To say the 2020 MotoGP has been entertaining and amazing would be putting it mildly. In last weekend’s race, the Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini at Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Franco Morbidelli, “Franky” to fans, took his first ever MotoGP win for Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT).

Morbidelli, starting from the front row of the grid, took the hole shot and led the pack all the way to the finish. As a graduate of Valentino Rossi’s VR46 riding academy, Morbidelli showed his mentor a clean pair of heels right up to the closing stages of the race.

The start of the race was an all Yamaha affair, with pole position taken by Maverick Vinales of Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, with Morbidelli in second and Fabio Quartararo, Morbidelli’s team mate and at the time the world championship leader, in third. Rossi, who showed strongly across free practice, was fourth on the grid.

Quartararo who got off the line in fifth, chased the leading pack hard only to fall at turn 4. Re-entering the race right at the back, 15 seconds behind, Quartararo played catch up with the rest of the pack before pitting.

On exiting the pit, with cold tyres, Quartararo ended pushing a little too hard and crashed again, putting an end to his race. Meanwhile, Jack Miller, riding the Ducati Desmosedici GP19 for Pramac Racing, was in third, chasing the lead pair of Morbidelli and Rossi.

Miller’s team mate, Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia was setting fastest lap times, one after the other, in an effort to tell in the leaders. By the halfway point of the race, Miller was beginning to fade, eventually finishing ninth, and both Pecco and Alex Rins of Suzuki Ecstar slipped through to take third and fourth respectively.

The other Suzuki rider, Joan Mir, showed that he was not be forgotten as Bagnaia slipped past Rossi, Rins made a mistake that allowed Mir past. Losing no time, Mir had Rossi’s third place in his sights despite the fan favourite riding a highly defensive race with Mir showing his front wheel to Rossi entering certain corners.

In a show of bravery and courage, Mir took Rossi on the last lap by a matter of inches, with Rossi following Mir three tenths of a second cross the line. At the conclusion of the San Marino Grand Prix, it was Morbidelli taking his first ever MotoGP winner’s trophy, followed by Bagnaia in second and Mir in third.

With Quartararo’s double crashes and eventual DNF, he concedes the championship lead to Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati Racing, dropping to second with 70 points to Dovizioso’s 76. Third in the standings is Miller with 64 points, followed by Mir with 60.

It should be noted just 28 points separates the tenth man on the table, Miguel Oliveira with 48 points, from the top place in the championship standings. Additionally, this year’s MotoGP has seen 12 different riders stand on the podium for first, second and third across six races in 2020, with eight races left in the calendar.

The MotoGP circus stays in San Marino for this week with a day of testing on Tuesday. Racing resumes with the Gran Premio Tissot dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini on the weekend of the 18th to 20th.