races, Bagnaia’s afternoon ended at the very first turn after being caught up in a front-end washout for Takaaki Nakagami behind. The Japanese rider got out of shape under braking before folding the RC213V, Nakagami proceeding to ‘face-plant’ into the back of the Ducati in a vicious looking impact that required a trip to the medical centre.

They weren’t the only riders eliminated in the skirmish, with Alex Rins sent airborne when the errant LCR Honda slammed into the side of his Suzuki.

Bastianini, meanwhile, looked to be one of the main beneficiaries from the retirements ahead as he made headway up to seventh from 14th on the grid, only to slide out at Turn 5 for his second DNF in as many races and weekends.

With the T1 chaos punching a gap between the leaders and the chasing pack, Joan Mir made the most of a strong start and a safe inside line into Turn 1 to surge from 17th to fifth by the end of the second lap. It was a position he’d hold throughout, before benefiting from Espargaro’s error to secure a fine fourth.

Luca Marini also nosed ahead of the Aprilia man as he toured, but would be overtaken again by the determined Spaniard once he was back up to speed. Even so, the result still marks back-to-back top six finishes for the VR46 Ducati rider.

Maverick Vinales’ attempts to make headway on the soft-shod Aprilia came to little en route to seventh, ahead of the KTM factory pair, Brad Binder leading 2021 Catalunya MotoGP winning team-mate Miguel Oliveira.

After being forced out of qualifying to leave him last of 25 on the grid,  Alex Marquez was one of the race’s standouts en route to a precious top ten finish on an otherwise horrendous day for Honda. Indeed, as well as Nakagami’s Turn 1 crash, Stefan Bradl - replacing Marc Marquez - crashed out only a few corners later, while Pol Espargaro finished plum last in 17th having dropped like a stone from a brief high on lap one of fourth.

Just outside the top ten, Remy Gardner enjoyed the strongest performance of his MotoGP career in 11th for Tech 3 KTM, ahead of Darryn Binder, who briefly sneaked into the top ten before settling for 12th in what remains only his second points’ finish of 2022.

That placed him ahead of factory Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli once again, plus Jack Miller who - as in Mugello - failed to get going from a poor start, eventually crossing the line in 14th. Raul Fernandez completed the top 15 for his first MotoGP point.

Meanwhile, Mugello star Marco Bezzecchi crashed out early on, while Fabio di Giannantonio - who started a fine fifth - compounded Gresini Ducati’s misery when he crashed out of eighth just seconds after team-mate Bastianini.

2022 Catalunya MotoGP | Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya | Race Results

2022 Catalunya MotoGP | Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya | Race Results | Round 9 / 21
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M122 Laps
2Jorge MartinESPPramac RacingDucati GP22+6.473
3Johann ZarcoFRAPramac RacingDucati GP22+8.385
4Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR+11.401
5Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Aprilia RS-GP+14.395
6Luca MariniITAVR46 RacingDucati GP21+15.430
7Maverick VinalesESPAprilia Racing Aprilia RS-GP+15.975
8Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM RacingKTM RC16+21.436
9Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM RacingKTM RC16+26.800
10Alex MarquezESPLCR Honda Honda RC213V+30.460
11Remy GardnerAUSTech3 KTM RacingKTM RC16+32.443
12Darryn BinderRSAWithU RNF Racing YamahaYamaha YZF-M1+32.881
13Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M1+33.198
14Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP22+34.693
15Raul FernandezESPTech3 KTM RacingKTM RC16+37.844
16Michele PirroITAAruba .it RacingDucati GP22+44.553
17Pol EspargaroESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V+46.199
DNFAndrea DoviziosoITAWithU RNF Racing YamahaYamaha YZF-M1 
DNFFabio di GiannantonioITAGresini RacingDucati GP21 
DNFEnea BastianiniITAGresini RacingDucati GP21 
DNFMarco BezzecchiITAVR46 RacingDucati GP21 
DNFStefan BradlGERRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V 
DNFFrancesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP22 
DNFAlex RinsESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR 
DNFTakaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda Honda RC213V