Alex Rins wins Aragon Grand Prix as Suzuki teammate Joan Mir takes MotoGP points lead

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Alex Rins edged Alex Marquez in the Aragon Grand Prix, delivering Suzuki its first MotoGP victory this season Sunday at MotorLand Aragon in Alcaniz, Spain.

Joan Mir finished third to move into the championship lead by six points (121-115) over Fabio Quartararo, who finished 18th and out of the points Sunday after starting on pole position despite a crash in practice. Maverick Vinales and Takaaki Nakagami rounded out the top five.

It was the second consecutive podium finish for Marquez. The younger brother of injured nine-time champion Marc Marquez had started 11th.

Rins, who won for the first time in more than a year (the British GP on Aug. 25, 2019), became the eighth rider to win during an unpredictable 2020 season.

“Unbelievable,” Rins said after his third career victory. “From the start, I was so calm. I did a really good start. In the end I tried to manage the distance with the guy on the back. It’s amazing.”

Quartararo, who qualified his Yamaha in first after visiting the track’s medical center Saturday, had entered the race with a 10-point lead on Mir. The French rider opened the season with his first two career victories and added a third last month.

Vinales is ranked third in standings, 12 points out of the lead, followed by Andrea Dovizioso and Nakagami.

With the absence of Valentino Rossi (who missed the race after a positive COVID-19 test), Sunday’s race marked the first Grand Prix without a premier series champion on the starting grid since 1999.

There are four races remaining in the season. The circuit will return Oct. 25 to MotorLand Aragon and then head to Comunitat Valencia Ricardo Tormo in Spain on Nov. 8 and Nov. 15.

The 2020 season, which was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will conclude Nov. 22 at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal.