MotoGP news: Fabio Quartararo wins Catalunya GP, while Aleix Espargaro makes disastrous mistake

Just days after extending his contract with Yamaha, Fabio Quartararo celebrated the deal with a win at the Catalunya GP.

Defending MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo put on a masterful display on Sunday to win his second race of 2022, rising from third on the grid to take the chequered flag in Barcelona.

The French rider enjoyed a blistering start around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and rose to second after the first turn, when Francesco Bagnaia was taken out by Takaaki Nakagami, who lost the front of his LCR Honda under braking.

Having capitalised on the incident, Quartararo then set his sights on Aleix Espargaro, and the Spaniard had no response for the first lap assault.

Quartararo was simply a level above on race day and was able to open up a gap to the chasing pack, with a 3.5s gap opened up with 15 laps still to go.

With Espargaro busy trying to defend his second place, Quartararo was given the freedom to continue building his lead, and the Yamaha rider ended up claiming the win by over five seconds.

But while it ended up being a fairly straight-forward victory for the 2021 champion, Espargaro made a critical error on the penultimate lap, with the Aprilia rider thinking the race had finished as he entered the final lap.

The Spaniard began to ease from the throttle and wave to the home crowd as he entered turn 1, and by the time he had realised his mistake he had dropped to fifth, with Jorge Martin, Johann Zarco and Joan Mir all capitalising on his crucial misunderstanding.

Having thrown away a podium finish on the final lap, Espargaro sunk his helmet into his hands after the race had actually finished, with the 32-year-old missing out on celebrating a superb result in his home Grand Prix.

Mir deserves a special mention for rising to fourth from 17th on the grid, with the Spaniard enjoying a much better home race than his compatriot Espargaro.

Alex Marquez also made up a lot of ground after starting last on the grid, with the 26-year-old ending up 10th to salvage his weekend.

Race results

1 Fabio Quartararo (FRA) - Monster Yamaha

2 Jorge Martin (SPA) - Pramac Ducati

3 Johann Zarco (FRA) - Pramac Ducati

4 Joan Mir (SPA) - Suzuki Ecstar

5 Aleix Espargaro (SPA) - Aprilia Factory

6 Luca Marini (ITA) - Mooney VR46 Ducati

7 Maverick Viñales (SPA) - Aprilia Factory

8 Brad Binder (RSA) - Red Bull KTM

9 Miguel Oliveira (POR) -Red Bull KTM

10 Alex Marquez (SPA) - LCR Honda

11 Remy Gardner (AUS) - KTM Tech3

12 Darryn Binder (RSA) - WithU RNF Yamaha

13 Franco Morbidelli (ITA) - Monster Yamaha

14 Jack Miller (AUS) - Ducati Lenovo

15 Raul Fernandez (SPA) - KTM Tech3

16 Michele Pirro (ITA) - Aruba.it Racing

17 Pol Espargaro (SPA) - Repsol Honda

DNF Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) - WithU RNF Yamaha

DNF Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA) - Gresini Ducati

DNF Enea Bastianini (ITA) - Gresini Ducati

DNF Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) - Mooney VR46 Ducati

DNF Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) - Ducati Lenovo

DNF Stefan Bradl (GER) - Repsol Honda

DNF Takaaki Nakagami (JPN) - LCR Honda

DNF Alex Rins (SPA) - Suzuki Ecstar

READ MORE: Fabio Quartararo signs two-year deal with Yamaha after being promised improved engine power

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