Bagnaia wins, Miller third in crash-shortened Algarve GP

Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller

Francesco Bagnaia has soared to a third MotoGP win in five races after dominating the Algarve Grand Prix at Portimao.

Starting from pole position following a record lap time, the factory Ducati rider was imperious in running away with victory at Portimao.

The race was called early, on the penultimate lap, following a collision between Iker Lecuona and Miguel Oliveira.

With the results backdated to the end of Lap 23, the final margin to second-placed finisher Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) ended up at 2.478s.

Off the start, it was Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) who got the best getaway to lead the field into Turn 1.

Bagnaia wasted no time in regaining the lead though, getting the upper hand with a stronger exit out of the first corner, and later that same lap Mir would pass Miller too.

Bagnaia and Mir quickly set about dropping Miller, who fell back into the clutches of a tight battle back behind initially led by Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing).

By Lap 4, the Australian’s threat from behind was now Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol), the Spaniard having started well from his career-best grid slot of eighth.

While Bagnaia upped the ante to widen his buffer over Mir to eight tenths by Lap 7 and towards 1.5s at the midway point of the race, Miller continued to fall back and was passed for third by Marquez at the start of Lap 12.

Unlike the medium-shod Miller, Marquez was making his hard rear tyre work a treat.

By the end of Lap 15 of 25, the order ran: Bagnaia, Mir, Marquez, Miller, Martin, Johann Zarco and champion-elect Fabio Quartararo.

Starting seventh, the Monster Energy Yamaha star was sluggish off the line and struggled to find a way past the Ducatis ahead – Zarco sneaking through after Quartararo ran wide at Turn 13.

The biggest improver in the opening segment was home hero Oliveira, who gained seven spots to 10th within two laps.

By contrast, Maverick Viñales plummeted to last immediately – and things would get worse for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini when Aleix Espargaro crashed out on Lap 8 at Turn 1.

That completed a shocking day for the older Espargaro brother, who had also crashed in Sunday warm-up.

He was the second to trigger yellow flags, Danilo Petrucci (Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing) making it only to the fourth corner of the opening lap.

Miller, searching for his first podium since the Catalan Grand Prix five months ago, briefly snuck back into third with a block pass at the start of Lap 19, only for Marquez to execute a criss-cross.

Two laps later, Miller would make it stick after a Marquez error opened the door.

A little further back, the same lap would bring Quartararo unstuck at Turn 5, a crash representing his first non-finish of 2021.

Quartararo had held sixth at the time, Martin having lost positions to both Zarco and #20 moments earlier.

He’d be joined in the non-finisher category by Lecuona and Oliveira, an incident which brought about the race-ending red flag.

Lecuona lost his #27 on entry to Turn 13, wiping out his fellow KTM competitor.

After initial concern, both riders were seen to be conscious, Lecuona appearing to apologise.

The early stoppage did, however, cost Marquez any chance of launching a last-gasp assault on Miller, leaving him to settle for fourth.

With the results, Bagnaia and Mir sealed second and third, respectively, in the riders’ championship.

Ducati also sealed the 2021 constructors’ title.

The MotoGP season will come to a close at Valencia next weekend.

Results: Algarve Grand Prix

Pos Number Rider Team Marque Diff
1 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati
2 36 Joan Mir Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki +2.478
3 43 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +6.402
4 73 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda +6.453
5 5 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati +7.882
6 44 Pol Espargaro Repsol Honda Team Honda +9.573
7 89 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati +10.144
8 42 Alex Rins Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki +10.742
9 23 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Ducati +13.840
10 33 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +14.487
11 30 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Castrol Honda +20.912
12 10 Luca Marini Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati +22.450
13 46 Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +22.752
14 4 Andrea Dovizioso Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +26.207
15 6 Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda +26.284
16 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +26.828
17 21 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha Yamaha +27.863
NC 88 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
NC 27 Iker Lecuona Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM
NC 20 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha Yamaha
NC 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
NC 9 Danilo Petrucci Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
2 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 227
3 Joan MIR ESP 195
4 Jack MILLER AUS 165
5 Johann ZARCO FRA 163
6 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 142
7 Brad BINDER RSA 142
9 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 106
11 Alex RINS ESP 99
13 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 92
14 Jorge MARTIN ESP 91
15 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 76
16 Alex MARQUEZ ESP 67
18 Luca MARINI ITA 41
19 Iker LECUONA ESP 38
20 Valentino ROSSI ITA 38
21 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 37
22 Stefan BRADL GER 14
23 Michele PIRRO ITA 12
26 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA 4
27 Tito RABAT ESP 1
29 Garrett GERLOFF USA

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