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Shots from race day at MotoGP Catalunya Barcelona 2019
NEWS

They all tumble down: Monster Energy Catalan MotoGP pushes the action buttons

Jun 172019

All the ingredients of another MotoGP classic were in place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya: hot sunshine, the party vibe, limit-squeezing motorcycling technology, a slippery surface, a myriad of crashes and a strong vein of unpredictability.

The fans basked in a fine early summer climate on the banks of the Mediterranean but the heat was on more ways that one. The slick nature of the Grand Prix asphalt threw a large question mark over proceedings. After two days of practice and qualification could Yamaha remain competitive? Would Marc Marquez win a home GP for the first time in five years? Would the youngest racer in the MotoGP class – Fabio Quartararo – make good on his sizzling Pole Position effort?

Some of the pre-race fascination with this seventh round of the season vanished in the first lap and a half. An over-zealous move from Jorge Lorenzo diving into the impossibly tight Turn 10 at the end of the back straight sent the Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and both Monster Energy Yamahas to the tarmac in a spiral of limbs and bike bits.

 

 

“It's a great, great, great shame because today I feel very good. I was very optimistic for the race,” said Valentino Rossi.

 

“If you ask me it looks like a rookie mistake and he is a five-time world champion,” Maverick Viñales pointed. “You have to think on the bike. Even if he is a great rider, come on. You cannot win the race in two laps. I tried to avoid the crash. I think a bike touched my rear tyre and I just flew. It was impossible.”

For Viñales in particular the melee was frustrating. The Catalan had reversed his recent tendency for poor starts and was running second. “I’m quite happy because we took some steps forward this weekend,” he managed to assess. “We’ve been working in a different way. I’ve never felt as fast at the start of the race as I did here. So on the one hand I’m disappointed about the crash; but on the other I’m really happy about the weekend. We managed it really well, with the full tank. That is the way: if we want to build a bike to win we have to work, work and work.”

 

 

Cal Crutchlow, Franco Morbidelli and Pecco Bagnaia were part of half the MotoGP field to also fall foul of the low grip and slide into the gravel but the Suzukis of Alex Rins and Joan Mir persisted to 4th and 6th positions respectively. “We are getting better,” said rookie Mir. “The truth is that during all the race, I made some mistakes. I lost a couple of seconds going wide a couple of times and this is what I missed today to fight for the podium.”

 

Alex Marquez celebrated a third Moto2 victory at his home circuit – making it a special day for the Catalan family as World Champion Marc Marquez escaped the carnage in MotoGP. Marcos Ramirez established a Spanish sweep with his very first win after a typically barnstorming Moto3 affair and Celestino Vietti gave the SKY Racing Team VR46 camp cause for celebration as the teenage Italian secured his third career podium with third place.

 

A trip around the historic kinks and curves of Assen lies next but the spirit and experience of Catalunya left a taste as memorable as the local cava and tapas. Fins al any que ve!

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