Joan Mir (Suzuki) has signed his first victory of the year this Sunday and commanded the Spanish triplet, ahead of Àlex Rins (Suzuki) and Pol Espargaró (KTM), in the race of MotoGP of the European Grand Prix, the third-to-last event of the Motorcycle World Championship, a result that allows him to establish himself in the leadership of the premier category and have his first ‘match-ball’ next week again in Cheste.
With only 50 points to play, those who will distribute next week’s races, again at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, and the final one in Portimao, the Balearic has in his hand to be proclaimed champion. After becoming the ninth separate winner in 12 races and leading Suzuki’s one-two, Mir has 162 points, 37 more than Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), fourteenth this Sunday, and Rins and 41 more than Maverick Viñales (Yamaha), who finished thirteenth.
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Now, he depends on himself to make history. In the Valencian track, in just seven days, he will have his first ‘match-ball’ in a race in which he will be able to allow himself to give up up to 11 points with respect to his two main pursuers.
At the appointment this Sunday in Cheste, it took Rins only two laps to overtake Saturday’s poleman, Pol Espargaró (KTM), who three laps later was also overtaken by the World Championship leader. However, the race had already been agitated when as soon as the main rival of the Balearic Islands for the championship, the Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), went to the ground in a Turn 8 where Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) also fell.
The adventure was also soon over for nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), whom the mechanical problems of his motorcycle left him out of the Grand Prix of his return after two absence tests in Alcañiz for his positive for coronavirus.
It was with 11 laps to go when Rins allowed his teammate to pass to give him the pressure of pulling both, but Mir did not miss the opportunity and managed to escape to sign his first win of the season and consolidate his leadership. Thus, with Rins and Pol Espargaró, he commanded the third Spanish triplet of the course, after those of Emilia-Romaña and Aragón.
As for the rest of the Spanish, Viñales was thirteenth, while Àlex Márquez (Repsol Honda) could not finish the event when he fell to the ground with four laps to go in full pursuit of the Italian Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati). Tito Rabat (Ducati), like that of Cervera and Aleix Espargaró, could not conclude the appointment either.