THE title fight for the 2020 MotoGP World Championship has been blown wide open after an action packed GP of Catalunya.
French sensation Fabio Quartararo put on a masterclass with a spectacular third victory of the season to put his name eight points clear at the top of the table.
Bolstered by dismal displays from title rivals Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Vinales, the Petronas Yamaha rider has re-entered the title race in dramatic fashion.
After helping contribute to a Yamaha 1-2-3 in qualifying, Quartararo started from second, with team mate Franco Morbidelli claiming his first pole position of the year.
Morbidelli made a dream start, leading the pack into turn one ahead of Pramac Ducati rider Jack Miller, with the Frenchman loosing positions in the early stages.
Miller had a moment into turn 10 which dropped the Australian out of contention, leaving the Yamaha’s of Morbidelli and Rossi to begin pulling a gap from the chasing pack.
Quartararo dispatched Rossi into Turn one on lap four before a wobble from Morbidelli gave the 23-year-old the lead.
It was then that Quartararo began pulling away, leaving Morbidelli and Rossi to duke it out for second.
Disaster struck for Rossi, who with nine laps remaining, lost the front into Turn two thanks to cooling track temperatures, putting him in the gravel and out of the race.
Morbidelli them came under pressure from the Suzuki pairing of Alex Rins and Joan Mir, who took the young Petronas rider in the latter stages to claim Suzuki’s first double podium in 13 years.
Previous title leader Dovizioso suffered a nightmare weekend after being skittled by an over exuberant Johann Zarco on lap one.
Monster Energy Yamaha rider Vinales also endured a difficult weekend after dropping from fifth to 15th on lap one before eventually recovering to ninth by the chequered flag.
Brit Cal Crutchlow gave the performance of the weekend however, after being given the all clear to race in the eleventh hour thanks to complications resulting from arm pump surgery, alongside an ankle ligament injury just two days prior.
The Honey Badger lived up to his name, bringing the notoriously difficult Honda RC213V to 10th, ahead of both factory Repsol machines of Bradl and Alex Marquez.
Quartararo now leads the championship by eight points from Suzuki’s Joan Mir and Vinales, with Dovizioso dropping to fourth.