Spanish MotoGP: Miller wins, Quartararo fades from first to 13th

Jack Miller stormed to his first MotoGP win in five years after guiding his Ducati to victory in the Spanish Grand Prix after long-time leader Fabio Quartararo hit trouble.

Miller last won a MotoGP race in a wet 2016 Dutch TT and has endured a wretched start to life as a factory Ducati rider so far in 2021, but profited from late issues for Quartararo to lead a Ducati 1-2 at Jerez.

Miller used the power of the Ducati to jump Quartararo off the line, with the Frenchman dropping to fourth behind Franco Morbidelli and Francesco Bagnaia.

Quartararo dispatched of Bagnaia at the end of lap two for third and demoted former Petronas SRT teammate Morbidelli at the same place on the following tour.

The factory Yamaha rider took the lead away from Miller at the final corner one lap later and began to stretch his legs in clean air.

By lap eight Quartararo was close to a second clear and would build his advantage to over 1.5s over the ensuing laps.

Miller’s pace was strong, but he could do nothing to reel in Quartararo, who looked well on course to score his third-straight victory in 2021.

However, on lap 14 Quartararo’s gap was cut from 1.5s to eight tenths and continued to be decimated as the Yamaha rider was struck by a mystery issue.

This left him powerless to stop Miller from coming into the lead at the first corner on lap 16, with Bagnaia pushing Quartararo back to third two tours later.

As Miller moved into a lead of over 1.5s, Quartararo plummeted down the order as he was mercilessly picked off by those around him.

Starting the penultimate lap, Miller’s lead stood at just over a second as his Ducati teammate Francesco Bagnaia ate into his advantage.

Miller responded over the final lap and a half, though, building his lead back up to over a second to hold onto his first wins as a Ducati rider and his first since 2016.

Bagnaia stayed mounted to complete a Ducati 1-2 at Jerez, while Morbidelli found himself on the final step of the podium as comfortably the top Yamaha rider on a two-year-old M1.

Takaaki Nakagami leaped up to fourth late in the race on his LCR Honda ahead of world champion Joan Mir on the Suzuki from 10th on the grid, while Aleix Espargaro’s early podium charge ultimately ended in sixth on the Aprilia.

Maverick Vinales was seventh on his factory Yamaha ahead of Pramac’s Johann Zarco and the works Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro.

Miguel Oliveira was top KTM rider at the chequered flag in 11th ahead of HRC wildcard Stefan Bradl and the fading Quartararo, with the final points taken by Tech 3 pair Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona. 

Brad Binder (KTM) crashed twice on Sunday afternoon, joining Avintia’s Enea Bastianini and LCR’s Alex Marquez on the sidelines – while Suzuki’s Alex Rins was 20th after an early fall.

Bagnaia now leads the MotoGP standings by two points from Quartararo, with Vinales a further 16 points adrift in third.

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati
2 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 1.912
3 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 2.516
4 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 3.206
5 36 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 4.256
6 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 5.164
7 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 5.651
8 5 France Johann Zarco
Ducati 7.161
9 93 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 10.494
10 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
Honda 11.776
11 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 14.766
12 6 Germany Stefan Bradl
Honda 17.243
13 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 18.907
14 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci
KTM 20.095
15 27 Spain Iker Lecuona
KTM 20.277
16 10 Italy Luca Marini
Ducati 20.922
17 46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 22.731
18 53 Spain Tito Rabat
Ducati 30.314
19 32 Italy Lorenzo Savadori
Aprilia 37.912
20 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 38.234
33 South Africa Brad Binder
KTM
23 Italy Enea Bastianini
Ducati
73 Spain Alex Marquez
Honda
shares
comments

Related video

Tech 3 to remain KTM satellite MotoGP team through 2026

Previous article

Tech 3 to remain KTM satellite MotoGP team through 2026

Next article

Emotional Miller “worked arse off” for Spanish MotoGP win

Emotional Miller “worked arse off” for Spanish MotoGP win
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Prime

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Prime

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021