Ducati’s Jack Miller secured his first win in five years after a dominant Fabio Quartararo lost power on his Yamaha M1. Here’s how the 2021 Spanish GP unfolded.
Quartararo started the race in pole position, but Miller had a better start as the lights turned green as he took the lead over the Yamahas. Quartararo dropped to P4 behind Morbidelli and Bagnaia on the opening lap but charged towards the top spot passing the Ducati rider on the second lap, followed by his former SRT teammate a lap later. The Frenchman passed Miller on Lap 4 to secure the lead and started to stretch his legs.
The rider seemed certain to clinch his third consecutive win at Jerez and built an advantage of 1.5s over the next couple of laps over Miller. The Ducati rider had the power advantage but not substantial enough to pass Quartararo. However, much to the latter’s disappointment, the M1 developed an issue that saw the Yamaha rider lose power on Lap 14. This was enough for Miller to pass the helpless Quartararo on Lap 16, followed by Bagnaia for P2 two tours later.
Quartararo dropped down the order as more and more riders took advantage of his power drop and he eventually finished at P13, a far cry from the expected finish for the factory Yamaha rider. Meanwhile, Miller was well on his way to take his first win in ages. He did see some pressure from teammate Bagnaia but Miller responded on the final lap crossing the chequered flag with a gap of 1.912s.
After being relegated to P3 early on in the race, Morbidelli could do little to improve his position and took the final spot on the podium. Meanwhile, LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami moved up to P4, ahead of defending champion Suzuki Joan Mir finished at P5 after starting from 10th on the grid. Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro settled with sixth but not before showing potential early on for a podium finish.
Riding the second factory Yamaha, Maverick Vinales took P7, ahead of Johann Zarco of Pramac. Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro made considerable progress to take P9 and P10 respectively, ahead of KTM’s Miguel Oliveira who took P11. Wildcard entry Stefan Bradl claimed P12 ahead of Quartararo, while Tech3 KTM’s Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona took the final points.
The final finishers included Luca Marini of Avintia, Valentino Rossi on the Petronas SRT Yamaha, Tito Rabat of Pramac, Lorenzo Salvadori of Aprilia and Alex Rins of Suzuki, who managed to complete the race after an early fall. KTM’s Brad Binder suffered two crashes and was one of the three DNFs in the race that included Avintia’s rookie rider Enea Bastianini and LCR Honda’s Alex Marquez.
With the Spanish GP results, the MotoGP rider standings have seen a bit of a shake-up with Francesco Bagnaia now leading the table, two points clear of Fabio Quartararo. Vinales is positioned in third place, 16 points clear of his teammate.