Bagnaia beats Bezzecchi in Italy MotoGP Sprint

Francesco Bagnaia won the MotoGP Sprint at Mugello in Italy. Picture:

Francesco Bagnaia won the MotoGP Sprint at Mugello in Italy. Picture:

Francesco Bagnaia has marginally extended his MotoGP championship lead with victory over Marco Bezzecchi in the Sprint at Italy’s Mugello.

The top two in the title race also finished top two after 11 laps through the Tuscan hills, with Prima Pramac Racing team-mates Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco, followed by Bezzecchi’s Mooney VR46 team-mate Luca Marini, making for an all-Ducati top five.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jack Miller was best of the rest, one position ahead of Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, after they had early-race contact.

Bagnaia had qualified his Ducati Team entry on pole position and led the field up the hill to San Donato (Turn 1) for the first time, ahead of Marc Marquez and Martin.

Alex Marquez had also started on the front row but the #73 Gresini Ducati was down at the first corner due to contact with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), who would be issued a Long Lap Penalty over the incident.

A flag-to-flag encounter was declared as a brief, isolated shower began to fall on Lap 2, causing the leading group to bunch right up.

Martin took the lead from Bagnaia at Scarperia (Turn 10) and Miller tried to dive under the #1 Ducati at Correntaio (Turn 12) but could not make the pass stick.

Miller ceded third back to Marc Marquez when he was wide at San Donato on the next lap but barged his way back past the #93 Honda when they arrived at Scarperia again.

However, that contact took both wide, allowing both of the VR46 Desmosedicis past.

Bagnaia reclaimed first position from Martin as they exited San Donato on Lap 4 while, just behind, Bezzecchi passed VR46 team-mate Marini for third.

When Martin was wide at the top of the main straight on Lap 5, he was relegated to third by Bezzecchi, while Zarco soon moved up to fourth, from Miller and Marini.

Bezzecchi was already riding under a track limits warning but continued to tail Bagnaia as they tried to break free from the rest of the field.

Marini overtook Miller, who thus found himself with Marc Marquez right behind, while Binder was back outside the top 10 having served his penalty.

Bagnaia started to edge away with three laps to go, stretching his lead to four tenths of a second, and Zarco in fourth had gapped Marini in fifth to the tune of a full second.

Bezzecchi tried to respond but finished 0.369s behind in the end.

Eighth went to Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), with Enea Bastianini (Ducati Team) scoring the last point, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) ending up 10th, and Binder crossing the finish line in 11th.

Earlier, Marini was reclassified in fourth in Qualifying 2, meaning it is he, rather than Miller, who will inherit a place on the front row when Alex Marquez’s grid penalty takes effect on Sunday afternoon.

Following the morning Warm Up, the Grand Prix race takes place at 22:00 AEST.

Race results: Sprint race

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 1 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 19:41.183
2 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +0.369
3 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Prima Pramac Racing Ducati +0.952
4 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Prima Pramac Racing Ducati +1.009
5 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +3.668
6 43 Jack MILLER AUS Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +3.772
7 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +3.905
8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia +6.062
9 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +6.431
10 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +6.458
11 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +6.672
12 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia +7.930
13 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia +9.022
14 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +11.508
15 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Racing Ducati +14.344
16 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +16.666
17 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +16.725
18 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Aprilia +17.247
19 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia +21.596
20 37 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 KTM +35.212
21 94 Jonas FOLGER GER GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 KTM +46.189
DNF 42 Alex RINS ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +8 laps
DNF 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati

Race winner: 11 laps

Riders’ championship

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 106
3 Jorge MARTIN ESP 87
4 Brad BINDER RSA 81
5 Johann ZARCO FRA 72
6 Luca MARINI ITA 59
7 Jack MILLER AUS 53
8 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 49
10 Alex RINS ESP 47
12 Alex MARQUEZ ESP 41
14 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP 30
16 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 21
17 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 21
18 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 15
19 Dani PEDROSA ESP 13
20 Jonas FOLGER GER 7
21 Michele PIRRO ITA 5
22 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 5
23 Joan MIR ESP 5
24 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA 4
26 Stefan BRADL GER 2

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