Francesco Bagnaia brought his Desmosedici GP to the chequered flag in today’s eighth Sprint race of the year in the runner-up slot as fellow Ducati rider – and one of his championship rivals – Marco Bezzecchi (VR46 Racing) proved to have superior pace throughout the enthralling 13-lap battle.
Starting on the front row alongside Bezzecchi, quickest in morning qualifying, the Ducati Lenovo Team man led for the first three laps as Marco dropped to third, but once Bezzecchi got past Pecco on lap 4 he pulled out a comfortable margin that he extended to approximately 1 second and easily administered until the flag. Bagnaia made a timid attempt to get back to Bezzecchi in the final stages, but in the end just finished ahead of Binder, who was third at the flag but penalized for exceeding track limits.
Teammate Bastiniani had an encouraging race, moving up to ninth from a lowly 18th on the grid after a complicated Q1 session, which he failed to get through following a contact with a distracted Marc Marquez. Enea’s P9 became eighth overall after Marini picked up a half-second penalty.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 2nd
“For sure I tried to be close to Marco but today he was doing a great job, he was too fast for me and able to use the rear tyre better. I tried in half the race to close the gap but in the last laps, I was a bit on the limit with the rear tyre and feeling a bit of chatter, so it was better to lift off and just arrive at the finish because Brad was getting closer. In the championship, we have opened the gap a bit more and that was important. Tomorrow’s race will be longer and it will be important not to take too many risks. We have to improve something on my bike because I still need some more turning; normally in the long race, we have some other options but we’ll wait and see tomorrow.”
Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 8th
“It was a very difficult day; I suffered a lot this morning so I wasn’t satisfied at all. This afternoon in the race we tried to make some changes, we went a bit in the dark but we did well. The bike improved, I got a good start, I made up positions lap-by-lap, and eighth place from 18th on the grid is a result that cheers me up a bit. Physically it was quite difficult and tomorrow will be even worse; however, I will give 100% as always. As for what happened this morning, I lost the front at turn 1 and Marc also, and then at turn 4 we were both watching the other riders, Marc didn’t see me and touched me, but we spoke after, Marc said he’s sorry so it’s all OK.”
The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will line up for tomorrow’s 26-lap Dutch Grand Prix, round 8 of the MotoGP World Championship, at 2pm, with the ten-minute morning warm-up scheduled for 9.45am.
- From Ducati Media House