Francesco Bagnaia reignited his 2022 MotoGP title hopes with victory at a dramatic Dutch TT, in which championship leader Fabio Quartararo failed to finish.

Ducati rider Bagnaia had crashed out in four of the previous 10 races this year, but he took full advantage of pole position on Sunday by comfortably holding on to first place.

Quartararo endured a rare off day in Assen, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider finishing outside the points after twice crashing to see his championship lead cut.

Bagnaia is now 66 points behind the Frenchman heading into the five-week break, while Aleix Espargaro is within 21 points of top spot after making an exceptional recovery.

The drama at Circuit Assen started at Turn 5 when Quartararo, in an attempt to take second place from Espargaro, collided with his rival in a hugely contentious moment.

Both riders ended in the gravel before rejoining. But while Espargaro brilliantly made up ground, Quartararo was left with too much to do and crashed for a second time.

The reigning world champion high-sided out of Turn 5 and landed awkwardly, bringing an end to his race and marking his first MotoGP retirement since Valencia in 2020.

The rain started to fall soon after, adding even more drama to a race that had it all, though ultimately Bagnaia saw things through by holding off Marco Bezzecchi.

Jack Miller, who served a long lap penalty, was not able to join his Ducati team-mate on the podium as he failed to catch Maverick Vinales – his first top-three finish for Aprilia.

Miller was then overtaken by Espargaro, who also moved in front of Brad Binder to climb from sixth to fourth in an exceptional final lap as the title race was blown wide open.

TOP 10

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 
2. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.444s
3. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +1.209s
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +2.585
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +2.721s
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) +3.045s
7. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +4.340s
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.185s
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +8.325s
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.956s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 172
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 151
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 114
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 106
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 105

Teams

1. Aprilia Racing 213
2. Monster Energy Yamaha 197
3. Ducati 197
4. Pramac Racing 184
5. Red Bull KTM 164

Francesco Bagnaia reignited his 2022 MotoGP title hopes with victory at a dramatic Dutch Grand Prix, in which championship leader Fabio Quartararo failed to finish.

Ducati rider Bagnaia had crashed out in four of the previous 10 races this year, but he took full advantage of pole position on Sunday by comfortably holding on to first place.

Quartararo endured a rare off day in Assen, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider finishing outside the points after twice crashing to see his championship lead cut.

Bagnaia is now 66 points behind the Frenchman heading into the five-week break, while Aleix Espargaro is within 21 points of top spot after making an exceptional recovery.

The drama at Circuit Assen started at Turn 5 when Quartararo, in an attempt to take second place from Espargaro, collided with his rival in a hugely contentious moment.

Both riders ended in the gravel before rejoining. But while Espargaro brilliantly made up ground, Quartararo was left with too much to do and crashed for a second time.

The reigning world champion high-sided out of Turn 5 and landed awkwardly, bringing an end to his race and marking his first MotoGP retirement since Valencia in 2020.

The rain started to fall soon after, adding even more drama to a race that had it all, though ultimately Bagnaia saw things through by holding off Marco Bezzecchi.

It was not quite an all-Ducati podium as Jack Miller, who served a long lap penalty, could not catch Maverick Vinales as he claimed his first top-three finish for Aprilia.

Miller was then overtaken by Espargaro, who also moved in front of Brad Binder to climb from sixth to fourth in an exceptional final lap as the title race was blown wide open.

TOP 10

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 
2. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.444s
3. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +1.209s
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +2.585
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +2.721s
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) +3.045s
7. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +4.340s
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.185s
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +8.325s
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.956s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 172
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 151
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 114
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 106
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 105

Teams

1. Aprilia Racing 213
2. Monster Energy Yamaha 197
3. Ducati 197
4. Pramac Racing 184
5. Red Bull KTM 164

Francesco Bagnaia vowed to fight Fabio Quartararo all the way after giving his slim MotoGP title chances a much-needed boost with pole position for the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Ducati rider fell 91 points behind Quartararo last week when crashing out of the German Grand Prix early on – his fourth abandonment in 10 races this season.

But Bagnaia, who has won two of his past five Dutch GP appearances, looked in good shape on Saturday when shattering the lap record at Circuit Assen with a time of 1:31.504.

Victory in the Netherlands on Sunday is needed if the Italian is realistically going to catch Quartararo, with four other riders separating last season's top two.

After an intense battle on the opening lap in Sachsenring last time out, Bagnaia is aiming to come out on top in round 11 to put some pressure on his rival.

"For sure, Fabio on this track is always so competitive. I would like to have a fight but this time until the end of the race, not just the first two laps," he said.

"I think it's more difficult on this track to open a gap, but we have demonstrated we can be so competitive in the first laps, Fabio too."

Bagnaia, who has claimed four poles this year, pitted after his record lap as he did not believe anyone would be capable of matching his pace.

"That’s the reason I stopped in the box, because I said 'doing more than this is impossible'. If someone did overtake me, I would be OK with it," he said.

"But I'm very happy for this qualifying because this morning I was struggling a lot to be consistent and competitive."

Championship leader Quartararo once again missed out on pole, yet he has made a habit of recovering as the weekend goes on this season.

And as he seeks a third successive victory for the first time in his MotoGP career, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider declared himself pleased with his performance in qualifying.

"I'm happy to have made that front row with the army of Ducatis around me. It's almost impossible to make a pole position with these Ducatis," he said.

"I was really on the limit [for my fastest lap] and on the next lap I wanted to try but I knew it was going to be a little bit worse. Today, the front row was the target."

Pramac's Jorge Martin will start Sunday's race in third, while Jack Miller of Ducati finished sixth in qualifying but was penalised for an incident involving Maverick Vinales.

Miller narrowly avoided colliding with Vinales and will serve a long lap penalty for the second weekend running, though the Australian felt there was nothing he could do.

Speaking ahead of the penalty being confirmed, Miller said: "I mean, I didn't do anything wrong. I did everything I could right. I pulled over to the left.

"I was side-saddle from push starting it. I was just trying to load my foot up and make sure that the [damaged] footpeg wasn't going to snap as I stood on it with all my weight.

"I was already hard on the left-hand side of the track and I just looked to make sure I'm not in anyone's way and Vinales was there. There's a lot of track there. 

"I understand the racing line and the track sort of pulls you that way, but there's not much I could do. I went to apologise because I know it's bad, but there's nothing I can do."

 

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) – 1:31.504
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 0.116
3. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 0.204
4. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.292
5. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) + 0.364
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) + 0.620
7. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.671
8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) + 0.768
9. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.803
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +0.863

Enea Bastianini said he tried to make Francesco Bagnaia "nervous" by overtaking him, a tactic that worked as he secured the win at the French Grand Prix on Sunday in MotoGP.

To make Bagnaia's afternoon even worse, the Ducati rider crashed out just a few turns later.

After working his way up from fifth on the grid, Bastianini made his way up to Bagnaia at the front before putting pressure on his fellow Italian.

The drama arrived on lap 21 as Bastianini overtook Bagnaia before the latter immediately took his position back, only to hit the kicker and run wide.

That allowed Bastianini to ease back into the lead, with Bagnaia's race ending after going into the gravel shortly after.

"I'm really happy about this race. The weekend has been really complicated for me with some crashes," Bastianini said after his win.

"In the race I see that my pace was really nice, and at the end when I see Pecco [Bagnaia] very close I understand 'okay now you have to stay behind', and I tried overtaking him in the second corner to make him a little bit nervous, and at the end he goes long and I win this race.

"It's all for my team because they work a lot at this Grand Prix to give me the best bike, and it's incredible this job."

Bagnaia started on pole alongside fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller, who did at least finish second, and the Australian explained why he had allowed Bagnaia to get back ahead of him early in the race.

"The boys rode a strong race at the front there. Pecco wanted to pass me early on, it seemed like he had a bit better speed," Miller said. "I had good grip, I just wasn’t able to push off on that right-hand side.

"Pecco wanted to pull away so I was like 'alright, go for it', but as soon as he got in the front he sort of started having moment after moment.

"Then I saw Bastianini coming and coming. He put the move on me and to be honest I had nothing back for him until he and Pecco got into a bit of a battle, my lap times started coming down again there towards the end and I was actually able to come a bit closer to him, but yeah he was riding really well today."

Enea Bastianini secured a big win at the French Grand Prix after a battle with Francesco Bagnaia, which ended with the latter crashing out.

Bagnaia started on pole alongside fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller, and led for most of the race.

However, after working his way up from fifth, Bastianini overtook Miller and started making ground up on Bagnaia at the front.

The drama arrived on lap 21 as Bastianini overtook Bagnaia, before the latter immediately took his position back, only to hit the kicker and run wide, allowing Bastianini to ease back into the lead.

Matters got much worse for Bagnaia just a few turns later as he crashed out, seemingly trying too hard to make the ground up.

Bagnaia had finished on the podium in six of his previous 12 MotoGP races (five wins), though had not reached it in any of his three Grand Prixs at Le Mans in the top category, and that run continued this time around.

Miller came home in second to at least give Ducati something to cheer, while Aleix Espargaro held off a challenge from Fabio Quartararo to take third.

Quartararo had finished on the podium in his previous two races and if he had done so in France, would have equalled his best run so far in the top category (three podiums in a row twice).

Alex Rins and Joan Mir made it a weekend to forget for Suzuki Ecstar as they both failed to finish, with Rins crashing out early after losing control of his bike when re-joining the track from the gravel on lap three. Mir made an uncharacteristic error to also go down in the gravel.

Marc Marquez finished sixth and has now collected points in his last nine MotoGP races (including two wins and three podiums), which was already his best run since 2019 and the best scoring run of any of the current riders.

TOP 10

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing)
2. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) +2.718secs
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +4.182s
4. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +4.288s
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +11.139s
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +15.155s
7. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) +16.680s
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +18.459s
9. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing) +20.541s
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) +21.486s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 102
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) 98
3. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) 94
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 69
5. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) 62

Teams

1. Aprilia Racing 131
2. Suzuki Ecstar 125
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 121
4. Ducati Lenovo 118
5. Red Bull KTM 99

Francesco Bagnaia converted pole position at the Grand Prix of Spain for his first victory of 2022 ahead of MotoGP defending champion and season leader Fabio Quartararo.

After finishing the previous campaign with four wins in six races – his first victories in the top category – Bagnaia had endured a slow start this year, failing to even reach the podium prior to this weekend.

But a record lap in qualifying put the Ducati man on pole in Jerez, and he led from start to finish to kickstart his season.

Quartararo, starting in second, was Bagnaia's closest challenger, making a strong start and applying intense pressure for the first half of the race.

But Bagnaia was then able to open up a gap and enjoy a slightly more comfortable ride for his first win at this event, and fifth podium in his past seven entries across all categories.

Quartararo could at least be comforted by his now seven-point lead in the championship on a tough day for Alex Rins, who had been level at the summit but had to settle for 19th.

With Aleix Espargaro – now Quartararo's nearest challenger – completing the podium, the top three ended as they began, although the battle for third was a thriller.

Both Jack Miller and Marc Marquez, chasing his 100th MotoGP podium, got the jump on Espargaro early on, seemingly setting up a direct battle between the pair.

Marquez eventually got past Miller with five laps remaining following a stunning move at Turn 5, which he made stick despite the pace of the Ducati.

But that manoeuvre opened the door for Espargaro, running in fifth, to come back at them, and he profited when Marquez went wide at Turn 13 and required an incredible save to stay on his bike, catching himself with his left elbow.

Espargaro was able to build a bigger gap, although Marquez at least passed Miller again for fourth, delivering the drama that was missing at the front of the race.

Fabio Quartararo won a MotoGP race for the first time this season, sending him top of the championship after a routine victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix, with Johann Zarco in second and Aleix Espargaro third.

Quartararo won the last Portuguese Grand Prix in 2021, although failed to finish in the top 10 in his other two MotoGP appearances at the Algarve International Circuit (14th in 2020 Portuguese GP and did not finish at the 2021 Algarve GP).

However, despite winning last year's championship, the Frenchman's previous race win was at the British Grand Prix in August.

Quartararo eased past Joan Mir early in Sunday's race in Portimao, though, and never looked back as he cruised to the win, while all the drama happened behind him.

Previous championship leader Enea Bastianini crashed out on lap 10, appearing to clip the seam of the curb at turn eight before sliding off the track while in 10th place.

Mir was left fighting for second place and was eventually overtaken by a determined Zarco, but things were to get worse for the Spaniard as Jack Miller, while attempting to pass on the inside, slid his bike and took both of them out of the race at the start of lap 16.

Mir has now gone six races in a row without a podium, which was already his worst run in MotoGP since his first 20 races in the top category between 2019 and 2020.

It was a performance to remember from Alex Rins, though, as he took his Suzuki from 23rd all the way up to fourth, making up a remarkable 13 places on the opening lap alone.

Elsewhere, there was some good old-fashioned racing between the Marquez brothers near the end of the race, with Marc ultimately getting the better of Alex to take sixth place.

TOP 10

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha)
2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +5.409
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +6.068
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +9.633
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +13.573
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +16.163
7. Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) +16.183
8. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo) +16.511
9. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +16.769
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) +18.063

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 69
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 69
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 66
4. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 61
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 51

Teams

1. Suzuki Ecstar 115
2. Aprilia Racing 91
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 86
4. Red Bull KTM 81
5. Pramac Racing 79

Enea Bastianini toasted his Grand Prix of the Americas victory by treating himself to some burgers and said he is hungry to keep hold of top spot in the championship.

The Gresini rider passed Ducati's Jack Miller with five laps remaining at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas to record his second win in four races this season.

Bastianini finished 2.058 seconds ahead of closest challenger Alex Rins, who also overtook third-placed Miller, as the Italian added to his maiden MotoGP triumph in Qatar.

"It's a fantastic day," Bastianini said. "Miller had fantastic pace in the first part of the race, then I felt like I had to push, I accelerated like crazy and I won.

"Winning here in America is fantastic. Now we eat some burgers!"

Bastianini leads the riders' standings with four of the 21 races completed, sitting five points better off than Suzuki Ecstar rider Rins and 11 clear of Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia.

And the 24-year-old is beginning to believe that an unpredictable 2022, in which 10 riders have finished on the podium over the first four races, could be a memorable one.

"It's possible," Bastianini said when asked if he can retain top spot. "This is better than the Qatar win because we know we are consistent and every race we are on the front.

"We will see if we can repeat this result in the future. In European races I think the gap will be closer again."

Bastianini is just the third winner in the nine-year history of the race, with Marc Marquez having prevailed on seven previous occasions and Rins once, in 2019.

Marquez recovered from a poor start on Sunday to climb from 17th to sixth, while Joan Mir and Francesco Bagnaia rounded out the top five.

While Marquez climbed the standings late on, Miller fell from first to third in a race that he led for 15 of the 20 laps.

Rather than feeling too downbeat, though, the Australian simply congratulated Bastianini and Rins for finishing stronger.

"I have mixed feelings," he said. "I had a fantastic race. Enea passed me but I didn't make any mistakes.

"This championship is so long, anything can happen. It's wide open."

Enea Bastianini recorded his second victory of the 2022 MotoGP campaign, beating Alex Rins and Jack Miller to win the Grand Prix of the Americas in Houston, Texas.

The Italian became the first rider to rack up two victories this term after starting fifth on the grid, overtaking Miller with five laps to go in a fiercely competitive race.

The 24-year-old, who claimed his first MotoGP win in Qatar's curtain-raising race last month, made a strong start to fight his way into contention early on, entering second spot with nine laps to go.

Bastianini then passed Miller and pulled clear of the Australian, who dropped into third as Alex Rins clinched a second consecutive podium finish, keeping him second in the drivers' championship standings.

The Gresini rider ended the race 2.058 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, maintaining his lead at the top of the early-season riders' standings.

Elsewhere, Jorge Martin made a solid start from pole position, but suffered a poor end to the race in which he dropped to fourth with eight laps to go, and to eighth by the time he saw the chequered flag.

Marc Marquez suffered a horrendous start in Texas, dropping as low as 17th in the early stages, but recovered somewhat to finish sixth, while Joan Mir and Francesco Bagnaia rounded out the top five.

World champion Fabio Quartararo, meanwhile, finished in seventh as he struggles to match his terrific early-season form from 2021, and Aleix Espargaro could only manage a 13th-placed finish, one week after his sensational maiden victory in Argentina.

TOP 10

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini)
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +2.058
3. Jack Miller (Ducati) +2.312
4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +3.975
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +6.045
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +6.617
7. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +6.760
8. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +8.441
9. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +12.375
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +12.642

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 61
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 56
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 50
4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar)) 46
5. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 44

Teams

1. Suzuki Ecstar 102
2. Red Bull KTM 70
3. Aprilia 69
4. Gresini 61
5. Pramac Racing 59

Fabio Quartararo has been crowned 2021 MotoGP world champion for a first time following a dramatic conclusion to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that saw title rival Francesco Bagnaia crash out.

Yamaha rider Quartararo had to outscore Bagnaia by three points in Sunday's race to bring an end to the title battle with two races to go, but a career-worst finish of 15th in qualifying meant the Frenchman had plenty of work to do.

The 22-year-old gradually climbed the field after a slow start that saw him drop two more places, yet he was still fifth, well off leader Bagnaia, with five laps to go in Italy.

Then came an incredible moment as Bagnaia, on course for a third victory in four races, lost the front of the Desmosedici into turn 15 to effectively hand Quartararo the title – and a first for Yamaha since 2015.

Quartararo continued his ascent into third place before dropping behind Enea Bastianini into his eventual final position of fourth, with Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro leading a one-two for Repsol Honda.

It is a second successive triumph for Marquez on the back of his victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas.

Bagnaia's Ducati team-mate Jack Miller, who started in second, had earlier crashed out in a drama-filled race, while Valentino Rossi battled to 10th in his final race on home soil.

Francesco Bagnaia's gameplan will remain the same in Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, despite Fabio Quartararo starting the race down in 15th after struggling in qualifying.

Quartararo leads Bagnaia by 52 points with three races left and will be crowned 2021 MotoGP champion this weekend should he outscore his title rival by three points.

However, the Yamaha rider has his work cut out on Sunday as tough conditions at the Misano Circuit meant he failed to qualify for Q2 for the first time in his MotoGP career.

The Frenchman's best lap would have had him in 13th, but that was voided and he now has 14 places to make up on Bagnaia if he is to come out on top.

Bagnaia had no such trouble in both qualifying sessions, setting the fastest time in both en route to claiming his fourth successive pole.

And the Ducati rider intends to pick up from where he left off by going all out for victory on Sunday and claiming a third triumph in four races to keep the title race alive.

"I was needing to push if he was starting Q2, and I have to push the same now he's 15th," Bagnaia said. 

"The only thing that I can do to leave open the title championship is to try to win tomorrow. The objective would be the same even if Fabio was starting further in front."

Quartararo has only been off the front row once this season, when starting fifth in Qatar, and he doubts the title will be won for at least another week as a result of Saturday's setback. 

"Of course it's a tough situation for me," he said. "To be honest, I have not thought about the championship, because he is P1 and I'm P13 or P15.

"But he has the pressure, it's not only me. He has the pressure to do well, and maybe he will make a mistake. I don't wish him that, but it's something that we will see.

"My feeling is that if everything is normal, we will fight [to decided the title next time] in Portimao."

The front row is dominated by Dacia as Luca Marini finished qualifying in third and Jack Miller second, the latter just 0.025 seconds behind team-mate Bagnaia.

With Quartararo so far down the grid, it sets up the possibility of Miller potentially being given room to push Bagnaia for victory.

"Nobody's said anything to me about team orders up until this point," Miller said. "It's just me as being a rider and having common sense is the main thing.

"We all want the same thing, we all want to see Ducati win, we all want to get the best for that, and at the moment Francesco is our biggest chance.

"It doesn't change anything for me. I'm there to do the best I can do. We'll see what happens in the race tomorrow, but for sure Francesco's speed around here is not doubted."

Last week's Grand Prix of the Americas winner Marc Marquez will start seventh on the grid, while Valentino Rossi is 23rd on home soil.

 

Qualifying results

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 1:33.045
2. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.225s
3. Luca Marini (Ducati) +0.85s
4. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +0.268s
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull) +0.394s
6. Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.481s
7. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.805s
8. Iker Lecuona (Tech3) +0.848s
9. Danilo Petrucci (Tech3) +1.095s
10. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +1.642s
11. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +1.198s
12. Jorge Martin (Aprilia) ++51.586s

Francesco Bagnaia produced a "perfect lap" to seal pole position for Sunday's Aragon GP.

The Italian delivered a lap of one minute and 46.332 seconds on his second run to break the lap record at Aragon, which had stood since 2015.

Ducati team-mate Jack Miller was his nearest rival at just 0.366secs adrift, giving Ducati their first one-two in qualifying since Aragon 2018.

It marks Bagnaia's second pole of the 2021 season and the 50th for Ducati in MotoGP.

"I think it was a perfect lap," said Bagnaia. "It was great. I did a nice sector one, the sector two was incredible too and our bike in sector four helped us a lot.

"Also, entry to the last corner was incredible. I looked at the data of Jorge Martin this morning, who was doing a different line compared to me, and then I tried to do the same and I improved a lot. I didn't expect to do a lap like that."

Bagnaia has never won a MotoGP race and he is keen to avoid complacency ahead of Sunday's race at MotorLand.

"I'll just try to set my pace and be fast," he added. "It will be important what happens with the tyres after 15 or 16 laps and in the last part of the race I feel strong, we will see if I am strong enough to win.

"The important thing will be to stay with the best from start to finish.

"It’s difficult to say that I'm ready to win or that I can win, but all the things are there."

Fabio Quartararo completed the front row, extending his run of consecutive top-three qualifying results to 11 this season.

The French rider, however, does not believe he has the pace to keep up with the Ducati pair.

"I want to have fun. Of course, it would be great to fight for the podium," he said.

"But to be honest, I don't feel I have the pace, so I will try to manage the best result as possible and I will try to stay with the front guys and fight until the end.

"But right now, at least we need to make a step in the warm-up to be able to fight for the podium tomorrow.

"So, let's hope for an improvement on the warm-up."

Provisional classification

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 1:46.322
2. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.366
3. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.397
4. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.414
5. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.556
6. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.561
7. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.840
8. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +0.872
9. Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) +0.956
10. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.966
11. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +1.044
12. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +1.610

Marc Marquez had forecast the need to "gamble" on Sunday, but he was angry with his execution after crashing twice at a flag-to-flag French Grand Prix he briefly led.

The Repsol Honda superstar was hoping for a wet race to give him the best chance of a first victory since his injury at Le Mans.

The looming dark clouds delivered early in Sunday's race and Marquez, starting from sixth on the grid, stormed into contention.

Aiming for a fourth French GP win – only he and Valentino Rossi have three MotoGP victories – Marquez emerged from the pit lane in the lead after switching bikes.

That advantage did not last long as a dramatic fall saw the Spaniard flip through the air after flying off the slippery surface.

Yet that was not the crash that upset Marquez, who continued the grand prix and had recovered to reach 11th when he skidded off the track a second time and was ruled out.

"In the rain, I had a better chance of having a good race, but also of crashing," he told Sky Sport. "In the dry, I saw that there was a limit, but after the flag-to-flag I felt good.

"In the first crash, the bike slid a lot. Even with the medium tyre, at the beginning, I had to be a bit calmer, but it can happen.

"Then I got back on the bike and I was running very fast. The second fall is the one that angers me most.

"The first could happen because it was wet, I was warming the tyres... it happened to many riders.

"The second makes me angry because I was pushing too hard even though I was struggling to stay 100 per cent focused on the bike. At that point, I was thinking more about getting back in to put on the dry tyres than about riding.

"That's why it made me angry. There is a risk and I need to manage it better."

Although Marquez shouldered his fair share of blame, he was disenchanted with the performance of his Repsol Honda bike.

He said: "If it is a step back, what can be used to take the races more calmly? If we look at the Honda crashes, it's not just me. All our bikes have crashed.

"We're working on it. It is true that I crashed twice in Jerez, though.

"Here, due to the conditions we had, we had a good weekend, but today was not a good Sunday. Today I was not good, I didn't risk when I had to risk and I risked too much when I didn't have to."

Marquez was not the only former champion to make a costly mistake, with 2020 title-winner Joan Mir unable to finish after his own crash.

The Suzuki Ecstar rider went down approaching the pit lane and then dashed towards his second bike on foot when the damaged first would not restart.

The failure to enter the pit lane with his machine meant Mir was not allowed to continue.

"I don't know what happened honestly," he said. "For my part, I have to say sorry to the team because I made a mistake.

"I saw that the bike was not running and I started to run to the box. I knew I had to come with the bike, but the bike was a bit damaged and I started to run.

"I don't know why, the adrenaline or something. But from this experience I will learn for the future, I will not repeat it, that's for sure."

Victory instead went to Jack Miller for the second race running, his tally of MotoGP wins swelling from one through 102 grands prix to three through 104.

Miller ran off into the gravel at one stage and later had to serve a double long-lap penalty, but he has back-to-back wins for just the second time in all categories, having also achieved the feat in Moto3 in 2014.

"That was hectic, very hectic," he said, adding: "It's absolutely amazing. I can't believe it.

"Back-to-back wins like this are just fantastic and I can't thank the team enough. They're awesome."

Jack Miller admitted his first MotoGP win in just under five years left him "sobbing like a baby".

The Ducati rider won the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday to finish at the top of the podium for the first time since the Dutch TT at Assen in June 2016.

Miller took the lead early in Jerez and despite being overtaken by Fabio Quartararo he held his nerve in the second half of the race to regain the lead.

Quartararo faded and the Australian passed the chequered flag in first place ahead of Ducati team-mate Francesco Bagnaia with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) back in third.

"It’s out of this world, honestly. Ever since that chequered flag, ever since turn 12 I’ve been on this rollercoaster and it just keeps going," Miller told BT Sport.

"I’m crying and I’m sobbing like a baby. I don't know, it's too hard to put into words what I feel today.

"Last time I won it was a big old shock in the wet. This one I've definitely worked hard to get this."

Miller said he thought his chances of victory were gone when Frenchman Quartararo overtook him, but his near-perfect ride secured the win.

Quartararo slipped down to finish 13th as he surrendered his place at the top of the world championship to Bagnaia.

Miller added: "When Fabio [Quartararo] got past me I just thought he was going to bolt, he got nearly a second gap but then he plateaued off and started coming back to me so I just had to knuckle down and get past him.

"He began to really drop off as soon as I passed him so I knew then I had to just make my break and get away as quick as possible and try to manage my lead out front.

"It seemed like a tall order at the time as I still had like 12 or 13 laps to go and I was thinking ‘that’s a long time out front by myself’ but I was able to do it.

"I’ve never rode that precise, that good in my whole entire life. I don’t think I’ve done 25 laps in a row like that in my life. So, it’s fantastic to get that."

Jack Miller won the Spanish Grand Prix as the Ducati rider notched his first MotoGP victory since 2016.

The Australian made a superb start to lead and, despite being passed by Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) in the middle stages, he held his nerve in the second half of the race to return to the front.

Miller finished ahead of Ducati team-mate Francesco Bagnaia with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in third spot.

Quartararo slipped down to finish 13th as he surrendered his place at the top of the world championship to Bagnaia.

The Frenchman started poorly as he slipped from pole position to fourth as Miller surged ahead, but like the Portuguese Grand Prix last time out he initially recovered.

Quartararo overtook his rivals on the final corner of successive laps to regain the lead before he pulled one-and-a-half seconds clear at the front.

With 11 laps to go, a third consecutive victory seemingly beckoned for Quartararo, but he dropped two seconds on one lap, allowing Miller to seize the advantage.

Miller was able to hold on until the end as he secured his first MotoGP win since the Dutch TT at Assen in June 2016 and his eighth overall.

Quartararo lost further ground as Italian duo Bagnaia with Morbidelli scrapped it out for second, with the former edging it to make it a one-two for Ducati.

Six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) returned to the Jerez track where he suffered a broken arm last July –  an injury that kept him out for nine months – and came through unscathed.

Marquez, who had escaped injury in a big fall on Saturday and another accident in warm-up, started the race in 14th spot and eventually ended in ninth in his second race since returning.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) claimed fourth place as Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) both secured top-six finishes.

TOP 10

1. Jack Miller (Ducati) 41'05.602
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +1.912
3. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) +2.516
4. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) +3.206
5. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +4.256
6. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +5.164
7. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) +5.651
8. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +7.161
9. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +10.494
10. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +11.776

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 66
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 64
3. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 50
4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) 49
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 48

Teams

1. Monster Energy Yamaha 114
2. Ducati 105
3. Suzuki Ecstar 72
4. Pramac Racing 65
5. Repsol Honda 40

What's next?

Quartararo will hope for more luck on home turf at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans on May 16.

 

 

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