The Gresini man takes his third win of the season after spending a majority of the race pressuring the factory Ducati boys for the lead.
Enea Bastianini adds yet another victory to both his and Gresini’s tally in the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship, stealing the show from Ducati once again after saving his tyres for a late charge to the lead.
It was a Ducati top-3 for most of the race, with Jack Miller initially leading before his teammate Pecco Bagnaia lapped more consistently and made a pass for the lead after a few laps. Bastianini eventually found his way past the Aussie, and stayed on Bagnaia’s tail for many laps before attempting a pass for the lead. It subsequently forced Bagnaia into a mistake, running wide in Turn 7 and ultimately losing the lead. In an attempt to clamp down his gap on Bastianini, he lost the rear and fell out of the penultimate corner, effectively ending his race.
With his closest rival crashing out at the end, Bastianini cruised his way to the finish line, with Miller taking the runner-up spot 2.7s behind. The final podium spot was closely dueled by Aleix Espargaro and home hero Fabio Quartararo. It was the former who took the honors at the end, closing his points gap to the Frenchman and continuing his charge for the world title in both his and Aprilia’s strongest ever season. Finishing 5th was the second home hero Johann Zarco while Marc Marquez finished as the top Honda with a solid 6th. Taka Nakagami finished a second behind in 7th, another solid performance by the Japanese who beats factory Honda Pol Espargaro for the second race running. Brad Binder impressively finished as the top and only KTM in 8th, keeping a somewhat competitive pace as he lost a wing early in the race, during a scrap with Zarco in the La Chapelle curve. Luca Marini crossed the line in a solid 9th, and Maverick Vinales covers the top ten.
It was a nightmare for both Suzukis, especially following the firm’s shock announcement of leaving MotoGP at the end of the season. Rins was the first of the two to crash, scarily running wide in the fast first turn, as he had to control his bike on the gravel, before losing control and falling right out of the first chicane, luckily avoiding any potential rider on his path. Joan Mir, on the other hand, crashed out of a battle for fourth late in the race. Jorge Martin’s crashing streak painfully continued this weekend, while the remaining KTMs aside from Brad Binder crashed out of the race.
Quartararo maintains his championship lead with 102 points, but only four points ahead of Espargaro who cuts the gap down by beating the Frenchman to a podium today. Bastianini sits third behind Espargaro with 94 points, also four points behind the Spaniard. His victory allowed him to claw his way back up front, although still struggling with consistency as his results still range from either a victory or a place outside the top 8. Alex Rins sits fourth with 69 points, but had not added to his tally whatsoever after the scary first-turn crash. Jack Miller and Johann Zarco cover the top six, both with 62 points to their names.
The next round at Mugello will be a big home race for the Italians, most especially Ducati who have won three of the last four grands prix held in the Tuscan track. But then again, it would be wise not to count out the rival manufacturers, especially Aprilia in their current form who look to take the spoils of a home victory over Ducati for a change.
Featured Images – motogp.com, Dorna Sports