Bagnaia wins Virtual Race 2 in last lap scrap with Viñales

Bagnaia wins Virtual Race 2 in last lap scrap with Viñales

Written by  MotoGP.com on Sunday, 12 April 2020 21:17

The stars of MotoGP™ again put on a show in the second Virtual MotoGP™ Race, with Pramac Racing's Francesco Bagnaia coming out on top after the Red Bull Ring delivered yet another last lap classic. Bagnaia and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales went toe-to-toe with the Italian taking victory and a debut MotoGP™ victory after diving up the inside of Viñales, and even going on the grass, on the last lap.

The race got underway is chaotic style with nearly all of the field getting caught up in a huge crash going into the opening corner, with LCR Idemitsu Honda's Takaaki Nakagami somehow leading the race as everyone emerged out of the scrum. His lead didn't last long though with Bagnaia and Viñales both motoring past the Japanese rider, before Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez also found a way past to move into third.

Then at the start of lap two, Nakagami ran straight into the rear wheel of Marquez and took out the World Champion, much to the nine-time Champion's frustration. Nakagami stayed on but was quickly passed by Alex Marquez, who had his eyes firmly on the duo ahead and back-to-back Virtual Race victories. However, Nakagami would then take out another Marquez in the form of Alex after once again riding straight into the back of someone. It allowed Marc back into the podium hunt but his younger brother's pace was too much and he eventually broke clear and settled into third place.

Back at the front and it was Viñales who was leading, eight tenths clear of Bagnaia with now just a handful of laps remaining. The win was in sight of the factory Yamaha man but disaster struck when the front end of his Yamaha M1 folded from beneath him and he crashed out of the lead. Bagnaia didn't need a second invitation to sweep through and retake control of the #StayAtHomeGP.

It looked like it was done and dusted. Surely the race was Bagnaia's now. However, Viñales found something to cut the three-second gap down to nothing as the pair started the final lap. Remarkably he then took the lead from Bagnaia at Turn 3, plunging downhill and up the inside. Bagnaia wasn't tapping out and giving up though, he immediately responded with a huge dive down the inside of Viñales, even taking a trip across the grass in doing so. It would prove to be the race-winning overtake after Viñales had a big slide out of the final corner stopping any chance of him drafting past Bagnaia before the chequered flag.

It wouldn't be another Virtual Race win for Alex Marquez, who came across the line in third place ahead of brother Marc. Three crashes cost Petronas Yamaha SRT's Fabio Quartararo dearly as he ended up in fifth despite showing podium pace. Sixth place went right down to the wire with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Ducati Team's Danilo Petrucci, both making their Virtual Race debuts, slugging it out to the final corner. In the end, Petrucci came out on top despite The Doctor's best efforts with an almighty lunge at the final corner, which ended in the nine-time World Champion spectacularly crashing out. Nakagami slipped back to eighth ahead of Ducati Team's Michele Pirro and Reale Avintia's Tito Rabat.

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