Marc Marquez loses yet another last corner duel - although this time he was beaten by his brother, virtually.
It’s mid-May and the actual MotoGP action hasn’t started as yet – all thanks to the novel Coronavirus. However, to keep motorcycle racing fans calm and entertained in the meantime, MotoGP organized yet another virtual Grand Prix today. This was fourth such event since the global lockdown this year and was held at the San Marino track with the participating riders joining the grid over the internet from their homes. Winning the race was Repsol Honda’s Alex Marquez – his second win of the virtual MotoGP championship – as he beat his big brother and reigning world champion, Marc Marquez, in a last corner last-lap showdown. Joining the Marquez brothers at the podium was factory Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, who finished the race in third.
The online event started with a qualifying session with Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo taking pole position ahead of A.Marquez and Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia. Quartararo led the race for most of the part from A.Marquez, while M.Marquez sat in third position comfortably. However, Quartararo made a costly mistake as he crashed out, allowing A.Marquez to take the lead. On lap 5 (of 9), Quartararo caught up with A.Marquez and the pair raced closely for two laps. However, in his attempt to overtake the Repsol Honda rookie, Quartararo collided with him and both of them crashed. This allowed M.Marquez to cruise by and take the lead. He was followed by A.Marquez and Quartararo, and since both the riders had better pace than the leading man, they were right on his tail on the final lap. However, at this point, Quartararo made yet another mistake and crashed. Meanwhile, at the front, the elder of the Marquez brothers made a mistake and ran wide at the last corner, which allowed his younger brother to move ahead and take the win.
Rossi benefitted from Quartararo’s crash as this helped him take the final spot on the podium. Quartararo ended the day in fourth place. Suzuki’s Joan Mir was fifth, followed by last race winner, Maverick Vinales (factory Yamaha). Bagnaia ended the race in seventh, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) in eighth and Aprilia test rider Lorenzo Salvodari in ninth. Reale Avintia rider Tito Rabat was tenth, while Ducati’s test rider Michele Pirro finished last in eleventh.