Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo stunned the MotoGP field this weekend, extending his championship lead after flying to a sensational victory at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya by over six seconds.
After confirming a two-year contract extension with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team on Thursday, Quartararo secured a commanding second win of the season on Sunday, taking the chequered flag 6.473 seconds clear of his nearest rival.
Starting the 24-lap Grand Prix from the front row, Quartararo made the perfect start, taking the lead on the long run to Turn one. Avoiding the opening turn collision, the French rider settled into his rhythm and instantly began to gap his rivals. Sitting comfortably ahead at the mid-way stage, the rider from Nice continued to push on, all while managing the drop of his Michelin medium rear tyre in the soaring Spanish sun.
The 23-year-old controlled the race, setting consistent laps in the 1’40s, continued to grow the gap as he ran a lonely but faultless race. Quartararo crossed the line to take a career third GP victory in Barcelona, seeing him extend his series lead to 22 points.
WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team’s Darryn Binder secured more points in his debut season with a strong 12th in Barcelona. The South African started the race from the eighth row and capitalised on the first lap collision, finishing the opening tour in 13th.
Working his way to the cusp of the top ten by lap 12, Binder found himself hard in battle with Jack Miller and his fellow rookie Remy Gardner. Working his way back up the order after relinquishing positions, the South African crossed the line in 12th place, narrowly missing out on top rookie and securing four World Championship points.
It was a challenging weekend for Italian Franco Morbidelli, who after a promising start on Friday, fought back into the points in 13th. Losing time in the opening corner after avoiding a collision, the number 21 rider dropped to the back of the field. Determined to score a positive result for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team, who shared the event title sponsor, he then began his comeback through the field.
Pushing his way through to 16th, Morbidelli quickly worked his way into the points, passing Andrea Dovizioso and Pol Espargaro on lap 13. Pushing on, the Italian was unable to make any further headway, crossing the line in 13th, securing three crucial championship points.
Andrea Dovizioso had a Catalan Grand Prix to forget after the Italian retired from the race on lap 16 due to an issue with the front tyre.
A maximum 25 points sees Fabio Quartararo extend his championship lead to 22 points, with 147 points in total. Franco Morbidelli heads to Germany in 19th with 22 points, as Darryn Binder moves into the top 20 with ten points. Andrea Dovizioso lies 22nd in the overall standings.
After taking on the Catalan test on Monday, the MotoGP paddock will take a short break before heading to Sachsenring, Germany, for round ten at the shortest circuit on the calendar.
Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 1st
“Being on the attack right from the start had to be the plan for today. Our pace was great, and I knew I had to manage my rear tyre, but I also knew that, if I got into first place, the race was going to be great. I braked super late in the first braking zone, and I thought that I was going to go super wide, but I managed to defend my position well. It was a really long race. I was leading from the first corner to the end, so this was a very constructive victory. Of course, I did feel a drop. I was pushing so hard in the opening laps, but I felt like I had more to give during this race. I had a bit of a margin left. I’m so happy to have this victory in the bag! I’m really satisfied. I’m feeling at my 100%, and I’m riding the bike like I was riding my scooter at home – it’s mine! I love it, and I‘m enjoying it so much. I’m always improving on the bike and the really good thing is that I can think while riding and that is something really difficult when riding at that speed.”
Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team, 12th
“It was a good race for me today. I knew that my Qualifying position yesterday didn’t really indicate what I was capable of. Anyway, I got off to quite a good start. I was a bit unsure during the race about how much to push in the beginning because I knew the tyre was going to wore off, but I wasn’t really sure about how much. I still had a really good race, I battled with some really big names that have achieved a lot, so I really enjoyed it a lot. Remy got the better of me on the last lap and I just didn’t have anything left to get back at him, but it was cool. Step by step I feel like I’m heading in the right direction. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s test to try to improve on the soft tyre for Qualifying to get a better starting position, which should make my life easier on a Sunday.”
Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 13th
“We made a few improvements this weekend, we saw some good things. Especially on Friday, with no grip, the feeling was really good. Then the grip increased, and I started to struggle again, but generally speaking it was less than before. I had a bit of an incident at the start of the race with another rider. I was very behind, I was dead last, but I was able to catch up and get close for the battle for the top 10. This is definitely a step forward, this is positive. But we are not where we want to be. We know where we need to improve, we are chasing. We are trying to find the right feeling, and we will manage it at some point.”
Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team, DNF
“I’m a bit disappointed, because this weekend overall was quite a bit better. We arrived at the race with an improved feeling, but unfortunately, Bradl crashed in front of me in turn 10 of the first lap and I lost four positions. I couldn’t overtake other riders, I’m not able to accelerate well and on the brake in the front it was really difficult. It was locking and I couldn’t brake, so I couldn’t overtake. I was able to manage the rear tyre in the right way and I knew I could be competitive at the end of the race and catch the group with Alex Marquez in front of me. But when I was behind some other guys with the slipstream, I couldn’t stop the bike, the front logged, I did a long run and it just wasn’t good. I’m disappointed about that, because my speed was a bit better than the others, but it is what it is.”
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director
“It‘s been a near perfect weekend for us. We couldn‘t have asked for a better way to seal our multi-year agreement with Monster Energy and to announce the Yamaha-Quartararo partnership for 2023-2024. We knew that we would have a chance for a good race, but Fabio blew us all away with his pace today. The key was managing the tyre wear. He was able to break away and still controlled the tyre life better than all the others. He did the absolute perfect race in conditions that were incredibly tricky. This win is like gold! For Franky this was a very difficult race. He was pushed wide on the first lap by another rider and that made him drop back to last place. It was a hard climb back up the ranks, but he was able to overtake. The thing we take away from this race is that he made another step and that he and his crew are working in the right direction. Tomorrow, during the one-day IRTA Test, we will keep working with him to continue to make him feel better on the bike. We will use this test to maximise our current package in preparation for the upcoming races.”
Razlan Razali – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team, Founder & Team Principal
“Another strong performance by Darryn Binder battling with the likes of Franco Morbidelli and Jack Miller. To finish 12th is a very solid performance by Darryn after coming through an unsatisfied Qualifying. So, he certainly has made up for it and that was a very good race from him that shows he is able to continue the momentum in racing. So, the team is very happy, now he is back to become second in the rookies. We hope that he can continue his progression to Sachsenring in two weeks’ time.
“For Andrea, we were hopeful to score some points in the race, but unfortunately, he suffered some kind of issue with his front tyre, which the team is still trying to determine the cause. So far we couldn’t really figure out what the reason was. But we will not give up, there is still time to turn his season around and hopefully with this test on Monday and this short well-deserved break before Germany, we can come back fresh and stronger.”
Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya Results
- Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
- Jorge Martin – Prima Pramac Racing +6.473
- Johann Zarco – Prima Pramac Racing +8.385
- Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +11.481
- Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing +14.395
- Luca Marini – Mooney VR46 Racing Team +15.430
- Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing +15.975
- Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +21.436
- Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +26.800
- Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL +30.460
- Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +32.443
- Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team +32.881
- Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +33.168
- Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team +34.693
- Raul Fernandez – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +37.844
- Michele Pirro – Aruba.it Racing +44.533
- Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 46.199
- Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 17 laps
- Fabio Di Giannantonio – Gresini Racing MotoGP 8 laps
- Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP 7 laps
- Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 5 laps
- Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 1 lap
- Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 0 laps
- Stefan Bradl – Repsol Honda Team 0 laps
- Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 0 laps
MotoGP 2022 World Championship Standings
- Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 147 points
- Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing 125 points
- Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP 94 points
- Johann Zarco – Prima Pramac Racing 91 points
- Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 81 points
- Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 73 points
- Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 69 points
- Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 69 points
- Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 65 points
- Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team 60 points
- Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 57 points
- Jorge Martin – Prima Pramac Racing 51 points
- Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing 46 points
- Luca Marini – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 41 points
- Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 40 points
- Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMTISU 38 points
- Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 30 points
- Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL 26 points
- Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 22 points
- Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 10 points
- Fabio Di Giannantonio – Gresini Racing MotoGP 8 points
- Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 8 points
- Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 8 points
- Raul Fernandez – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 1 point
- Michele Pirro – Aruba.it Racing 0 points
- Stefan Bradl – Repsol Honda Team 0 points
27. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing 0 points