Francesco Bagnaia produced a brilliant performance in an exciting 27-lap Indonesian Grand Prix at the Mandalika International Circuit to clinch his sixth GP win of the year and return to the top of the championship table.
Starting from row 5 of the grid in 13th, Bagnaia made a good start and was already up into sixth at the end of the opening lap, and then into third on lap 3 behind the leading duo of Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing Team) and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia). When points leader Martin crashed out on lap 13, Bagnaia took another six laps to overhaul his Aprilia rival, but for the final third of the race, with rapidly deteriorating tyres, he had to fight hard to hold off both the Spaniard and a hard-charging Quartararo (Yamaha).
Bagnaia’s victory margin of 0.3s at the chequered flag was good enough for him to take his first win since the Austrian GP in August, and after losing the lead of the championship to Martin in yesterday’s Sprint, he now bounces back to the top of the points table with a margin of +18 as the championship heads into its final stretch.
Teammate Enea Bastianini was finally able to show what he was capable of, with a great run to eighth place. Starting from P11 on the grid, Enea slipped down to last place on the opening lap when he had a slight contact with Marquez (Honda) and was forced wide in a corner. After serving a long lap penalty from a previous misdemeanour, he gradually moved through the field and was able to set the fastest lap of the race in 1’30.906 on lap 18 – the only rider to lap under the 1’31 mark – crossing the line in P8 on his return from injury.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1st
“Incredible! I’m very happy, this win was so important. I was struggling at the weekend, my team again have done such an incredible job, I was trying to adapt, and they gave to me the maximum. This morning in the warm-up I was very happy with what they did, and, in the race, we won again… finally, because it was a long time without a win after the crash in Barcelona. I’m very proud of my team and my crew. I was controlling because I could see that Martin was pushing hard, but I said to myself to wait and see because it was a very long race. I was taking care about the tyres then when I saw the laps to go, I just tried to push again to put me in the front. Winning here and today and starting from P13 is very good. Now I’m ready to fight all the way to the end like always.”
Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 8th
“It wasn’t exactly a very lucky race for me because at the start in turn 11 after a contact with Marc I had to go wide and slipped down to last place. I also had to do the long lap penalty and it was so difficult for me to recover positions. But after that I did a good pace and set the fastest lap of the race, so I can say that I am very happy with the feeling on the bike and the work done but not with the result. Now we have the right feeling again; also, in Barcelona we made a good step and for the race I was ready to push, but here we have confirmed this. I was fast all the weekend, today I was faster in the race, and I think that now we have a good pace to go well in the next races.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“I’d say that Pecco really reacted like a champion today, it wasn’t easy after yesterday’s defeat. He did a splendid and intelligent race, it’s difficult to say anything more than that. The rear tyre certainly made an important difference, and from the point of view of the overall setup of the electronics and the setup of the bike we made some other evolutions, but he certainly truly did a masterpiece of a race. Let’s say that the last few races will be a bit of a fratricidal war for us, but it will certainly be nice to see these guys fight until the end.”
The MotoGP World Championship now heads down under for round 16, the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, which takes place next weekend.
- From Ducati Media House