Fabio Quartararo has extended his advantage at the head of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship standings as he maintained his perfect start to the season with another victory in Jerez from pole position.

A week on from the moment he crossed the line for his first-ever MotoGP win in the Spanish MotoGP, Quartararo did it all over again with another outclassing of the opposition in race trim for the Andalucia MotoGP:

With now two pole positions and two races wins, this success was achieved in moderately more comfortable circumstances after grabbing the holeshot from the line to take the early lead.

Though Maverick Vinales attempted to snatch the initiative with a leery dive for the inside at the final corner on lap one, Quartararo simply undercut him to get back in front.

It prove to be the only challenge he’d face for the remainder of the race as he steadily swelled his advantage to 4.4secs by the chequered flag.

A memorable day all round for the Yamaha team, Vinales and Valentino Rossi chased him home in second and third to locking out the podium for the manufacturer. The result marks the first time Rossi has made a trip to the rostrum since the 2019 Grand Prix of the Americas.

Even so, there was some fortuitousness to their eventual results as a race of high attrition helped to eliminate some of their rivals, leading to just 13 riders from the original 21 to reach the chequered flag.

This included a luckless Pecco Bagnaia, who had made the most of his career-best third place start to put in a podium challenge. More than that, he’d fought his way to the front of the chasing pack and had just started to pull when the Ducati cried enough and he was forced to park up.

His Pramac team-mate Jack Miller and Franco Morbidelli were two more front-running riders to retire from positive positions, the former losing out with a crash and the latter being let down by technical issues.

Their misfortune though paved the way for Takaaki Nakagami to claim a career-best run to fourth position on the 2019-spec LCR Honda. It also marks the strongest finish for a Japanese rider in MotoGP since Katsuyuki Nakasuga’s run to second in the Valencia MotoGP of 2012.

Joan Mir completed the top five on the best of the Suzuki entries, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso recovering to sixth from 14th on the grid and Pol Espargaro, who had to contend with seventh after getting crossed up with the Italian ahead and running off track.

On an otherwise torrid weekend for the Marquez family after Marc’s withdrawal, Alex Marquez brought some welcome joy to the Repsol Honda team with a spirited ride to eighth, ahead of Johann Zarco and a brave Alex Rins in tenth.

Tito Rabat, Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow completed the point-scorers as the last of the finishers in 11th, 12th and 13th respectively.

A total of eight riders dropped out of the race in what would prove to be a punishing afternoon, not least for Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder, whose efforts of putting their respective KTMs fifth and seventh on the grid were let down by a collision at the first corner. Oliveira retired on the spot, while Binder continued before crashing again later in the race.

Danilo Petrucci joined Miller and Bagnaia on the sidelines on a tough day for Ducati, while Aleix Espargaro and Iker Lecuona failed to finish for the second weekend in succession.

 

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