ALCANIZ, Spain – Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins earned his first MotoGP victory of the season after a late-race duel with Repsol Honda’s Alex Marquez on Sunday at MotorLand Aragon.
With his victory, Rins became the eighth different MotoGP rider to win in the last eight events.
Maverick Vinales took the lead in the opening corners of the race, besting Fabio Quartararo to take control of the race early on. Rins, meanwhile, roared up through the pack from 10th to end the opening lap in fourth.
Vinales held his lead on Quartararo on lap two, but behind them Rins was a man on a mission as he moved around Franco Morbidelli in turn one to take third. Rins soon moved around Quartararo, who ran wide in the final corner to hand second to Rins.
Rins was flying and soon he chopped Vinales’ gap down to half a second. By lap seven Rins was right on the tailpipe of Vinales’ Yamaha and looking for a way past him. On lap eight Rins made his move, sweeping past Vinales in the final corner to take the race lead.
While Rins was taking the lead, Marquez was on the move. He took fifth from Quartararo, who was fading through the pack in a hurry, and quickly set his sights on the rest of the top-five.
Marquez went right back to work and with 10 laps to go he’d moved into third as he continued to close the gap on Rins at the front of the field. With six laps left Marquez moved by the second Suzuki of Joan Mir to take second, leaving only Rins in his way.
With two laps left Rins held the lead by three tenths over Marquez, who was still hounding him looking for a way around. Marquez tried to get close enough to sweep around Rins, but Rins was able to hold serve and beat Marquez to the finish by .263 seconds.
Mir finished third, which was enough to move him into the MotoGP championship lead by six points after a dismal day for Quartararo, who finished well out of the points in 18th after falling through the field.
Vinales settled for fourth, with LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami finishing fifth.