2020 Teruel MotoGP Race Result: Broken Dreams And Dream Comebacks

Expectations were sky high ahead of the second premier class clash in Aragon, especially for the Honda camp, but the 2020 season likes to reverse fortunes come Sunday afternoon and saw one Yamaha one step ahead of the competition. Franco Morbidelli led all the way from turn 5 on the first lap to the checkered flag to secure a second victory of the season, keeping the Suzuki’s at bay. Alex Rins looked like he was preparing a late bid for the win but had to wave the white flag in the final handful of laps, while Joan Mir made it a third consecutive double podium for Suzuki. Having started 12th, the youngster made a quick comeback to join the podium and extend his lead in the world championship.

Honda’s dream weekend quickly turned into a nightmare, as Takaaki Nakagami led from pole position into turn one from fellow front row starters Morbidelli and Rins, but did not make it past turn 5 as he got harshly punished for taking a slightly wide line. That left Morbidelli and Rins in charge of proceedings, with Johann Zarco third, while Mir had made a lightning start to go from 12th of the grid to fifth on lap one, sandwiched between title rivals Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo. Cal Crutchlow, Pol Espargaro, Alex Marquez and Miguel Oliveira completed the top ten after the first lap, while Jack Miller and Brad Binder tangled at turn 2 and ended in the gravel.

By lap 3, a lead group of five was building a one second gap to Quartararo, who was holding off the remaining Hondas and KTMs. Cal Crutchlow was sniffing around the Frenchman for a while but Alex Marquez picked up that mission and got past the Petronas man by lap four. The Spaniard seemed to have warmed up his hard front tyre nicely and did not need long to catch up with the leaders, Mir getting a déjà vu by lap five, with Marquez on his tail and Vinales ahead of him. The trio were pushing to catch up with Zarco, who was being dropped by the two leaders, Morbidelli setting a fast pace ahead of Rins. Meanwhile, Andrea Dovizioso was up to 12th, having started 17th.

By lap 6, Morbidelli and Rins had one second of advantage over Zarco, who in turn had one second in hand over the chasing group, where Mir and Marquez took control from Vinales and looked threatening for the lone Ducati in the podium battle. Vinales seemed to be losing a few tenths here and there and dropped into the clutches of future teammate Quartararo, who had a sizeable group waiting to pounce, including Crutchlow, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso and all the KTMs left in the race.

Back at the front, Morbidelli and Rins had a comfortable lead of almost two seconds over Zarco by lap ten but the Frenchman had Mir and Marquez breathing down his neck. The Spaniards bided their time despite seeing the leaders break away, until Mir attacked with 13 laps remaining and Marquez followed his example that same lap at turn 16. The Ducati briefly fought back at turn 1 but had no answer for the Honda for the rest of the lap. However, the exchange left Marquez one second behind Mir, who was slow to reel in the leaders. Meanwhile, Vinales and Quartararo seemed to be having a repeat of last weekend, with Pol Espargaro and Oliveira keen to push them towards the bottom of the top ten and with Crutchlow and Dovizioso also up for the fight.

The final 10 laps started with Morbidelli and Rins still comfortably in the lead, but Mir got some breathing space after Alex Marquez’s hard front had enough at turn 2 and ruled him out of a podium hattrick, leaving the premier class with no riders to have finished all races. Zarco was left three seconds down on the podium positions and two and a half seconds ahead of Pol Espargaro, who had broken apart from Vinales and the feisty battle between Oliveira and Quartararo. Dovizioso must have felt like Christmas came early as he saw Quartararo only half a second ahead of him with 8 laps remaining but he immediately ran wide at the reverse corkscrew and dropped outside of the top ten once again.

Rins was yet to show a wheel to Morbidelli but there was no rush as Mir did not seem able to reduce the gap significantly. However, Morbidelli had other plans and started to drop Rins, the gap nearing one second with 6 laps remaining. Mir had a pretty lonely ride behind them, but no such luck for Zarco, who was getting reeled in by Pol Espargaro and Oliveira after the KTM duo dropped Vinales. Espargaro robbed former teammate Zarco of fourth with 3 laps remaining and Oliveira tried to replicate that but Zarco wasn’t keen on giving up another position. Another second down the road, Quartararo encountered an unlikely adversary in Aleix Espargaro in the battle for 8th position, but the Aprilia suffered some sort of failure at the final turn with three laps left.

Morbidelli took the checkered flag two seconds ahead of Rins, with Mir making it another solid day for Suzuki. Pol Espargaro in fourth scored KTM’s best result around Motorland Aragon and Zarco completed the top five as the best Ducati rider, followed by Oliveira, Vinales, Quartararo, Lecuona and Petrucci in the top ten. Dovizioso continued to fade in the closing stages, dropping down to 13th position.

Mir’s solid run of podiums extends his lead in the world championship to 14 points from an underwhelming Quartararo, with Vinales another 5 points back. Morbidelli’s victory brings him back in contention, 25 points down on the leader, while Dovizioso drops to fifth, 28 points behind Mir. Rins goes to Valencia sixth, with a 32 point deficit.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 41'47.652
2 42 Alex Rins Suzuki +2.205
3 36 Joan Mir Suzuki +5.376
4 44 Pol Espargaro KTM +10.299
5 5 Johann Zarco Ducati +12.915
6 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM +12.953
7 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha +14.262
8 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha +14.720
9 27 Iker Lecuona KTM +17.177
10 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati +19.519
11 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda +19.708
12 6 Stefan Bradl Honda +20.591
13 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati +22.222
14 53 Tito Rabat Ducati +26.496
15 38 Bradley Smith Aprilia +31.816
Not Classified
  41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 3 Laps
  73 Alex Marquez Honda 10 Laps
  63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 18 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
  30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 0 Lap
  43 Jack Miller Ducati 0 Lap
  33 Brad Binder KTM 0 Lap
Round Number: 
12
2020
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Comments

... making a mockery of the grid on the inferior B-spec M1 might be the most satisfying part of 2020. Doing so at Aragon is even more mystifying. Go ahead and load up the MotoGP20 videogame and do a lap of this track. The back straight is incredibly long, and it starts with a low-speed corner. For Franco to overcome that potentially massive disadvantage is simply incredible. Heart broken for Taka, I think a podium was highly likely and he deserved a chance to fight for that.

Interesting. During the sighting lap I thought Taka might have a front end crash. Part of the perspective seems wise, the other seeking confirmation of my bias. This was just getting caught out on a cold tire. Alex Marquez had a front end go away on him. His battling with Zarco was inspired. His bike was sliding around some. When he crashed he was in 4th out ahead of Zarco. The hard front tire on a bike with some understeer that needs to be chucked around roughly and offers less front end feel? Tricky. The KTM used to look like the wiggly bronco through early 2019. Now it looks nicely planted. Orange looked great today! Nice motor too, Oliveira matched Zarco on the beans easily. 

Really wished to see more of Mir's work carving through the pack in early laps. His eyes reveal intense focus. But with little tension, a good bit of gracious ease, and steady consistency. 

Morbidelli! Petronas garage composing a strong bike! Congrats.

Shall we talk Rookie Of The Year? Opening the season Binder and KTM were sure footed. Lately, Alex Marquez and Honda. One lost his front, one lost Miller's rear, neither finished. They remain tied at 67 points, Iker of course nowhere in sight.Jerez and Portugal? You have to pick A.Marquez don't you? Brad, care to finish with a surprise? 

2020 Championship:

Mir solidifying as favorite. Just behind the Blue Cup is really interesting. 123pts Quartararo in 2nd, 118 Vinales in 3rd, 112 Morbidelli in 4th. What the heck is about to happen here? All three go well there. Seems like a blind guess. Going with Quarty resurgence but not standing out to win the race. 

 

I was wondering if Nakagami would succumb to the pressure and Crutchlow's mind games. Noticed he was offline and a bit wide before the crash. But, cannot say why he did...

Mir. Why would one change Their approach to races that which brought them to where they are? (the leader of the championship).

Morbidelli. Refreshing to hear a moto racer speak of a mystical experience (my words after reading the article at gpone) during a race. It's experience that makes a believer out of a non-believer. And interesting to read that Morbidelli's idol is none other than Ayrton Senna who spoke of being so in the zone during an F1 race that he became the observer of the "doing". Not the doer...

Let's hope he bounces back stronger for his error. It was very harsh punishment for running wide in the corner, but it probably would have been the same for any racer?

Don't know if Franco Morbidelli was referring to an out-of-body experience, as Ayrton Senna clearly described his experience? He was kind of at a loss for words to clarify his "it was a trip" description during the post-race presser. I believe he meant it was "a trip" using slang for it was indescribable. I could be wrong, though. I do really like FM's debriefs, he is usually very clear and concise when describing his experiences.

In the article at gpone.com, the quotes of Morbidelli's explanation of his 'trip' during the race goes into much greater detail than the post-race media debrief at motogp.com. I do not know if the quotes are accurate and whether the dialogue has been translated from Italian to English which can be subject to human interpretation. And after watching the Senna documentary again, I see that my recollection of his description of his experience at Monaco in 1988 is different than what he said in the movie. Facts are easily distorted.

And yet, what I believe is that Morbidelli experienced the power of dreaming, of visualization and of realizing the dream manifest in reality. When dreaming about what one wants, the dream is inside of "I". When created dreams manifest into reality, it is as if life becomes a dream, as if the "I" is inside the dream. It's as if everything is inside out. And this experience is ephermal - which is normal. This experience calls into question whether the "I" is limited and bound by the human body, or if it extends beyond the body. Or if I is everywhere. 

And, I believe this points to our true position in reality - that of the witness or observer rather than the doer. It's normal to believe one is the doer, and in a way it is true. But, reacquiring the power put into the creation of dreams when they manifest can cause one to question this belief. Which, according to the article at gpone, is exactly what is happening with Mr. Morbidelli. It takes unexplainable experiences to shake the foundation upon which we have placed the belief of who we are. 

But enough of this. Let's get back on track...

Riding fast is a subconsious thing, you cannot ride fast if you have to think about it. Maybe the dream experience is where the ride (or part of it) is totally in the subconsious, devoid of any active thought?

Yes. I agree with you that one cannot ride fast if they have to think about it. And yet, just consider how much of what we do is subconscious. When getting out of bed, when walking, when eating, when brushing teeth are we consciously thinking about all of the muscles and actions required to partake in these actions? When leaving home to travel to work, how much of these actions are automatic? How much of it is learned and subconscious (easily retrievable from memory)? How much of one's daily life is actually subconscious action?

So too, riders learn how to go fast each race weekend. And when the bar is raised, they learn how to go faster, if possible, so that it is all automatic during the race (the rhythm) , so that they can use the mind to understand what is happening in the now. And when a rider has an open mind during the race, they may get an insight such as Mir spoke of last Sunday. He realized that he was not able to gain on his competitors in the latter stages of the race. He chose to bring the bike home in third rather than risk a crash. Mir's race was a blending of the subconscious and the conscious. Morbideeli's race was fully in the subconscious. No thinking required. He was along for the ride. And it sounds like it was very enjoyable. Morbidelli spoke of fully trusting his crew during the race weekend. His trip started there. With faith.  

Are they helping or hindering? 

Taka on the hard front, Mir getting messed about. What was it Machiavelli said?

It's like people are trying too hard to justify their positions..

Fantastic open season for speccies though