Doing the double! Francesco Bagnaia holds his nerve to go back-to-back

- Advertisement -

Having waited three years for his maiden MotoGP™ win, Francesco Bagnaia now has two in quick succession after he held off a hard-charging Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in another last lap nail biter at the Octo Grand Prix of San Marino. The Ducati Lenovo rider held his nerve for a second week running to take victory in Misano, while a spectacular effort from Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) saw the rookie take a first premier class podium.

A breakaway leader Francesco Bagnaia

Poleman Pecco wasn’t waiting around once it was lights out, with the Italian taking the holeshot ahead of teammate Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), who had executed a brilliant opening corner move to get ahead of Quartararo into P2. As per usual, it was impossible to take your eyes off the opening lap action as riders bustled past one another, the pick of the bunch was Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) standing up Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) coming into Turn 8, as the rookie moved into the top five. By the end of the first lap, Bagnaia had opened up an impressive one-second lead over Miller in second, with Quartararo and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) not far behind the Aussie.

At their home track, the Ducati one-two began to put some space between themselves and the Championship leader on the next lap, while they got a helping hand from their satellite counterpart Martin as the Bologna bullets looked to bully the Championship leader. The rookie had moved past Marquez and was looking to get himself in among the podium places on the front straight, but Quartararo struck back immediately, taking the inside line at Turn 4. The battle for third didn’t end there, with Martin and Quartararo exchanging more overtakes in the next couple corners, but hopes that this would turn into a race-long fight were quickly extinguished as Martin lost the front at Turn 14, ending his podium chances.

While that battle raged on, Bagnaia’s lead at the front had extended to over 1.5 seconds with 25 laps to go.

A rookie making his mark

Francesco Bagnaia, Six Sports
Francesco Bagnaia, Fabio Quartararo, Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini

Outside the podium places, there were good starts for Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and both Repsol Hondas, but they would soon be looking over their shoulders as a rapid Bastianini was eating up the ground on the top six. By the fifth lap, both Pol and Aleix Espargaro were powerless to resist as the two-year-old GP-19 came charging past them, while it didn’t take him long to dispose of eight-time World Champion Marquez as he set his sights on the podium.

Up ahead, Miller was making headway into his teammate’s lead, cutting two-tenths off before a big error undone all his hard work. Coming into Turn 13, the Aussie ran it way wide and off the track, with Quartararo following, to hand Bagnaia a 2.45s lead which was begin to look unassailable. It was to get worse for Miller, as just past the halfway point, Quartararo fired up the inside of him at Turn 6. The number 43 then received a track limits warning, but that was the least of his problems with the race’s fastest rider Bastinanini hot on his heels. It looked just a matter of time before the Avintia rider moved past his factory counterpart, and so it proved, taking P3 at Turn 13 on the 19th lap.

Alex Rins was riding well as the Suzuki man fought his way into the top five, but any lingering hopes he had of taking a podium were dashed as crashed out of contention at Turn 1, joining Iker Lecuona in the pits after the Tech3 rider had also crashed earlier on.

At the front, things were beginning to spice up nicely, with Quartararo’s decision to choose a medium soft tyre beginning to pay dividends, as he cut the lead to 1.5s with. That gap continued to close as the laps ticked down until there was just two-tenths separating the pair as we came into the final showdown. It was set up for another ding dong battle one week from an Aragon thriller, but unlike last time out, Quartararo couldn’t get close enough to make the killer move required, and Bagnaia held on for another memorable victory, with Bastianini crossing in a comfortable third in an unforgettable day for the Italian. 

The Championship picture

Francesco Bagnaia, Six Sports
Francesco Bagnaia, Fabio Quartararo, Enea Bastianini, Ducati Lenovo Team, Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini

Bagnaia has now collected 50 points from his last two races, meaning there are now 48 points between him and Quartararo in the title race. Joan Mir crossed the line in fifth, but was demoted one position for exceeding track limits on the final lap, meaning he finished behind Marquez and Miller. The Mallorcan’s slim hopes of retaining the title now look well and truly over after today.

In the battle of the siblings, Pol edged out elder brother Aleix Espargaro to P7, while Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) once again showcased his skills on a Sunday to finish in P9 after starting 17th on the grid. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) rounds out the top 10 from the Grand Prix of San Marino.

Top 10:

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) 1:32.422
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monstar Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.364
3. Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) + 4.789
4. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team + 10.245
5. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 10.469
6. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 10.325
7. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) + 13.234
8. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 15.698
9. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 16.129
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) + 18.519

Catch action from MotoGP, Bennetts British Superbike, F2 and more which will be LIVE on EUROSPORT AND EUROSPORT HD. The Eurosport channel can now be live streamed on the discovery+ app.

The report above is a press release received by Six Sports. No editorial changes have been made.

For more updates follow us on Twitter.

- Advertisement -
Six Sports Deskhttps://sixsports.in
Six Sports connects football fans from all over the world. We provide sports entertainment in its purest and most exciting form.
- Advertisement -

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
20,680FansLike
1,068FollowersFollow
516FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Must Read

Manchester United announced on Monday that Ralf Rangnick would take over as the interim manager until the end of the season.

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick update

Manchester United announced on Monday that Ralf Rangnick would take over as the interim manager until the end of the season. The German manager...
Everton vs Liverpool: Match Preview

Everton vs Liverpool: Match preview, team news, and predicted line-ups

The Game Week 14 of the Premier League will take place over the midweek starting on Wednesday. This GW will continue throughout the midweek,...
Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United: Player Ratings

Chelsea Player Ratings for a close draw against Manchester United| Silva rated 9

Here we have with us the Chelsea Player Ratings after their frustrating draw against Manchester United. The game featured the Blues taking on the...
Watford vs Chelsea: Match Preview

Watford vs Chelsea: Match preview, team news, and predicted line-ups

The Game Week 14 of the Premier League will take place over the midweek starting on Wednesday. This GW will continue throughout the midweek,...
Liverpool consider €50 Million January Offer for Jarrod Bowen

Liverpool consider €50 Million January Offer for Jarrod Bowen

Jurgen Klopp is supposedly interested in signing Jarrod Bowen in January, with Liverpool mulling a €50 million bid. Liverpool have identified Jarrod Bowen as a...
Team India

Plenty of Problems for Team India

Team India is already a strong powerhouse in the world of test cricket. In their quest for world domination, India will nest look to...
Chelsea not keen to sell Hakim Ziyech to Borussia Dortmund

Chelsea not keen to sell Hakim Ziyech to Borussia Dortmund

Chelsea are hesitant to sell Hakim Ziyech in January, despite Borussia Dortmund's desire. The Blues are prepared to maintain Hakim Ziyech's services in the forthcoming...
- Advertisement -