KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 -- Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) rider Fabio Quartararo suffered a major setback in his quest for a maiden Moto Grand Prix (MotoGP) World title after he could only finish 18th out of 20 riders in today’s Aragon Grand Prix at the Aragon Circuit in Spain.
The 21-year-old pole-sitter struggled with tyre problems right from the start of the race, besides feeling the effects of yesterday's crash, which saw him being gradually pipped by other riders before crossing the finishing line in 42 minutes and 15.889 seconds.
His teammate, Franco Morbidelli of Italy, came in sixth after clocking 41:59.147 in the race, which was telecast live by the local private television station.
Today's result saw Frenchman Quartararo relinquish his MotoGP World Championship lead to Spaniard Joan Mir of Team Suzuki Ecstar, who finished the race in third place (41:57.035).
Mir's Spanish teammate, Alex Rins, clinched his maiden victory of the season after posting 41:54.391 in the 23-lap race. Another Spaniard, Alex Marquez of Repsol Honda Team was second -- 0.263 seconds adrift.
Mir now leads the world championship standings with 121 points, followed by Quartararo (115pts) and Maverick Vinales (109pts).
Meanwhile, Petronas Sprinta Racing Moto2 rider Jake Dixon of Great Britain secured his season-best result when he finished fourth (39:42.500) while teammate Xavi Vierge of Spain came in 16th out of 27 riders (39:59.949).
In the Moto3 category, Petronas Sprinta Racing riders John McPhee and Malaysian Khairul Idham Pawi finished fifth (37:45.377) and 27th (38:21.748) respectively.
The Aragon Circuit will next host the Teruel GP from Oct 23-25.
Malaysian National News Agency
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