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Rins triumphs for Suzuki in Aragon MotoGP thriller

James Pavey

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Monday 19th October, 2020 - 1:30am

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Alex Rins

Alex Rins held off Alex Marquez in a thrilling Aragon Grand Prix to become the eighth different winner in 10 races in the 2020 MotoGP season.

Rins defied a stunning charge from Honda rookie Marquez to claim a first win for himself and Suzuki since last year’s British Grand Prix.

The race, which was the first without a former or current premier class champion since Rio 1999 due to Valentino Rossi’s COVID-19-induced absence, saw the 2020 championship lead handed to Joan Mir after pole sitter Fabio Quartararo slumped to 18th.

It was a disappointing day for Yamaha, with the manufacturer missing the podium completely despite locking out the top three positions in Saturday qualifying.

Works Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales stole the lead from Quartararo off the start ahead of the second Petronas Yamaha SRT entry of Franco Morbidelli, with Rins vaulting from 10th to fourth by the first sector.

By the start of Lap 3, Rins had cleared Morbidelli into third, and by the end of the lap, the Spaniard had set a 1:48.404s flyer to set about taking his first win in over a year.

From there, Quartararo’s nightmare began, with the Frenchman deposed by Rins at the final Turn 16-17 complex. That section of tarmac would prove Quartararo’s kryptonite all race as he battled with front-end grip.

All the while, rookie Marquez, who claimed a maiden MotoGP podium in the last race in France, was making clear progress through the field.

The reigning Moto2 champion moved past Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller into sixth on Lap 6, before using his medium-front, soft-rear tyre selection to perfection to make stable moves on Quartararo and Morbidelli at the Turn 16-17 complex.

That came after Mir had also muscled past the Petronas Yamaha SRT duo at the same part of the circuit, with the Yamahas clearly failing to replicate the pace shown over one lap at the Spanish circuit a day earlier.

A patient Rins had kept Viñales honest, and the Suzuki rider made his move for the lead at the final corner at the end of Lap 8. By Lap 14, Viñales found himself behind both Mir and Marquez.

Yamaha’s frustration only grew once Quartararo, who was battling hip soreness following accidents on Friday and Saturday, had dropped out of the points altogether by Lap 16.

Marquez carried on his attack and passed Mir at the final corner on Lap 18, leaving himself five laps to catch and challenge Rins.

The Spanish duo were joined at the hip to the end, with Marquez nearly thrown into a devastating highside at the final corner as he chased a maiden premier class win.

However, Rins couldn’t be denied, with the 24-year-old taking his third MotoGP win by just 0.263 seconds.

The result also confirmed Mir as the new championship leader on 121 points, despite the 23-year-old yet to win a race this season. Mir is the first Suzuki rider to lead the championship since Kenny Roberts in 2000.

Quartararo dropped into second on 115 points, with Viñales third on 109 points ahead of Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, who managed to finish the race in seventh.

The championship will remain at Aragon next weekend for the second of a double-header at the circuit, with the Teruel Grand Prix marking the 11th round of the 2020 season.

Race results: Aragon MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Race time
1 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 41:54.391
2 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.263
3 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +2.644
4 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +2.880
5 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +4.570
6 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +4.756
7 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +8.639
8 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +8.913
9 43 Jack MILLER AUS Pramac Racing Ducati +9.390
10 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Esponsorama Racing Ducati +9.617
11 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +13.200
12 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +13.689
13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +14.598
14 27 Iker LECUONA ESP Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +15.291
15 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Ducati Team Ducati +15.941
16 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +18.284
17 6 Stefan BRADL GER Repsol Honda Team Honda +20.136
18 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +21.498
19 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +25.300
20 53 Tito RABAT ESP Esponsorama Racing Ducati +25.558
DNF 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 21 Laps

Race winner: 23 laps

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Joan MIR ESP 121
2 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA 115
3 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 109
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 106
5 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 92
6 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA 87
7 Alex RINS ESP 85
8 Jack MILLER AUS 82
9 Pol ESPARGARO ESP 77
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 69
11 Brad BINDER RSA 67
12 Alex MARQUEZ ESP 67
13 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 65
14 Valentino ROSSI ITA 58
15 Johann ZARCO FRA 53
16 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 42
17 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP 27
18 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR 21
19 Iker LECUONA ESP 20
20 Bradley SMITH GBR 11
21 Stefan BRADL GER 8
22 Tito RABAT ESP 8
23 Michele PIRRO ITA 4

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