Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo cashed in his early lead as he finished first in the Catalunya Grand Prix on Sunday. The race also saw Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro remain away from the podium due to his blunder. He misread the last lap, providing Prima Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco 2nd and 3rd podium finish, respectively.
Aleix started off well but was edged past by Fabio Quartararo into the first corner. The Frenchman showed excellent skills while using brakes as he managed to take pole position. The Catalunya Grand Prix also witnessed a couple of chaotic moments. Quartararo and Espargaro started well from the front row, followed by Franceso Bagnaia, but as LCR Honda Idemitsu’s Takaaki Nakagami looked to overtake Team Suzuki, Ecstar’s Alex Rins, the former’s front-end folded, which led to his head colliding with the rear wheel of Bagnaia.
Quartararo managed to avoid the chaos by a close margin, and then once past that, he accelerated away to finish the first lap one second clear of the rest. On the 12th lap, VR46 Racing’s Marco Bezzechhi crashed out at Turn 10, followed by former title leader Enea Bastianini trying to stay ahead of Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Vinales. Bastianini crashed under pressure at Turn 5, and in the same lap, Gresini Racing’s Fabio Di Giannantonio crashed out at turn 13.
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However, Espargaro’s misinterpretation of the last lap was the most talked about moment as it caused him a better finish in the Sunday race. The local star had managed to maintain a steady second position lead, and the situation seemed to favour the Spaniard, but on the last lap, Espargaro noticed that the lap board said ‘Lap 0’.
This led him to believe that the race was over, causing him to slow down to the first corner and wave to fans. It was not until a few turns did he realise his mistake, but by then, race leader Fabio Quartararo was six seconds clear of the rest of the pack and finished the race with a 22 points lead. He was followed by Prima Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco.