MotoGP: Morbidelli beats Miller as Mir becomes 2020 World Champion

After a seventh place finish at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana that saw Franco Morbidelli beat Jack Miller in a phenomenal last lap battle, Joan Mir (shown above) is 2020 MotoGP™ World Champion.

History was made in MotoGP as Suzuki claimed their first rider title since 2000, Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) completed the podium.

Morbidelli celebrates his fantastic win

Morbidelli took his third race victory after a thrilling last-lap showdown with Miller.

Miller got the better run into Turn 1 off the line, but ran wide and allowed Morbidelli to come back through, while his SRT team-mate Fabio Quartararo went off at Turn 2 after running out of room in the braking zone.

Morbidelli does a victory wheelie

This dropped Quartararo down the order, with his race lasting until lap nine when he crashed at Turn 6 having once again dropped out of the points, completely ending his championship hopes.

Quartararo choked yet again

Morbidelli built a small buffer early over the chasing Miller and KTM of Pol Espargaro.

By lap seven his lead stood at 0.7s, with Morbidelli opening that gap up to 1.2s by the 13th lap.

Saving his tires, Morbidelli’s lead started to come down, with Miller getting to within one second by lap 18 and the race was on.

Miller used the power of his Ducati engine to pass Morbidelli for the lead into the first corner at the start of the final lap.

Morbidelli responded back up the inside of Turn 2, with Miller retaliating at Turn 4 – though this was once again countered with a daring re-pass on the inside of Turn 5 by Morbidelli.

The Italian clung on by 0.093s on the run to the checkered flag to score his third win of the 2020 season, with KTM’s Pol Espargaro a distant third. By slowing down, and letting the race with Miller come to him, Morbidelli saved just enough of his Michelin tires to win the last lap battle.

Alex Rins was fourth on his Suzuki.

Mir Stats

– Mir is the seventh-youngest rider to clinch a premier class world title, aged 23 years and 75 days old on race day of the Valencia GP, behind Valentino Rossi (22 years and 240 days old) and ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (23 years and 159 days old).

– Mir became only the fourth different Spanish rider to clinch a premier class world title along with Alex Criville (1) Jorge Lorenzo (3) and Marc Marquez (6).

– Mir became the first rider to clinch the premier class world title having previously taken the Moto3™ world title, since the introduction of the class in 2012.

– In addition, Mir became the first former Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup rider to clinch the premier class world title.

– Mir hasn’t been on pole position so far this season, becoming the first rider to become premier class World Champion without a single pole since Wayne Rainey back in 1992.

– At the French GP, Mir took his third podium in three successive premier class races, becoming the first Suzuki rider to do so since Kenny Roberts Jr. in 2000 (from Malaysia to Spain).

– Following the Aragon GP, Mir led the MotoGP™ Championship for the first time, becoming the first Suzuki rider to lead the premier class standings since Kenny Roberts Jr. when the American took the title in 2000.

– At the European GP, Mir took his only win of the season so far, seeing him become the premier class World Champion to notch up the lowest number of wins during the season. Prior to Mir, the premier class Champions with the smallest amount of wins were Leslie Graham (1949), Umberto Masetti (1950, 1952) and Nicky Hayden (2006), all of them with two wins.

– Mir became the first rider to clinch the premier class world title riding a Suzuki since Kenny Roberts Jr. in 2000, and Mir is the first to do so in the MotoGP™ era. This is the seventh title claimed by a Suzuki rider in the premier class.

– Mir became the 10th different rider to take a title riding a Suzuki in the history of Grand Prix racing along with: Kenny Roberts Jr. (500cc, 2000), Kevin Schwantz (500cc: 1993), Franco Uncini (500cc: 1982), Marco Lucchinelli (500cc: 1981), Barry Sheene (500cc: 1976, 1977), Dieter Braun (125cc: 1970), Hans-Georg Anscheidt (50cc: 1966, 1967, 1968), Hugh Anderson (125cc: 1963, 1965; 50cc: 1963, 1964) and Ernst Degner (50cc: 1962).

– This season Mir has stood on the MotoGP™ podium more than any other rider (7) including a win at the European GP. This is this first time that a single Suzuki rider scored seven or more premier class podiums since Kenny Roberts Jr. in 2000 (9).

Race Results

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Gap
1 25 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.000s
2 20 43 Jack MILLER AUS Pramac Racing Ducati +0.093
3 16 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +3.006
4 13 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +3.697
5 11 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +4.127
6 10 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +7.272
7 9 36 Joan MIR SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +8.703
8 8 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +8.729
9 7 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +15.512
10 6 12 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +19.043
11 5 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Pramac Racing Ducati +19.456
12 4 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +19.717
13 3 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +23.802
14 2 6 Stefan BRADL GER Repsol Honda Team Honda +27.430
15 1 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Ducati Team Ducati +30.570
16 0 73 Alex MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +30.619
17 0 53 Tito RABAT SPA Esponsorama Racing Ducati +42.365
18 0 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +46.472
DNF 0 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 9 Laps
DNF 0 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 19 Laps
DNF 0 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Esponsorama Racing Ducati 22 Laps
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