JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, Spain – Fabio Quarataro collected his second-straight MotoGP victory to open the season with another victory Sunday at Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto.
Quarataro’s Petronas Yamaha SRT entry led Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi across the finish line, giving Yamaha a sweep of the podium.
Starting from the pole, Quartararo jumped into the lead at the start of the race as mayhem ensued behind him. Multiple riders were involved in an incident in turn one, with Miguel Oliveira collecting Brad Binder and Bradley Smith.
At the front, Quartararo started to escape from Vinales and Rossi, who were having a scrap of their own over second. By lap four Quartararo was out to a 1.5-second lead as Rossi fended off Vinales in the battle for the runner-up position.
Multiple riders joined the fray for second with Rossi and Vinales, only to fall by the wayside. Jack Miller slid out of contention in turn nine moments after passing Vinales for third. Bad luck also struck Pecco Bagnaia, who had managed to get past both Vinales and Rossi. Smoke began to pour our of Bagnaia’s bike, ending his day.
While all this was going on Quartararo had built his lead up to nine seconds. Behind him, Vinales finally found a hole to pass Rossi, slipping by him in turn nine when Rossi went slightly wide.
Once into second Vinales made up some time on Quartararo, but it was too little, too late. Quartararo crossed the finish line more than four seconds clear to take his second victory in as many weekends Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto.
Vinales was second with Rossi third. The podium finish for Rossi was his first since the Grand Prix of the Americas, where he finished second.
Takaaki Nakagami came home in fourth for LCR Honda, with Joan Mir finished fifth for the Suzuki squad.