MotoGP: Maverick Vinales wins a chaotic Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
Maverick Vinales came out on top in an eventful Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Misano to become the sixth different MotoGP winner in seven races.
The Monster Energy Yamaha rider was able to take full advantage when Francesco Bagnaia crashed out of the lead with only seven laps remaining. The Italian was 1.2s clear of Vinales when he fell, having overtaken Vinales when the Yamaha ran wide at turn four on the sixth lap. It would have been Bagnaia's first victory in the premier class.
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Vinales' victory couldn't have come at a better time for him and he was keen to silence his critics when he took the chequered flag. It's the Spaniard's first MotoGP victory since the Malaysian GP last year.
Joan Mir continued to be the form rider in MotoGP by fighting his way through from 11th on the grid to take second. That's the Suzuki rider's third podium in the last four races, showcasing impressive consistency in a season where that is a rarity for most.
The third and final step of the podium was decided in controversial fashion. Fabio Quartararo crossed the line in third but was then handed a three-second penalty for failing to complete a long lap penalty on the final lap. He'd been given the long lap penalty for exceeding track limits on five occasions. The rules state that a rider should receive a warning message on his dashboard after exceeding track limits three times, however Quartararo claims he didn't receive anything.
With Quartararo demoted to fourth spot, Pol Espargaro was promoted to third on his KTM. Espargaro was second was a couple of laps remaining but was visibly struggling with his tyres. It's Espargaro's second podium in three races.
Miguel Oliveira bounced back from a relatively quiet trip to Misano last weekend, where he finished 11th, to complete the top five. The Portuguese rider started down in 15th and was able to match the pace of the race leaders. Taka Nakagami was sixth on the LCR Honda and remains the only rider to have finished inside the top 10 in every single race this season.
Alex Marquez produced his best performance in MotoGP to finish seventh, narrowly missing out on sixth to Nakagami. Andrea Dovizoso struggled once again on the factory Ducati and could only manage eighth, with Franco Morbidelli recovering from a first lap incident with Aleix Espargaro to finish ninth. Danilo Petrucci completed the top 10.
Johann Zarco (11th), Alex Rins (12th) and Bradley Smith (13th) were the only other finishers in a race that had several fallers.
Aleix Espargaro retired after losing the front and almost ending Morbidelli's race on the opening lap. Valentino Rossi crashed at turn four in early stages and despite remounting he was forced to retire with 12 laps to go.
Brad Binder was the next to go. The South African had just made it up into third when he hit the deck at turn 14 and then at turn one a few moments later. Jack Miller retired with an engine issue and it was revealed after the race that one of Quartararo's visor tear-offs had been sucked into Miller's Ducati, blocking the air filter in the process.
Iker Lecuona crashed out of sixth place with just over two laps remaining, whilst Tito Rabat crashed out at turn one with 12 laps left.
Remarkably, Dovizioso is still the championship leader heading into Barcelona this weekend. It's extremely close though, with the top four riders covered by four points. Quartararo and Vinales are both on 83 points, one behind Dovizioso, with Mir now 80 points.