The first MotoGP race of the Catalan Grand Prix saw Aleix Espargaró earn the win, making up for his mistake last year and finishing almost two seconds ahead of Pecco Bagnaia.
The World Championship leader had to fight with Maverick Viñales for second position, extending his advantage in the overall standings.
Behind them, Brad Binder, Jorge Martín, Miguel Oliveira, Johann Zarco, Marco Bezzechi and Enea Bastianini completed the points.
Positive eleventh place for Marc Márquez
After a spectacular start in which he gained three places, Marc Márquez would fight for seventh with Miguel Oliveira. However, as the laps went by he lost ground, going on to complete the 12-lap race in the same position in which he started: Eleventh.
His Repsol Honda teammate, Joan Mir, had a difficult Saturday. After qualifying 20th, in the sprint race he was unable to continue making progress and crossed the finish line in 21st.
Sunday sees a warm up and the eleventh race of the season at 2pm CEST.
Sprint Race Results: Catalan GP (12 laps)
|1. Aleix Espargaró||APRILIA||20:02.744|
|2. Pecco Bagnaia||DUCATI||+1.989|
|3. Maverick Viñales||APRILIA||+2.040|
|4. Brad Binder||KTM||+2.857|
|5. Jorge Martín||DUCATI||+4.341|
|6. Miguel Oliveira||APRILIA||+4.940|
|7. Johann Zarco||DUCATI||+6.746|
|8. Marco Bezzecchi||DUCATI||+6.888|
|9. Enea Bastianini||DUCATI||+8.068|
|10. Álex Márquez||DUCATI||+10.380|
|11. Marc Márquez||REPSOL HONDA||+11.823|
|20. Joan Mir||REPSOL HONDA||+19.574|
|1. Pecco Bagnaia||DUCATI||260|
|2. Jorge Martín||DUCATI||194|
|3. Marco Bezzecchi||DUCATI||185|
|4. Brad Binder||KTM||166|
|5. Aleix Espargaró||APRILIA||129|
|6. Johann Zarco||DUCATI||128|
|7. Luca Marini||DUCATI||120|
|8. Jack Miller||KTM||96|
|9. Maverick Viñales||APRILIA||93|
|10. Álex Márquez||DUCATI||92|
|19. Marc Márquez||REPSOL HONDA||19|
|26. Joan Mir||REPSOL HONDA||5|
“I had an important day today, for me, for my feeling and my confidence. It was just Q1, but we were able to do a really strong lap and be much faster than we expected. In the Sprint race I was able to stay with the top group for half the race more or less, pushing to the limit, but we were able to do it. Both of these things give me a bit of extra motivation to keep carrying out our work in this way. Tomorrow will be a much longer race, so let’s see what we can manage in that.”
“Today’s race was very difficult, this is clear. We continued to struggle with grip and the reality is that there are many corners here which highlight our weaknesses. The team and I will spend tonight looking at everything deeply to try and improve the situation for tomorrow. I am still able to brake and enter the corner well, but we need to work on the other areas.”