Viñales takes Misano, only 1 point shy of season leader Andrea Dovizioso

Maverick Viñales of Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team becomes the 6th unique winner of a MotoGP round out of 7 races. MV12 clinched the victory after an action-packed race weekend at the Gran Premio Tissot dell'Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, Misano, Italy.

Viñales wins action-packed GP in Misano image

Joining him on the podium were Joan Mir of Team Suzuki Ecstar from 11th on the grid, and Pol Espargaro of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing. Fabio Quartararo of Petronas Yamaha SRT, on the other hand, lost 3rd position after he was handed a three-second penalty for exceeding track limits, demoting the Frenchman to 4th place.

As expected, Jack Miller of Pramac Racing got a great launch from 2nd place to grab the holeshot with polesitter Viñales slotting into second. Quartararo held onto 3rd with Francesco Bagnaia of Pramac Racing making up a place to get past Pol Espargaro. Viñales though didn’t take long to retake the lead. The Spaniard was up the inside at turn number four as Pecco had a very close look at getting past Quartararo up the inside at turn number eight – no way through for now. The drama unfolded behind for San Marino GP winner, Franco Morbidelli, of the Petronas Yamaha SRT. Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia Racing Team Gresini tucked his front and collected Morbidelli. The latter somehow stayed on and continued but the Italian was held up to last place.

Viñales wins action-packed GP in Misano image

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder had made good progress on the opening lap and the South African was up to 5th position ahead of teammate Espargaro. Viñales had a 0.9 second lead over the line as the riders clocked onto Lap 2 but Viñales’ teammate, Valentino Rossi of Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, was soon out of his 250th Grand Prix as The Doctor suffered a crash at turn four.

Fast-forward to the final 7 laps, race leader, Bagnaia, crashed on turn number six and it was from there that Viñales enjoyed a 4-second lead.

With three laps to go, Mir struck. Turn number two was Mir’s chosen mugging spot and the Spaniard was underneath and past Quartararo, and it wasn’t long before Mir was up to the second position. On the next lap at turn one, Mir was through. Quartararo then pounced at turn three as Espargaro went from second to fourth in a matter of corners. It seemed like that was that for the podium fight with Espargaro struggling with his tires.

If that wasn't enough, Quartararo was handed a long-lap penalty for repeatedly exceeding track limits, his only time to do it was on the last lap. Quartararo was just over a second clear of Espargaro and four seconds ahead of fifth-place, Miguel Oliveira of Red Bull KTM Tech3. So it looked like he was going to lose 3rd position. However, Quartararo didn’t take the long lap penalty and that meant he would be handed a three-second penalty at the end of the race.

Viñales wins action-packed GP in Misano image

Maverick “Top Gun” Viñales rounded the last corner to take his first victory since the 2019 Malaysian GP in fine style. Mir crossed the line a magnificent second to take his third rostrum in four races. Quartararo took the chequered flag in third but was demoted to 4th because fo the penalty. This handed Pol Espargaro his second podium of the season.

With Quartararo finishing fourth and Andrea Dovizioso of the Ducati Team taking 8th place, Viñales and Quartararo have now 83 points each and are only one-point behind Dovizioso.