until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Oliveira wins for KTM as Quartararo has bizarre leathers issue

by Simon Patterson
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Miguel Oliveira claimed KTM’s first win of 2021 by seeing off Johann Zarco in an exciting finish to MotoGP’s Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo preserved his advantage out front, but was fourth in the end, demoted by a late penalty and riding the final laps with his leathers unzipped. He now leads Zarco by 17 points.

Yamaha’s new and improved holeshot device again enabled Quartararo to get a good launch off the line, but Ducati rider Jack Miller drew alongside the Frenchman and snuck through down the inside, before Oliveira made the most of the opportunity to get around Quartararo at Turn 2.

Miller then ran wide at the Turn 4 right-hander on the second lap, allowing Oliveira through into the lead, but managing to just fight off Quartararo – and a failed overtaking attempt into the Turn 7-8 complex dropped the Yamaha man behind a fast-starting Joan Mir (Suzuki) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).

He then fell behind Zarco on the straight too, but gathered himself to repass his compatriot in no time, before then taking care of Espargaro for fourth and moving back up into podium places when Miller ran wide.

By then Oliveira’s lead was up to around a second, and Quartararo dispatched Mir through the long Turn 3 with relative ease at the start of the second lap, setting off after the race-leading KTM.

As the 24-lap race reached its halfway point, Oliveira’s lead was already history, and Quartararo soon forced his way past down the inside of the hairpin-esque Turn 5 left-hander.

Yet Oliveira stayed with him through the next two laps, eventually picking up his slipstream and easing back past the Yamaha at the start of the 14th lap.

Oliveira very quickly eked out a four-tenths gap over Quartararo, and finally broke the Yamaha man’s resistance with three-and-a-half laps left to run.

Quartararo then faded fast and immediately dropped into the clutches of Zarco – who, having got past Miller earlier, had little trouble going through on Quartararo at Turn 1.

More remarkably, Quartararo then rode the final laps with the front of his leathers unzipped as he battled Miller for third, eventually hanging on but getting a three-second penalty for a shortcut at the first corner and being demoted to fourth.

The 0.175s that split Miller and Quartararo at the chequered flag was the same gap that separated Oliveira and Zarco in the end, the Pramac man having mounted a late charge but coming up just short in the end of a maiden victory for himself and the Italian team.

Reigning champion Mir looked to have run out of grip in the final laps but somehow held on against the advances of Maverick Vinales, securing fifth place.

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia defeated Oliveira’s team-mate Brad Binder – fresh off signing a deal through 2024 – to claim seventh, while Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli and Avintia Ducati’s Enea Bastianini completed the top 10.

It was a deeply miserable race for Honda, which was led by LCR Honda’s Alex Marquez in 11th place.

The other LCR rider, Takaaki Nakagami, was compromised by having to serve a long-lap penalty for a shortcut and then another long-lap penalty for failing to serve the first one in time.

Meanwhile, the two factory riders crashed out, Pol going down from 11th place at Turn 5 and Marc Marquez following suit at the new Turn 10 a few laps later while chasing after Pol’s sixth-placed brother Aleix – who then himself crashed his Aprilia at the same corner later on.

There were also crashes for the Tech3 duo of Iker Lecuona and Danilo Petrucci, and for Valentino Rossi, who was 13th when he tumbled at Turn 10.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Bike Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 24 21 40m21.749s 1m40.204s 0 25
2 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 24 0 +0.175s 1m39.939s 0 20
3 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 24 1 +1.99s 1m40.306s 0 16
4 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 24 2 +4.815s 1m40.109s 0 13
5 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 24 0 +5.325s 1m40.228s 0 11
6 Maverick Viñales Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 24 0 +6.281s 1m40.247s 0 10
7 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 24 0 +8.175s 1m40.502s 0 9
8 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 24 0 +8.378s 1m40.406s 0 8
9 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 24 0 +15.652s 1m40.702s 0 7
10 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Racing Ducati 24 0 +19.297s 1m40.831s 0 6
11 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 24 0 +21.65s 1m40.896s 0 5
12 Luca Marini SKY VR46 Avintia Team Ducati 24 0 +22.533s 1m31.033s 0 4
13 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 24 0 +27.833s 1m40.637s 0 3
14 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 24 0 +29.075s 1m40.926s 0 2
15 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 24 0 +40.291s 1m41.016s 0 1
Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 16 0 DNF 1m40.635s 0 0
Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 15 0 DNF 1m40.841s 0 0
Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 10 0 DNF 1m40.234s 0 0
Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 7 0 DNF 1m40.379s 0 0
Danilo Petrucci Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 5 0 DNF 1m41.126s 0 0
Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 4 0 DNF 1m40.66s 0 0
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