Bagnaia secures fourth consecutive MotoGP victory at Misano photo-finish

Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia claimed his fourth MotoGP victory in a row, edging Enea Bastianini by just 0.034 seconds to the finish.

Bagnaia had to absorb the pressure for virtually the entire race, first battling Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales and then staying just ahead of Bastianini, whose Gresini team campaigned in a striking white livery as a tribute to its late founder Fausto Gresini.

The victory lifts Bagnaia to second place in the standings, leaving him 30 points behind championship leader Fabio Quartararo and three points ahead of Aleix Espargaro.

Jack Miller’s Ducati pole had remained in the lead after the start and through the first lap, but the Australian’s bid for victory proved short-lived, with Miller falling to the Rio right-hander early in the second lap under the pressure from Bastianini.

But Bastianini nearly threw his year-old Desmosedici GP21 himself onto the road on the same lap, and a lap later Bagnaia – which had dropped from fifth to third at the start, nullifying his penalty on the grid – passed him inside the Quercia corner.

Vinales followed Bastianini with an aggressive lunge a few corners later, getting just behind Bagnaia – whose pace up front kept Bastianini and VR46 Ducati rider Luca Marini in touch as well, establishing a foursome leader who ran more or less in formation throughout the first half of the race.

Shortly after halfway Bastianini made a mistake and briefly fell behind Marini, but quickly recovered both the position and the ground he had lost to the leading pair – Marini quickly starting to give up in place.

And up front, Vinales suddenly began to struggle to keep up with Bagnaia, losing half a second back and opening the door for Bastianini to strike at Turn 1 on lap 20.

It then took almost no time for Bastianini, renowned for his late-race speed, to remount Bagnaia, and future factory Ducati teammates raced close until the very last lap.

On the last lap, Bastianini lost ground to Bagnaia when he got the brakes wrong in Turn 4, but again made up for the lost time in no time, launching another attack that came to a close end – with Bagnaia covering the line on the final corner. and win in a drag race to the start and finish line.

Behind them, Vinales’ pace had dropped considerably once Bastianini cleared him, and he ended up securing his third Aprilia podium finish four seconds behind the duo.

Marini, whose VR46 team used a special yellow livery on both bikes, clinched a second consecutive fourth place, battling Quartararo late.

The Yamaha man had gained little ground at the start, but was quickly moved up to fifth thanks to an error from Espargaro on the exit of Turn 13 – but had no answer for the pace of the leading Ducatis.

Espargaro himself finished sixth for Aprilia, followed by Suzuki’s Alex Rins, KTM’s Brad Binder, Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin and LCR Honda’s Alex Marquez – who inherited the spot thanks to a long-lap penalty induced by the late track limits for KTM’s Miguel Oliveira. .

Behind Oliveira, Petronas Yamaha rider Andrea Dovizioso ended his MotoGP career with a 12th place finish.

Suzuki rookie Kazuki Watanabe, replacing the injured Joan Mir, finished the race with a 21st lap.

Early in the race, Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco’s terrible launch was the catalyst for three retirements, as Zarco joined Binder on the inside of Turn 1 and crashed, taking Pol Espargaro with him of Honda and wildcard Ducati Michele Pirro.

Another multi-bike crash followed two laps later, Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli – who had ended a long Q2 drought on Saturday – collided with Gresini Ducati rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio, who, unlike Morbidelli, managed to join.

Another Ducati rookie – VR46 rider Marco Bezzecchi – fell out of favor at the start of Turn 10 while running fourth.

Race results

Pos Last name Crew Bike Towers Driven rounds Total time fastest lap Pit stops Points
1 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 27 25 41m43.199s 1m31.933s 0 25
2 Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing Moto GP Ducati 27 1 +0.034s 1m31.868s 0 20
3 Maverick Vinales Aprilia Racing Aprilia 27 0 +4.212s 1m32.19s 0 16
4 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 27 0 +5.283s 1m32.145s 0 13
5 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 27 0 +5.771s 1m32.125s 0 11
6 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing Aprilia 27 0 +10.23s 1m32.409s 0 ten
seven Alex Rins The SUZUKI ECSTAR team Suzuki 27 0 +12.496s 1m32.398s 0 9
8 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Race KTM 27 0 +14.661s 1m32.408s 0 8
9 jorge martin Pramac Racing Ducati 27 0 +17.732s 1m32.639s 0 seven
ten Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 27 0 +21.986s 1m32.898s 0 6
11 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Race KTM 27 0 +23.685s 1m32.62s 0 5
12 Andrea Dovizioso With U Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 27 0 +29.276s 1m33.068s 0 4
13 Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM Factory Race KTM 27 0 +30.433s 1m33.159s 0 3
14 Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda 27 0 +31.768s 1m33.126s 0 2
15 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 27 0 +32.547s 1m32.859s 0 1
16 Darryn Binder With U Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 27 0 +41.857s 1m33.203s 0 0
17 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 27 0 +50.559s 1m32.801s 0 0
18 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 27 1 +53.371s 1m32.922s 0 0
19 Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM Factory Race KTM 27 0 +56.613s 1m33.385s 0 0
20 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing Moto GP Ducati 27 0 +57.304s 1m32.887s 0 0
21 Kazuki Watanabe The SUZUKI ECSTAR team Suzuki 26 0 +1 turn 1m35.228s 0 0
Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2 0 DNF 1m34.468s 0 0
John Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 0 0 DNF 0s 0 0
Michele Pirro Aruba.it Racing Ducati 0 0 DNF 0s 0 0
Pol Espargaro Repsol Honda Team Honda 0 0 DNF 0s 0 0

Jack C. Nugent