Maverick Vinales secured a stunning victory at the inaugural Emilia Romagna GP in Misano. The Spaniard managed to finally clinch a victory in this unpredictable 2020 MotoGP season, much to his respite after failing to convert strong grid positions into podiums or victories over the last few races.
Vinales becomes the sixth different MotoGP winner this year
Quartararo loses 3rd place to Pol Espargaro after penalty
Bagnaia crashes out of the lead
Rossi and Binder’s early exit
Vinales started the race on pole position, however, his Yamaha YZR M1 was outrun by the Pramac Ducati of Jack Miller, going into Turn 1. Miller made the most of the opening laps as Vinales kept pushing to stay within striking distance of the Aussie.
Behind them, Vinales' team mate, Valentino Rossi was also charging up the field when on Lap 2 he lost the front and crashed. Red Bull KTM's Brand Binder too suffered a similar fate, ending his hopes of a podium position.
Further up, Miller lost the lead to Vinales, who capitalised on the former's mistake. Making most of the opportunity, he quickly began to pull away from the rest of the field with Pramac Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia in hot pursuit.
A few laps down, Bagnaia made a brave lunge down the inside of Vinales to snatch the lead and soon began pulling away, using the horsepower advantage of his Ducati.
Meanwhile, Red Bull KTM's Pol Espargaro put up a valiant effort to make his way to 3rd place, using the soft option tyre to his advantage. However, as the laps progressed, he began to suffer from tyre degradation. This played into the hands of Petronas Yamaha SRT's Fabio Quartararo who began to reel him in with each passing lap.
Behind the pair, the late charging Joan Mir, on the factory Suzuki, kept closing in on the duo, making a brilliant move on Quartararo and Pol Espargaro. Fabio eventually managed to demote Pol to fourth after overtaking him with a few laps remaining.
Vinales wins as Bagnaia crashes out
With all the drama in the background, Bagnaia looked set to take a momentous victory when all of a sudden, he suffered a crash, putting an end to his fairytale. Vinales was hence, gifted the lead and he went on to cross the line in 1st place, 2.42 secs clear of Joan Mir, who brought the factory Suzuki home in 2nd.
A rack limits infringement by Quartararo meant he was awarded a 3 sec penalty. As a result, he lost 3rd place to Pol Espargaro. This comes as a big blow to the championship hopes of the Frenchman, who was regarded as the title favourite.
What does the 2020 MotoGP riders’ championship look like?
With the 2020 season witnessing more twists and turns than the best thriller movies out there, who will win the MotoGP World Championship is anybody's guess. At present and despite a lackluster performance at the Emilia Romagna GP, factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso leads the World Championship with 84 points in the bag. Fabio Quartararo currently stands second at 83 points followed by Vinales at 83 points as well.
The next MotoGP race will be held on September 27 at Circuit de Barcelona- Catalunya, Spain.
2020 Emilia Romagna MotoGP results: