SPANISH star Joan Mir took his first win in Sunday’s MotoGP in Valencia to become the ninth different winner of the 2020 season.

The Suzuki rider and teammate Alex Rins dominated the 24 laps of the 4.0km Ricardo Tormo circuit where the European MotoGP round was run, after taking the lead from KTM-mounted polesitter Pol Espargaro early in the incident-strewn race.

Mir’s victory gives him a sizeable lead in the championship thanks to consistent podium places in earlier rounds this year.

The 23-year-old only needs a podium finish at either of the final two rounds to secure the title.

While it was great day for Suzuki and the first Suzuki 1-2 finish since 1982, it was a horror one for Yamaha.

Fabio Quartararo elegantly slid off his Yamaha in unison with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) — but without contact — on the opening lap.

Next, Valentino Rossi stopped his Yamaha on the track with mechanical bothers and fellow Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli dropped down the order to finish 11th.

Both managed to get back on their machines and Quartararo finished 14th, but Espargaro retired.

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Alex Marquez came off his Honda while battling Ducati’s Andrea Dovisioso and Brad Binder (KTM) in the closing laps.

Others not to make it to the finish included Lorenzo Savadori, Tito Rabat and Francesco Bagnaia, Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).

Close behind Mir and Rins was Pol Espargaro, with Takaaki Nakagami fourth for Honda.

In fifth was Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira on a KTM with Australia’s Jack Miller sixth on his Ducati while South Africa’s Brad Binder claimed seventh for KTM.

Binder put in a strong run in the closing laps, overcoming a ‘long lap’ penalty for causing the crash with Miller at Aragon a fortnight ago.

He picked off Bradl, Morbidelli, Pertrucci, Zarco and Dovisioso in the final laps, posting the fastest lap in the process.

He also regained a points advantage in the battle for Rookie of the Year after Alex Marquez crashed out on his Honda.

A long lap requires the rider to follow a prescribed route for one lap that is longer than a regular lap and takes about an extra three seconds to complete.

Next MotoGP is on the same circuit on November 15 and the finale will be in Portugal on November 22.

Results

Pos.PointsNum.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTime/Gap
12536Joan MIRSPATeam SUZUKI ECSTARSuzuki155.841’37.297
22042Alex RINSSPATeam SUZUKI ECSTARSuzuki155.8+0.651
31644Pol ESPARGAROSPARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM155.8+1.203
41330Takaaki NAKAGAMIJPNLCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda155.7+2.194
51188Miguel OLIVEIRAPORRed Bull KTM Tech 3KTM155.3+8.046
61043Jack MILLERAUSPramac RacingDucati155.3+8.755
7933Brad BINDERRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM155.2+10.137
884Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati155.2+10.801
975Johann ZARCOFRAEsponsorama RacingDucati155.1+11.550
1069Danilo PETRUCCIITADucati TeamDucati154.8+16.803
11521Franco MORBIDELLIITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha154.7+17.617
1246Stefan BRADLGERRepsol Honda TeamHonda154.3+24.350
13312Maverick VIÑALESSPAMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha154.3+25.403
14220Fabio QUARTARAROFRAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha153.4+39.639
Not Classified
32Lorenzo SAVADORIITAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia145.62 Laps
73Alex MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda155.14 Laps
53Tito RABATSPAEsponsorama RacingDucati151.014 Laps
63Francesco BAGNAIAITAPramac RacingDucati152.622 Laps
35Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRLCR Honda CASTROLHonda151.922 Laps
46Valentino ROSSIITAMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha151.323 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
41Aleix ESPARGAROSPAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia0 Lap


CHECKOUT: Rins the leader of the pack at Aragon

CHECKOUT: Morbidelli makes it number two

bill Edited 96x96 - Spanish flyer for Suzuki at Valencia

Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.
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