The MotoGP weekend in Catalunya gave us a lot of chaos and carnage. 29 riders failed to finish the race across all 3 classes with 11 MotoGP riders crashing out and only 13 taking the chequered flag. This was an unprecedented level of attrition and it will go down in history as being one of the race weekends with the least finishers.
Moto2 ‘only’ had 6 non-finishers which was relatively low compared to Moto3’s 12 and MotoGP’s 11. Remy Gardener was caught up in a first lap incident with Lorenzo Baldassarri, who he accused of forcing him into a crash. Whether these claims were substantiated or not, championship leader Baldassarri later crashed out and lost his lead in the championship. The king of crashes, Sam Lowes managed to stay on his bike for a change and see the chequered flag.
The Moto3 race was extremely chaotic. 3 different riders abandoned the race whilst leading for starters. There was a very clumsy move from Can Oncu, missing his breaking into turn 4 and bowling 4 other riders out of the race. The infamous turn 10 also gave us some incidents, most notably on the first lap when Tatsuki Suzuki crashed while challenging for the lead. Later on Rodrigo took Binder out and later on Toba was also taken out after being clipped. A bizarre incident saw Filip Salac retire after both his visor and screen simultaneously fell off while heading down into turn 10. Marcos Ramirez held on to win after a race full of jostling and action.
It truly was one of the most bizarre MotoGP races for a long time. Lap one saw wildcard Bradley Smith take out his team-mate Aleix Espargaro heading into turn 10. Espargaro appeared to be severely hurt and had to be carried off his bike. Karel Abraham also crashed on the opening lap in an unrelated incident. The most talked about move of the race was when Lorenzo, who was finally finding some speed on the Honda, made a late move breaking into turn 10 , lost the front and hit Dovisioso, which set off a chain reaction of crashes culminating in Yamaha team-mates Vinales & Rossi also retiring after that incident. That move pretty much ended the race as it allowed Marc Marquez plenty of breathing room to ride away unchallenged after his nearest 4 rivals were out.
Rins had a bucking bronco moment on his bike while defending 2nd place into turn 1. He managed to stay on and recover to a very respectable 4th after what looked like a sure crash. Bagnaia continued his miserable run of form with a 4th consecutive DNF whilst Morbidelli suffered his second big crash of the weekend whilst running in the top 10.
On a slightly different note, it must be noted that Marc won all 3 races! How is this so? Well, Marcos Ramirez won in Moto3. Alex Marquez won in Moto2 with brother Marc taking the victory in MotoGP. Mark my words, this won’t be the last time that the Marquez brothers do the double in a race weekend. It was younger brother Alex’s 3rd victory in a row which moved him top of the championship standings. Marquez tripled his lead in front after his main rivals crashed and Canet also managed to extend his lead in the Moto3 championship with his 2nd place and retirements from those close to him.
We now have another 2 weeks to catch our breath before the action is back in 2 weeks time at the classic Assen track.