Bagnaia beats Quartararo in Jerez MotoGP race, Miller fifth

Francesco Bagnaia led Fabio Quartararo all the way. Picture: MotoGP.com

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia has won a Spanish MotoGP which he and Fabio Quartararo collectively dominated, while Jack Miller finished fifth.

Bagnaia had broken the All Time Lap Record in qualifying on pole at Jerez on the afternoon prior and got the jump when the lights went out.

Quartararo took up second on his Monster Energy Yamaha while Jack Miller emerged in third position, one up on where he had qualified.

Takaaki Nakagami was fourth and Marc Marquez fifth, while Aleix Espargaro dropped from a front row starting berth to sixth, with the latter having made contact on drag to the first braking zone.

Unsurprisingly, the battle for victory quickly became a two-horse race between Bagnaia and Quartararo, and the start would prove crucial.

The Yamaha pilot could stick somewhere around half to three-quarters of a second behind the #63 Ducati Lenovo Team entry but, even when he crept closer in the latter stages, he was never quite close enough to shape for a pass.

They were separated by 0.478s at the start of the 25th and final lap, with Bagnaia converting for his first win of the season, and the first also for a current-spec Desmosedici after Enea Bastianini’s two triumphs on GP21s.

Officially, the margin of victory was only 0.285s, and that was near enough to representative, but so was the 10.692s gap between second and third place.

For the majority of the race, Miller, on the other factory-entered Ducati, had been just fast enough to hold onto the final podium position despite having Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) breathing down his neck.

Both had run fourth and fifth since the end of Lap 1, when Marquez lunged at Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda) at the Lorenzo Corner (Turn 13) and made room for Espargaro to follow, and the six-time premier class champion finally gained another spot with a surprise move on #43 as they rounded the Pons Corner (Turn 5) on Lap 21.

Marquez then tucked the front when the next arrived at the Lorenzo Corner but, rather than go down completely, he pulled off one of his trademark ridiculous saves.

Still, it did cost him two positions, with Espargaro emerging third given he was overtaking Miller at the same time.

The Aprilia rider would convert for a podium which means the Noale marque now loses its development concessions, while Marquez passed Miller for good on the final lap at Turn 8.

Rounding out the top 10 were Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar), Nakagami, Bastianini (Gresini Racing), Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Ducati), and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), while Remy Gardner (Tech3 KTM) finished 20th.

Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) started the day in a tie for the lead of the championship but finished the race only one position better off than Gardner, having qualified 14th and then had an early off-track excursion.

Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) was last classified finisher in 22nd, having remounted after a crash on Lap 1 which apparently involved Stefan Bradl, who was a wildcard for Team HRC.

Bradl eventually crashed out for good, as did Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) and Darryn Binder (WithU RNF Yamaha).

In the championship, Quartararo has pulled a clear, seven-point gap, with Aleix Espargaro now his nearest rival in the standings.

A test day will be held at Jerez on Monday (local time), before Round 7, the French MotoGP, at Le Mans on May 13-15.

Race results: Spanish MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 41:00.554
2 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +0.285
3 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia +10.977
4 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +12.676
5 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +12.957
6 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +13.934
7 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +14.929
8 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +18.436
9 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +18.830
10 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +20.056
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +20.856
12 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +23.131
13 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +25.306
14 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia +27.358
15 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +27.519
16 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +29.278
17 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha +35.204
18 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +35.361
19 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +38.922
20 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +43.378
21 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Aprilia +44.299
22 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati +1:07.681
DNF 6 Stefan BRADL GER Team HRC Honda +15 laps
DNF 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati +16 laps
DNF 40 Darryn BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha +20 laps

Race winner: 25 laps

Riders’ championship

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA 89
2 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP 82
3 Enea BASTIANINI ITA 69
4 Alex RINS ESP 69
5 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 56
6 Joan MIR ESP 56
7 Johann ZARCO FRA 51
8 Brad BINDER RSA 48
9 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 44
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 43
11 Jack MILLER AUS 42
12 Pol ESPARGARO ESP 35
13 Jorge MARTIN ESP 28
14 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 27
15 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 21
16 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA 18
17 Alex MARQUEZ ESP 16
18 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA 15
19 Luca MARINI ITA 14
20 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 8
21 Darryn BINDER RSA 6
22 Remy GARDNER AUS 3
23 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP 0
24 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA 0
25 Stefan BRADL GER 0
26 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA 0

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