Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) put on an enthralling head-to-head battle in round 7 of the MotoGP World Championship at the Sachsenring circuit in Germany, with victory – the second GP win of his career – just going to the Spaniard by 0.06s at the finishing line.
Right from the start of the 30-lap encounter, it was clear that the battle for victory was going to be between the Italian, who started from pole, and the Spaniard, who won the 15-lap Sprint yesterday. Bagnaia led the opening lap, but Martin, sixth on the grid, moved to the front with a spectacular overtake at the Waterfall, the scene for several passes during the race. As they pulled away from the rest of the field, there was little between the two until the end, the gap oscillating between 0.6s and 0.4s until laps 17 to 20 when Bagnaia annulled Martin’s lead and then took over again at the front for three more laps. With Martin again back in front from lap 24 onwards, the stage was all set for a slipstream drag to the line, but Bagnaia’s front tyre touched slightly with Martin’s rear and despite Pecco’s best efforts on the final lap, Martin completed his extraordinarily successful German GP weekend.
A still under-par Enea Bastinianini, starting tenth on the grid, had a solid race in that position until lap 17, when he passed Espargarò for ninth, and he then inherited eighth place overall when Binder crashed out on lap 19.
With Zarco, Bezzecchi and Marini taking third, fourth and fifth, Ducati monopolized the top 5 in the premier class classification for the first time, and also became the first constructor to do so since Honda in the 2003 Rio de Janeiro GP. Moreover, eight Desmosedici GP bikes closed in the top 9.
In the MotoGP World Championship, four Ducatis are now in the top 4 positions in the classification, with Bagnaia on 160 points, 16 in front of Martin, who after this weekend’s results is emerging as his closest rival in the standings.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 2nd
“That was fun! We found something more since yesterday, the pace today was incredible and I wasn’t expecting it. I think to beat Jorge we needed something more today but we were very close, we touched twice! I’m happy with the result and happy for him, he deserved the win so let’s now move on to Assen with a great feeling. He was able to be closer compared to me in the exit of the corners, I was just trying to maximize the feeling and it was OK, in the last lap I tried to get back to him but for sure we have to improve on circuits where the bike turns more. Now we move on to Assen next week, one of my favourite tracks!”
Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 8th
“Today’s race went well and I am happy. I am still not totally back to normal, but we are close. I didn’t expect to be able to do this performance after Mugello, but I feel good. This was a less demanding track, and while I had to take a day off after the Italian GP, now I feel ready to go back to training right away! Today’s race showed that ours is a really good package, but I think Jorge and Pecco also made the difference compared to the other Ducati riders. I still don’t know the GP23 that well, but I hope I can soon get to fight with them and for the top 5 after the summer break.”
The Ducati Lenovo Team will now pack up and quickly head across Germany for Sunday’s final round of three in successive weekends, at the classic TT Assen Circuit in the Netherlands.
- From Ducati Media House