Francesco Bagnaia took the runner-up slot in a thrilling British Grand Prix at Silverstone after leading from the early stages until the final lap, when he was passed by the eventual race winner Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia Racing).
Bagnaia, starting from P4 on the grid, moved into third after the first corner and then took the lead on lap 2. Still, despite riding masterfully over the entire race distance, he could not pull out a sufficient advantage over his closest rivals.
With some rain arriving in the final few laps to make matters even more complicated, Pecco tried his utmost to hold on to the lead but was passed by Espargaró a few corners before the chequered flag. Therefore, the rider from Chivasso closed the GP in second place, securing twenty points for the overall standings.
Enea Bastianini again had an unsatisfactory race, the rider from Rimini showing promise when he moved into tenth place in the early stages from P13 on the grid. Still, he was then forced to retire on lap 17 after making contact with Marc Marquez.
After today’s race, Bagnaia’s championship lead has increased to +41 points over Martin (Pramac Racing Team), who finished sixth today, and to +47 over Bezzecchi, who crashed out on Lap 2 when he was second.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 2nd
“We started with the soft tyre because the conditions weren’t the best, and we were a bit on the limit at the front. Then it started to rain, and I could not understand how much I could push. I was quite scared in some parts of the track because it was raining a bit too much. I tried to control everything and stay in front, but I saw that Aleix was with more traction, and I was losing time in acceleration. I tried everything, but it wasn’t enough, but I am happy with the result and with the weekend, as today was a good day. Yesterday wasn’t ideal, but today we took what was our objective already yesterday. Races are like this, and we must be happy with what we have done, so it has been a positive weekend for sure.”
Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – DNF
“I’m not generally happy about the day but about the weekend. We changed a lot on the bike to arrive prepared for the race and to do something more, but nothing changed. The race was so difficult for me. Only in the braking I was strongest. In the other parts of the track, no. At the end, after the contact with Marc, something happened to the bike. There is a cut in the rear tyre, probably, I went straight on for this reason, and I crashed. Marc touched me in turn 11 on entry and crashed, then on turn 15, I tried to brake but went straight on. My main problem now is my sensation on the bike, for turning it’s not good, but probably we must make some bigger changes, but I need time to understand this. It was important to do this race, I did 16 laps, and now I have more data to give to my team.”
The 2023 MotoGP World Championship now heads to Austria for its halfway point, with the Ducati Lenovo Team next appearing on track in round 10 at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg on the weekend of 19/20 August.
- From Ducati Media House