Francesco Bagnaia took the chequered flag in the runner-up position after a hard-fought 12-lap Sprint race at Barcelona’s Montmeló circuit.
Starting from Ducati’s 80th and his 17th pole position in the premier class after the morning’s qualifying session, in which he set a new outright circuit record in 1’38.639, Bagnaia got the holeshot and led for the first six laps closely hounded by Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia).
On lap 7 however, at turn 1 at the end of the long main straight, Pecco was overtaken by his Spanish rival who eventually pulled away for the win in front of his home crowd. In the second half of the race, the rider from Chivasso then had to fend off the attacks from Maverick Viñales (Aprilia) but was able to take the chequered flag for second place by a fraction.
Teammate Enea Bastianini started from eleventh on the grid, but he scored the last point for ninth place after a race-long battle with Zarco, Bezzecchi and M. Marquez.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 2nd
“I’m satisfied because doing more than this was impossible today. Aleix was too fast, and I just tried to close the lines to Maverick to not give him any chance to overtake me, but in any case, I’m happy overall and I understand something for the race tomorrow. It will be important to find some more traction because right now we are losing too much. We are strong in braking but we’re still missing in acceleration, and it will be important to find it for tomorrow.”
Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 9th
“I felt quite good, but the race went as I expected in the sense that I struggled the first two or three laps because I can’t take advantage of the initial grip of the soft tyre, but I got the hang of it and managed to lap quite well with discrete times. In the end, unfortunately, Johann had the medium tyre and he managed to pass me, pulling out a few tenths, but I enjoyed the race, and we took another step forward so I’m happy.”
On Sunday, the Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be out on track for the ten-minute morning warm-up session at 9.45 CEST, while the 24-lap Grand Prix of Catalunya takes place over 111.7 km and will start at 14.00 CEST.
- From Ducati Media House