The Portuguese Miguel Oliveira (KTM) won this Sunday the MotoGP Grand Prix of Catalonia, at the Montmeló circuit, ahead of the French Johann Zarco (Ducati).
Australian Jack Miller (Ducati) completed the podium of this seventh round of the world championship of the premier category of motorcycling, led by Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), who finished third, but was suspended with three seconds, lost a place and stayed fourth.
Second in the world classification, Zarco gets to 17 points Quartararo in this unprecedented French duel for the championship leadership, from which Miller placed third, overtaking his Ducati teammate, the Italian Francesco Bagnaia, who could only be seventh this Sunday.
Reigning champion, Spaniard Joan Mir (Suzuki), who came out of 10th, finished 5th, while legends Marc Márquez (Honda) and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha-SRT) dropped out after falling.
“I have no words, it has been one of my best races,” reacted Oliveira, who won, at 26, his third GP in the premier class and is now 7th in the world championship.
“Everything was difficult, between managing the tires and Fabio (Quartararo) who put a lot of pressure on me, who passed me, who I managed to overtake again … It was a perfect race, I will never be able to thank KTM enough for giving me such a bike good, “added Oliveira, second in Italy last week.
Zarco declared himself “very happy” to have “maintained control” throughout the race.
“In the last two laps I was lucky because Fabio seems to have had a problem, I don’t really know what, so I was able to get second and try to catch up with Miguel, but he controlled the race well,” added 30-year-old Zarco.
Starting from pole, but ahead of the start, Quartararo was in the fight for victory when he had a problem, taking off or losing his chest protection, according to television images.
The 22-year-old pilot finished the race with the open suit. Unstable and losing speed, he was overtaken by Zarco and had to cut back on a curve, for which he was sanctioned.
Some 24,000 people, 20% of the total capacity of the Catalunya circuit, were able to watch the race, in what was a novelty this season, which made the riders happy.
“It was incredible to have an audience this weekend, it is like a return to normality,” said Oliveira before taking the podium.