Second win in the pandemic hit 2020 MotoGP season for Petranas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) rider Franco Morbidelli in Aragon, Spain. Taking the lead after Takaaki Nakagami of LCR Honda Idemitsu crashed on the first lap, Morbidelli – “Franky” to fans – took the chequered flag for the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel in emphatic fashion.

Followed closely behind in second place by Alex Rins of Team Ecstar Suzuki, Morbidelli held off Rins’ challenge all the way to the finish, making the most of his medium-medium tyre choice. Rins, who went for a hard compound rear, took the fight to the last few laps before deciding to back off and save his position instead of courting disaster through a high side.

It was the same for Rins’ team mate Joan Mir, currently leading the MotoGP world championship. With a third place win at Aragon, Mir wisely decided to get on the podium for the precious championship points instead of chasing for the top step on the podium.

With a two-three finish, Suzuki, who started the season without much a chance, have now shown they have what it takes to be championship contenders. Mir, who now has 137 points after 12 races with three races left in the calendar, could technically be MotoGP champion winning the trophy without ever having won a single race.

However, it was heartbreak for Morbidelli’s SRT team mate Fabio Quartararo, who started the 2020 racing season strongly with back-to-back wins and leading the table for the season until last week, when tyre pressure issues caused him to finish 18th, losing him the championship lead. This weekend, more issues with the YZR-M1 caused him to finish in eighth position despite starting on second row of the grid in sixth.

Similarly for Nakagami who showed strongly all through free practice and qualifying, starting the race in pole position. Leading into the first corner Nakagami, strongly tipped to win his first ever MotoGP, lost the front end of his Honda RC213-V at turn 5, putting him into the gravel and all hopes for his first ever podium place.

There was yet more drama on the first lap, when both Brad Binder of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Jack Miller Pramac Racing had a scuffle that saw both ending up in the kitty litter. Alex Marquez of Repsol Honda Racing Team, charging through the pack from his tenth place start on the grid, was well in sight of another podium finish when he crashed, ending his campaign for the day.

MotoGP championship standings ate the finish has Mir in first with Quartararo second with 123 points. Maverick Finales of Monster Energy Yamaha Racing is in third with 118 points while Morbidelli moves up to fourth on the chart with 112 points, Andrea Dovizioso making it in fifth for Ducati Racing with 109 points.

On mathematical possibility, any one of these men has the chance to be MotoGP world champion in 2020, making this season one of the most exciting and closest fought ever. Racing moves to Circuit Ricardo Torma, Spain on November 8 for the European Grand Prix.