Mir takes his first MotoGP race victory and puts one hand on the 2020 title in the European GP at Valencia.
Mir took the lead when Suzuki team-mate Rins ran slightly wide with 10 laps remaining, edging out a safe advantage as KTM’s Espargaro completed the podium.
A nightmare race for Yamaha saw Quartararo – who began the race closest to Mir in the championship – fall in tandem with Aprilia’s Espargaro (no contact) at Turn 8 on the opening lap, rejoining a distant last.
Petronas Yamaha team-mate Morbidelli then couldn’t make an impact on the hard rear tyre, Vinales remained out of contention following his pit lane start and Rossi’s M1 broke down on the Italian’s return to race action after missing both Aragon rounds due to covid.
Heartbreaking scenes to watch!
— MotoGP (@MotoGP) November 8, 2020
All of which meant Mir, who came into the race with a 14-point lead over Quartararo, now has a 37-point advantage over both Rins and Quartararo.
Mir now has an excellent chance of wrapping up the title at Valencia next weekend, when he will need a 26-point lead at the end of the race.
Binder had a long lap penalty to serve in the race for a collision with Miller at Aragon, while Aprilia’s Espargaro had been demoted from sixth on the grid to ninth for failing to respect blue flags in Qualifying 2.
Tech3 KTM’s Iker Lecuona was forced to withdraw from the event and self-isolate after a positive Covid test for his brother and assistant.
HRC test rider Bradl is again replacing injured reigning world champion Marc Marquez.
The second Valencia round takes place next weekend.
Official Valencia MotoGP records:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda1m 31.116s (2019)
Fastest race lap:
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha1m 29.401s (2016)