until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Quartararo takes MotoGP championship lead with first 2022 win

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
5 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Defending MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo became the fourth different race winner in 2022 by utterly dominating the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao.

Quartararo made light work of fighting through to the lead from fifth on the grid and disappeared into the distance, as the biggest drama of the race took place behind him – with Joan Mir (Suzuki) and Jack Miller (Ducati), who had had their disagreements in the past, exiting in a late collision.

On pole for the seventh time in his premier-class career, Johann Zarco bogged down off the line, handing the lead to Mir immediately and only managing to claim second place by being very late on the brakes at Turn 1.

He was then shuffled down the order over the next few corners by Quartararo, Miller and Alex Marquez, albeit then repassing the latter pair at the penultimate corner on the opening and second laps respectively.

As Zarco fought back through to third, Mir’s early eight-tenths breakaway had been negated almost immediately by Quartararo – and the Frenchman eased past Suzuki’s 2020 champion on the main straight at the start of the fourth lap.


It took Quartararo just a couple of laps to stretch his lead up to a second, and it continued to grow relentlessly from there as Mir started to come under pressure from Zarco.

By the time Zarco made his first proper attempt, slipstreaming past Mir on lap 16 but failing to get the bike stopped in time at Turn 1 to keep the position, the duo’s battle was joined by Miller – while Quartararo was already four and a half seconds up the road and heading for his first MotoGP win since the 2021 British GP last August.

Zarco completed the move a lap later, but Miller’s attempt to do the same ended in disaster – as he threw it down the inside of Mir at Turn 1 but tucked the front of his Ducati trying to brake late enough, falling and wiping out Mir along with him.

This opened the door to Aleix Espargaro, who had lost ground after a front-row start but came on strong at the end of the race, to challenge Zarco for second – but the Pramac man survived the late onslaught to complete a French 1-2, 5.4 seconds behind Quartararo.

Suzuki’s Alex Rins, who started 23rd, mounted a remarkable charge made possible by him getting up to 11th on the very first lap. His progression eventually hit a roadblock in the form of Espargaro’s Aprilia, but a fourth-place finish leaves him level on points with Quartararo at the top of the standings – with Espargaro a further three down.

Home hero Miguel Oliveira rode a rather lonely race to fifth place on his KTM, while Marc Marquez (Honda) recovered from a poor opening few laps to pick off his brother Alex Marquez (LCR Honda) by 0.020s for sixth place.

Right behind him, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) – who appeared in some doubt for the race after his nasty crash in qualifying, recovered from last to eighth, beating Pol Espargaro (Honda) on the very last lap.

Maverick Vinales completed the top 10 for Aprilia, while RNF’s Andrea Dovizioso was the best of the non-Quartararo Yamahas in 11th.

While his Tech3 KTM team-mate Raul Fernandez had to miss the race after sustaining a hand injury on Saturday, Remy Gardner was the top rookie in 14th, by a fairly comfortable margin.

Erstwhile championship leader Enea Bastianini, the only repeat winner of the season so far, crashed out soon after passing Pol Espargaro at speed at Turn 8.

Also falling were Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati), recording his third retirement in five races with a crash out of 11th place, and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda), down but able to remount after tagging the rear wheel of Brad Binder’s KTM.

Binder himself then fell a few laps later, drawing a blank in what was comfortably his worst race of the season so far, while there was also a late exit for Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati) and a last-lap crash for Aprilia wildcard Lorenzo Savadori.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Bike Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 25 22 41m39.611s 1m39.435s 0 25
2 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 25 0 +5.409s 1m39.636s 0 20
3 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia 25 0 +6.068s 1m39.523s 0 16
4 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 25 0 +9.633s 1m39.538s 0 13
5 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 25 0 +13.573s 1m39.866s 0 11
6 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 25 0 +16.163s 1m39.919s 0 10
7 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 25 0 +16.183s 1m40.011s 0 9
8 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 25 0 +16.511s 1m39.588s 0 8
9 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 25 0 +16.769s 1m40.02s 0 7
10 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Aprilia 25 0 +18.063s 1m39.797s 0 6
11 Andrea Dovizioso WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 25 0 +29.029s 1m40.284s 0 5
12 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 25 0 +29.249s 1m40.287s 0 4
13 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 25 0 +33.354s 1m40.665s 0 3
14 Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 25 0 +40.205s 1m40.494s 0 2
15 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 25 0 +46.052s 1m41.31s 0 1
16 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 25 0 +49.569s 1m39.741s 0 0
17 Darryn Binder WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 25 0 +50.303s 1m41.209s 0 0
Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Aprilia 24 0 DNF 1m41.753s 0 0
Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 21 0 DNF 1m41.319s 0 0
Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 18 3 DNF 1m39.786s 0 0
Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 18 0 DNF 1m39.671s 0 0
Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 17 0 DNF 1m39.835s 0 0
Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 9 0 DNF 1m40.307s 0 0
Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 4 0 DNF 1m40.312s 0 0
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