Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia took a comfortable win in Saturday’s 11-lap Sprint to head an all-Ducati podium at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello. The reigning world champion powered away from pole and, with the exception of a couple of laps, led the rest of the way to take the chequered flag 0.3s ahead of Marco Bezzecchi (VR46 Racing) and Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing), notching up his third Sprint win of the year.
The Ducati Lenovo Team rider, who earlier had set pole position with a new outright circuit record of 1:44.855, allowed Martin to have a couple of laps in the lead, as a few drops of rain began to fall to make the track surface slippery. Bagnaia then made a move on lap 4 at San Donato to take over at the front again and he controlled the chasing group until the end. Bezzecchi and Martin joined him on the Sprint podium, as Zarco and Marini made it five Ducatis in the top 5 places.
Back on his Desmosedici GP for the first time since the start of May, teammate Enea Bastianini could only qualify in twelfth position in the morning Q2 session following a crash. During the race, the Italian gave his all to move up to P8 but dropped down one place with two laps remaining after suffering with a bit of tiredness and pain.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1st
“It was very critical at the start because it was raining a bit and I was quite scared to do a flag-to-flag, so I tried as much as possible not to panic. Then the pace was quite strong when the conditions were becoming better and so I just tried to set my pace and everything went perfectly. I’m happy, that’s the job done for today with pole position and a sprint race win, let’s just try to prepare for tomorrow hoping for dry conditions. I was trying not to give Marco any chance to get close to me to overtake, because I know his potential, I was just trying to open a bit of a gap. I knew that sector 4 was mine, so I just concentrated on doing the best sectors for the entire lap. My feeling with the bike is great, we are close to perfection of what I want from it, maybe we have to check something for tomorrow but my pace and feeling is good enough for the potential that we have.”
Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 9th
“I did my first race of the year and scored my first points, which is good. My condition was not on top after 5 or 6 laps, so I closed the throttle a bit because I was so tired and I had a bit of pain in my shoulder. My pace was good, I was close to the first group but in Arrabbiata 1 I lost the front a bit and took some distance from Marc, then I had to stay calm to finish the race. I’m happy because this morning I had a qualifying crash so it was important to arrive at the finish. Mugello is such a physical track and tomorrow will be even more difficult because there are more laps, so I will have to take some painkillers before the race because the pain will be more. We also have to check the set-up of the bike, which was better yesterday. Today the conditions changed a bit and it was more difficult for me to push.”
- From Ducati Media House