MotoGP: Francesco Bagnaia Wins The Sprint Race in Texas
Francesco Bagnaia takes his second sprint victory of the season in fine style at COTA
Francesco Bagnaia started from pole position ahead of LCR Honda’s Alex Rins, the only rider to have won at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and Luca Marini rounds out the front row.
The race would be ten laps long, the shortest sprint race of the season, tyre wear is usually a problem at COTA, but the sprint should take this away despite bands around the tyre being shown after just five laps.
The lights went out and it was Rins who took the holeshot but ran wide and let Pecco to take the lead, Rins attacked Bagnaia at turn seven to take the lead.
Marini made a mistake into turn one and dropped down to 15th, Aleix Espargaro was third at one of his least favourite tracks.
Bagnaia used the horsepower of the Desmosedici GP23 to retake the lead on the back straight, Fabio Quartararo made a great start from seventh to fourth.
The two Prima Pramac Ducati riders were battling for fifth and sixth, championship leader Marco Bezzecchi was out of the points in 11th.
Rins out-braked himself into turn 12 and allowed Aleix to move into second place, Quartararo tried to make his way through at turn 13 but made contact with the LCR Honda, luckily none of them lost time.
Martin used the power of the Ducati to blast past Quartararo to take fourth place and began to put Rins under pressure for the final podium spot.
Fabio went wide at turn 12 trying to stay in front of Alex Marquez and dropped to sixth place; Pecco meanwhile was beginning to extend the gap out front.
Fabio Quartararo went down at turn one! The Frenchman was asking too much of his M1 and he lost the front at the apex.
Rins attacked Esparagaro into turn 11, but the Aprilia rider undercut him and retook second. The following lap Rins shadowed his overtake on Rossi in 2019 to move into second place.
Trying to stay with the Honda Aleix just out-braked himself into turn 12, behind him Marquez lost the front and crashed out of fifth place. Martin was now into third place with Brad Binder moving into the top five.
Francesco Bagnaia crossed the line to take victory in the sprint race, Alex Rins takes Honda’s best result of the season in second place and Jorge Martin held off a last lap attack from Aleix Espargaro to take the podium.
Brad Binder rounded out the top five holding off Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini, Bezzecchi still leads the championship by one point. Miguel Oliveira was eighth on his return with Jack Miller taking the final points paying position in ninth.
Featured Images: MotoGP.com, Pecco Bagnaia.