Marc Marquez put one hand on a sixth MotoGP world championship by securing a dominant victory at the Aragon Grand Prix from pole position.
The Honda rider, making his 200th grand prix start, nailed his launch off the line and was already a second clear of the field by the end of the first lap, with no one offering up even a hint of a challenge to his imperious pace.
Fabio Quartararo slotted in behind Marquez off the line on the Petronas SRT Yamaha, with Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller jumping up to third ahead of the works Yamaha of Maverick Vinales.
Miller made light work of Quartararo on the run into Turn 12 on the opening lap for second, with Marquez close to two seconds clear at the front by the third tour.
Quartararo soon came under threat from Vinales, who eventually found a way through by powering past into the Turn 16 hairpin on lap five of the 23.
Once free of the SRT rider, Vinales was able to immediately put some daylight between them and set about hunting down Miller.
The massive speed of the Ducati ensured Miller would remain a stubborn obstacle for Vinales for some time.
He finally found a way through on lap eight, using the superior edge grip of the Yamaha to execute a daring move around the outside of Miller at the Turn 4 kink.
Works Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso would get through on Miller eight laps later, and began to chip away at the one-second gap Vinales held in second.
With five laps to go, Dovizioso had wiped out Vinales’s advantage, and capitalised on a slight mistake from the Yamaha rider through the Turn 14/15 chicane to blast past on the run into Turn 16 two tours later.
Marquez got his lead up to over six seconds in the latter stages to cruise to his eighth win of the season and a 98-point lead over second-placed Dovizioso, which means the upcoming Thailand race will offer up Marquez’s first chance to secure a sixth MotoGP title.
Vinales’s endeavours to take a podium were in vain, as Miller carved past at Turn 1 on the final lap to finish third.
Quartararo was a distant fifth ahead of Cal Crutchlow, who narrowly denied Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro a first top six finish in a year.
Valentino Rossi faded to eighth on the second works Yamaha, with Alex Rins recovering from a long lap penalty awarded to him for wiping SRT’s Franco Morbidelli out at Turn 12 on lap one to claim ninth ahead of LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami.
Nakagami prevailed in a fierce fight with Andrea Iannone (Aprilia), Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci and Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira, while Joan Mir (Suzuki) and Avintia’s Tito Rabat rounded out the points.
Jorge Lorenzo was a factor for points early on, but the Honda rider faded to 20th in the end behind Aprilia wildcard Bradley Smith.
Mika Kallio’s first race in place of the ousted Johann Zarco at KTM ended with a 17th-place finish, with team-mate Pol Espargaro a non-starter after fracturing his wrist in a crash on Saturday.
|3||Jack Miller||Pramac Ducati||23||5.430s|
|5||Fabio Quartararo||Petronas Yamaha||23||8.924s|
|6||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||23||10.390s|
|10||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||23||31.242s|
|13||Miguel Oliveira||Tech3 KTM||23||33.063s|
|15||Tito Rabat||Avintia Ducati||23||36.358s|
|16||Francesco Bagnaia||Pramac Ducati||23||41.295s|
|18||Karel Abraham||Avintia Ducati||23||43.880s|
|21||Hafizh Syahrin||Tech3 KTM||23||47.308s|
|–||Franco Morbidelli||Petronas Yamaha||0||Retirement|