Bastianini wins Aragon MotoGP thriller, Quartararo crashes into Marquez
Monday 19th September, 2022 - 1:26am
Gresini Racing’s Enea Bastianini has beaten Francesco Bagnaia thanks to a final-lap pass in an Aragon MotoGP race which began with two heart-stopping incidents.
Bagnaia might have been denied a fifth straight race win but the Ducati pilot still slashed Fabio Quartararo’s championship lead to 10 points after the Monster Energy Yamaha rider crashed out on Lap 1 due to contact with Marc Marquez.
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) took third thanks to a late move on Brad Binder, with the latter’s future Red Bull KTM team-mate, Jack Miller, rounding out the top five on his Ducati.
The 23-lapper had begun sensationally for Marquez, vaulting from 13th on the grid to sixth exiting the first couple of corners of his comeback race.
However, his Repsol Honda got loose exiting Turn 3 and when the Spaniard got off the throttle in order to catch it, he was hit hard from behind by Quartararo, who in turn was thrown from his YZR-M1.
Then at Turn 7, with Marquez relatively slow due to the damage he had already sustained, a similar incident unfolded when his RC213V was struck again, by the Idemitsu LCR Honda of Takaaki Nakagami.
As was the case with the Quartararo incident, everyone behind managed to avoid the fallen competitor on the race track, darting left and right as they approached the Reverse Corkscrew, but two riders were out then and there while #93 retired to the pits.
Meanwhile, Bagnaia had converted pole position into an early lead and Binder had managed to jump all the way from 10th on to fifth by the exit of Turn 1 and then to second by halfway through the standing lap.
He was down to fourth when Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) and then Bastianini got through on consecutive laps, and the latter was up to second when he overtook Miller as they turned onto the back straight on Lap 6.
Binder then also passed the Australia, through Turn 4 on Lap 7, as did Espargaro three corners later.
Bastianini hit the front on Lap 9 when he went under Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) at Turn 1, but handed the spot back half a lap later when he ran his Ducati very wide at Turn 12.
After that, he seemed to bide his time as they cleared out, before sending his Desmosedici down the inside of Bagnaia’s on the final lap at Turn 7.
‘Pecco’ got the better run as they exited the final corner but came up 0.042s shy at the stripe.
Espargaro used a Turn 1 block pass to finally get through on Binder on Lap 22 and would complete the podium at six seconds back from the top two.
Binder and Miller finished just behind, from Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati), Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Ducati), Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Ducati), Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar), and Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Ducati).
Remy Gardner missed the points by one position when he took the chequered flag in 16th, four positions up on Tech3 KTM team-mate Raul Fernandez, who was the last finisher.
In the rider’s championship, not only is first to second much closer, Espargaro is just 17 points off top spot in third with five rounds remaining.
Not so tight is the constructors’ championship, which Ducati has now already sealed for another year.
Round 16 takes place at Japan’s Motegi next weekend (September 23-25).
Race results: Aragon MotoGP
|1||23||Enea BASTIANINI||ITA||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||41:35.462|
|2||63||Francesco BAGNAIA||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||+0.042|
|3||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ESP||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||+6.139|
|4||33||Brad BINDER||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+6.379|
|5||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||+6.964|
|6||89||Jorge MARTIN||ESP||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati||+12.030|
|7||10||Luca MARINI||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||+12.474|
|8||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati||+12.655|
|9||42||Alex RINS||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||+12.702|
|10||72||Marco BEZZECCHI||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||+16.150|
|11||88||Miguel OLIVEIRA||POR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+17.071|
|12||73||Alex MARQUEZ||ESP||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||+18.463|
|13||12||Maverick VIÑALES||ESP||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||+18.730|
|14||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team||Yamaha||+20.090|
|15||44||Pol ESPARGARO||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||+27.588|
|16||87||Remy GARDNER||AUS||Tech3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+28.805|
|17||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||+30.422|
|18||40||Darryn BINDER||RSA||WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team||Yamaha||+31.330|
|19||49||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||ITA||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||+31.595|
|20||25||Raul FERNANDEZ||ESP||Tech3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+36.160|
|DNF||93||Marc MARQUEZ||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||+22 laps|
|DNF||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha|
|DNF||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda|
Race winner: 23 laps
|20||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||ITA||23|