UPDATED: Results updated after Fabio Quartararo was given another 3-second penalty for riding with his leathers open and no chest protector in the closing laps of the race, meaning he now drops from 4th to 6th (after already being demoted from 3rd to 4th).

Oliveira takes a brilliant victory in the Catalunya MotoGP, soaking up pressure from Quartararo and then Zarco for KTM's first win of the year.

Just as last season, world Championship leader Quartararo seemed to face late-race tyre issues, but that wasn't all - the Yamaha rider rode the closing laps with the front of his leathers open, discarding his chest protector. There is speculation his airbag may have wrongly deployed.

UPDATE: Quartararo says the zip opened and he couldn't close it again.

Whatever the reason for his difficulties, Quartararo was at least able to narrowly defend third place from Miller.... or so he thought. The #20 received a 3-sec post-race penalty for a shortcut, moving Miller to third.

A hasty attempt to pass Miller early on had seen pole starter Quartararo run slightly wide and drop to a low of sixth before regrouping and catching Oliveira with 15 laps to go.

But the KTM rider fought back and calmly held the Frenchman at bay, with Quartararo then coming under mounting pressure from Zarco, who again came so close to his first MotoGP win.

A strong opening lap helped world champion Mir rise sharply from 10th to 4th, but he couldn't repeat last year's charge and finsihed in fifth, as the top rider not to use the hard rear tyre (medium).

Rookie Jorge Martin was back in action after missing the last three rounds due to multiple fractures in Portimao, but highsided on the way to the grid. Fortunately he had time to make the start, on his spare bike.

A succession of last-minute tyre changes on the grid included Aleix Espargaro fitting the soft rear tyre, the Aprilia rider briefly holding a podium place before losing positions and crashing out.

Joining Espargaro on a long DNF list was Marc Marquez, taking part in his fifth event since returning to MotoGP action, who crashed out for the third race in a row, from seventh place.

Marquez's Repsol Honda team-mate Pol Espargaro plus Rossi, Petrucci and Lecuona also failed to reach the flag.

Alex Rins was absent after suffering a wrist fracture while training at the track on his bicycle on Thursday morning. Vinales was working with new crew chief Silvano Galbusera for the first time this weekend, having split form Esteban Garcia following Mugello.

Turn 10 in Barcelona was redesigned in time for this year's MotoGP event, with the sharp 'F1 corner' at the end of the back straight replaced by a more flowing layout similar to the original Turn 10, used until 2016.

Sunday's race was held in front of just under 20,000 fans, the biggest audience since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

A day of official testing will be held at the circuit on Monday.

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Catalunya MotoGP, Barcelona - UPDATED Race Results
PosRiderNatTeamTime/Diff
1Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)40m 21.749s
2Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)+0.175s
3Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+1.990s
4Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+5.325s
5Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+6.281s
6Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+7.815s
7Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)+8.175s
8Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+8.378s
9Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+15.652s
10Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*+19.297s
11Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+21.650s
12Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+22.533s
13Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+27.833s
14Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)*+29.075s
15Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)*+40.291s
 Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)DNF
 Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)DNF
 Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)DNF
 Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)DNF
 Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)DNF
 Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)DNF
 

* Rookie.
Pole position time:
Fabio Quartararo FRA Yamaha 1m 38.853s

Former Catalunya MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Ducati 1m 38.680s (2018)
Fastest race lap:
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Ducati 1m 40.021s (2018)

 

By Peter McLaren