Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati Racing) was the best Ducati rider for the fourth time in seven races, and he simply put away the disadvantage in Mugello in the GP, which even his opponents thought was absurd, and came close to winning.

After the black Italian GP, a gray one in Catalonia

Certainly not only for us reporters, the black weekend in Italy was followed by a gray one in Montmeló. On the track in the industrial dominated area of the suburb of Barcelona, there were countless bad moments for a multitude of fans, teams and drivers. First and foremost the two pilots of the Moto3 and MotoGP races who finished 3rd. Once again, the innumerable critical voices at the newly introduced track limits and other questionable punishments of the autocratic FIM stewards got it right. If two out of three races on a weekend are not scored as if they were waved with a checkered flag, then all fun definitely stops.

Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) in front of Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) crossed the finish line in 4th place – but after a so-called “Track Limit Violation”, the young Turk profited from the punishment of Jaume Masia, who was actually in front of him and thus a podium that was believed to be safe in front of his home crowd missed.

Bankruptcies and mishaps wherever you look
The first embarrassment of the day happened even before the first start. Without announcing the reason, the MotoGP app subscribers only saw a fade-in instead of the first pictures of the Moto3 with the note that the start had been postponed by 5 minutes. In the end, this turned out to be well over a quarter of an hour and not even on site everyone knew what was going on, why and until when the delay would last. But even after the races it went on like this. You waited twice for what felt like hours until the results of Moto3 and Moto2 were officially published.

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) was beside himself with disappointment after struggling with all sorts of problems, but was the third to see the checkered flag. For him, it was another questionable decision by the stewards because he supposedly got an advantage between turns 1 and 2. Even every viewer saw with the naked eye that this was not the case. Above all, the long-lap penalty area of a route is definitely not an abbreviation, which makes the application of the time penalty ad absurdum for the French.

Most riders’ opinions on this are clear

Miguel Oliveira and Joan Mir didn’t even understand the world after the race in Mugello. The Spaniard had even given to understand later in an interview that, according to their understanding, Johann Zarco should have come second. The majority of drivers react to this new rule with a shake of their head, and it is usually just a sheer annoyance for the fans and spectators. There are pictures of Joe Roberts as one of the victims in Mugello, along with the French, throwing his gloves into the corner and cursing like a cane. It is absolutely understandable that a driver feels completely cheated in his case. He fought his way up to 3rd place and was then punished due to a rule which, according to many experts, does not serve a bit of safety. HRC test and reserve rider Stefan Bradl summed it up in a recent interview. The Bavarian explained that it makes no sense for a driver to read the regulations. Ultimately, from his point of view, the FIM would often decide differently than what is actually stated in the regulations.

The example from Mugello with Oliveira’s “Track Limit Violation” shows how close Johann Zarco was, which is why the later reason that the distance should not be too small is by no means plausible. In fact, Stefan Bradl is absolutely right with his opinion and the stewards do what they think is right anyway and no one believes in it.

The sporting event with many surprises

Miguel Oliveira needed a lot of luck in the end to get his victory over the finish line. Initially, the Portuguese profited from the chaos behind him and later Fabio Quartararo was slowed down by a handicap when it was his turn. His compatriot Johann Zarco might have snatched the KTM rider, as he said after the race, but he stayed behind for too long behind his brand colleague Jack Miller. This was also kept in check by the Monster Energy pilot until the finish, but from the point of view of many observers, the Frenchman was completely wrongly given a time penalty after the race, whereby the Australian was third. It was a pretty chaotic race, in which the FIM stewards once again after Mugello were anything but convincing with very unpopular decisions. After all, they couldn’t take anything away from the tension and drama of the day and all in all, despite many falls, it turned out well. But it wasn’t a nice sport and this is primarily thanks to the FIM.

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo) obviously didn’t want to make another serious mistake after his fall in Mugello and after a bad start it became the rather modest seventh place for the former world championship leader.

The local heroes failed in a row
Aleix and Pol Espargaró come from Granollers and therefore the immediate vicinity of the Circuito de Cataluña. The older of the two “asparagus brothers” crashed for the sixth time in seven races and the younger raised his mark from 2 to 3, which would mean exactly 50 percent in the next crash. Along with Valentino Rossi and Danilo Petrucci, Marc Marquez also landed in the gravel. With him in front of his home crowd and for the fourth time in the third race in a row after Le Mans (with 2 crashes) and Mugello. A little later, Iker Lecuona joined the ranks of the failed local heroes, which made four of them that day. Another of them, Alex Rins, also fell on Thursday, but with the racing bicycle, and he wants to be there again after his forced break at the Sachsenring.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) again in the gravel – with his fourth racing crash since Le Mans in a row, the Catalan caused a double retirement of his team, which urgently needed points instead of scrapped bikes.

The result of the seventh MotoGP race of the season in Montmeló

Only 15 drivers saw the checkered flag and thus fewer than this season. With this, the Honda drivers Nakagami and Alex Marquez, as well as all the rookies, once again collected important points. Those who stayed well below expectations were mainly Joan Mir, Francesco Bagnaia, Brad Binder and Franco Morbidelli. Maverick Viñales would also have hoped for more than 6th place, but there were important points again and at least he did not lose any positions in the World Cup. On the other hand, he and Mir naturally continue to lose ground to the front-runners in the intermediate ranking. For more details on the course of the weekend, see our live blog from Friday to Sunday. Incidentally, in the evening Quartararo received an additional time penalty with an absolutely hair-raising reason. For more information, see our report “FIM plays God”.

All in all, after the heroic fight, Fabio Quartararo can see it as if the stewards stole 6 world championship points from him, despite all the adversities, but the young Frenchman still holds the lead in the intermediate classification and is now even more for many the hero of the GP of Catalonia.

World Championship status in all 3 classes after round 7 at a glance

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© MotoGP).