MotoGP: Pecco Bagnaia Takes Victory at the San Marino Grand Prix
Pecco Bagnaia becomes the first Ducati rider to win four consecutive races and closes in on Fabio Quartararo
Despite some worries about the weather, it was Sunny and hot conditions; just what the riders wanted. Jack Miller started from his first pole position since the 2018 Argentinian Grand Prix and he heads an all-Ducati front-row with Enea Bastianini and Marco Bezzecchi. Francesco Bagnaia started in fifth due to receiving a three-place grid penalty for riding slowly on the racing line in FP1. The championship leader Fabio Quartararo was in eighth and Aleix Espargaro was ninth. Everyone was running the hard front and medium rear.
The lights went out and it was Miller who took the holeshot ahead of Bastianini and Bagnaia, Pol Espargaro, Johann Zarco and Michele Pirro were all involved in a turn one crash. Miller ended lap one in first, but he crashes at turn four, giving Bastianini the lead. Marco Bezzecchi also crashed on lap two at turn ten; Bastianini almost lost the front at turn 14. Pecco took the lead at turn ten, with Vinales following suit at turn 14 with Luca Marini making it a front quartet.
Franky Morbidelli and Fabio Di Giannantonio both crashed out on lap three, disaster for the Italians. Vinales was all over the back of Pecco looking for a way through. Espargaro was in fifth place holding off Quartararo. All of the top eighth were relatively close with Alex Rins in eighth setting the fastest lap of the race on lap five.
Espargaro made a mistake at turn 13 and that allowed Quartararo to move into fifth place and had a little bit of clean air, what could the Frenchman do from this position? On lap seven Marini and Quartararo set the fastest laps of the race.
By lap 15 both Quartararo and Vinales had track limits warnings so their last third of the race could be compromised a bit. The front five were all on identical pace just following each other as the tension was building for the one to pull the first move.
Bastianini went wide at turn ten and that allowed Marini through into third place, but the Gresini had a better exit and pulled alongside and passed Marini back into Curvone. Pecco and Vinales were setting constant fastest laps of the race.
Bastianini was the fastest rider on track setting a new lap record by four tenths of a second, Marini and Quartararo just looked to be struggling.
Bastianini made his move at turn one and made it stick and was into second place with eight laps to go and had 0.6 seconds to close. By lap 22 he had closed the gap to 0.2 but Enea had just received a track limits warning.
Onto the last lap nothing separated the two Italians, Pecco defended in turns one and two, Enea had a look at turn four but ran wide in the process, Bastianini closed in during the lap and nearly out-dragged Pecco to the line, but Pecco Bagnaia held off the charge and crossed the line to take his fourth win in succession, the first Ducati rider to do so. Maverick Vinales finished in third to take his third podium of the season. Luca Marini matched his best result of the season to take another fourth place with Fabio Quartararo rounding out the top five.
Fabio Quartararo continues to lead the championship, but his points gap has been reduced to 30 points ahead of Pecco with Aleix Espargaro now in third 33 points behind.
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