Rider photos sourced from MotoGP.com
The Catalan Grand Prix always brings a new level of excitement and passion to the season, not only because it is a home circuit for some of the fan favorites, but because it almost always leaves fans with their jaws on the ground. With some of the highest DNF rates in the series, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one to watch, now more than ever. Although local fans will miss seeing #93 defend his territory, the current lineup is bringing the heat and maintaining that level of thrill that keeps us on the edge of our seats.
The circumstances around this year’s Catalan GP are vastly different from last year’s with Marc Marquez still unfit to race, Dovi holding on dearly to the championship lead and a very diverse mix of riders and manufacturers locking in podium finishes. The races leading up to Barcelona have consistently reinstalled faith that this sport is growing, the technology is advancing and a new generation has arrived.
Today we are going to look back to the 2019 Catalan Grand Prix to revisit what happened and how it left the championship standing. By looking at the past, we are able to see how far the series has come and more importantly, how it has shifted. This article was originally posted on June 18th, 2019 by Julia Robinson.
So Back To This Gnarly Crash
I think you know which crash we’re talking about – Catalan GP, four factory riders, first lap of the race…
The race started out tight, with riders literally on top of each other. Mix that with new tires on a steaming circuit and you’re due for some excitement. We all know what happened from there, Lorenzo lost his front and took out three of the top factory riders… ouch. While Dovizioso and Rossi kept their cool and later came to peace with the incident, Maverick Vinales, who desperately needed these championship points was not so calm or cool or collected.
So what does this mean going forward?
The championship points just got very interesting… As we mentioned earlier, Marc Marquez now holds a 37 point lead over Dovi. And although the Ducati rider (who by the way is a contender for the World Champion title) received 0 points in Catalunya, he still holds a 2 point lead over Alex Rins who is barely holding onto third.
Danilo Petrucci has been taking the last few races by storm and is dangerously close to overtaking both Rins and Dovizioso. Looks like Petrucci’s factory seat isn’t so questionable going forward… Rounding out the top 5, Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi is sitting pretty with a 19+ gap above and below him.
Let’s jump over to Rossi’s teammate, Maverick Vinales, who hasn’t had the most consistent start to the season. The Spanish rider did not have the home race he had intended. Starting from P6 on the grid and immediately jumping into 2nd place, everyone had an optimistic outlook for him. Fast forward to the crash, some yelling and angry gestures, Vinales received 0 points and now sits in 11th place in the World Championship ranking. I know, 11th sounds rough. But it gets better from here! Vinales has a slim 13 point gap between himself and P6 in the rankings. The pressure is on for the Yamaha rider as he heads to TT Assen where he earned a podium position just last year.
Onward to the Dutch Grand Prix. Have a great week, never stop learning and ride on!