Italian GP 2022: Bagnaia takes soothing victory before Quartararo and Espargaró  

Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati) has scored his second victory of the season after Spain at his home round, the Italian MotoGP 2022, this Sunday at the Mugello Circuit.

The pilot from Turin managed to contain the offensives of Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), who finished second. Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) completed the podium, his fourth consecutive and fifth this season.  

After crashing out in France, this victory gives the #63 some much-needed confidence and helps keep his title hopes alive. Despite being 41 points from the top still, currently occupied by Quartararo, the Italian pilot has now climbed to fourth in the standings. 

The 2021 champion for his part, has stretched his lead to eight points after squeezing all the juice out of his M1 at the hostile, Ducati feud that is Mugello. 

Aleix Espargaró has now ousted Enea Bastianini from second in the standings with 114 points, to position himself behind ‘El Diablo’ (122 points). The rider from Rimini winner in Qatar, United States & France is now third and 28 points behind the Frenchman, after crashing out of the race this Sunday. 

Di Giannantonio loses the pole  

Poleman Fabio Di Giannantonio could only keep hold of his starting first place for a couple of corners at the start of the Italian Moto GP before Marini passed him. Bezzequi followed in third. Aleix Espargaró and Fabio Quartararo performed a good start to place themselves behind the leading trio. 

Meanwhile, Zarco was running in sixth place, ahead of Bagnaia, who in the end passed him with 22 laps to go. The two rookies of the VR46s were in charge of the race in those initial stages with Bezzechi ahead of Marini. In an attempt to prevent that Italian from escaping Quartararo took third, five-tenths of a second behind him. Chasing the Frenchman and completing the top five were Giannantonio and Bagnaia, engaged in their own private Italian duel. 

‘El Diablo’ surpassed Marini shortly after approaching his domains. There it was…a Yamaha fighting against all of the Ducatis, commanded by Bezzechi’s private mount, against Quartararo, Bagnaia and Giannantonio.

Bagnaia, like Quartararo, knew he had to stop his fierce countryman Bezzechi from escaping, and performed a sensational double overtaking of Quartararo and Marini. 

 

Bagnaia devours Bezzechi for the lead  

The world runner-up was already second behind Bezzechi, and ahead of Quartararo and Marini. One second behind were Aleix Espargaró, Giannantonio, Bastianini, Zarco and Binder. The leading quartet had grown increasingly compacted with 16 laps to go. One turn later came one of the key moments of the Italian MotoGP 2022.

Bagnaia took the lead after overtaking Bezzechi in a fabulous move at the end of the straight. Following that manoeuvre, meter by meter, Pecco escaped from Bezzechi until he was four-tenths of a second ahead. 

In a second pack followed Quartararo, Marini and Aleix Espargaró. Meanwhile ‘El Diablo’ surpassed Bezzechi with 13 laps left in contention. The Frenchman climbed to second place opening a half-second margin. Behind them, the ongoing battle of both the VR46s allowed Aleix to get hot on Bezzechi’s heels and complete the quartet dominated by Quartararo. 

 

Blow to the Championship: Bastianini crashes 

Taking advantage of the battling behind, Bagnaia consolidated a one-second lead, preceding Quartararo, Bezzechi, Marini, Aleix, Bastianini and Zarco. With ten laps remaining, Bastianini crashed as he was pursuing Aleix. Spurred on by his rivals’ exit, the Catalan pilot swallowed Marini for fourth. Bezzechi was now four-tenths of a second away in third.

Only Espargaró overtaking of Bezzechi with seven laps to go altered the top three positions. Ahead, Quartararo gave up and settled for second behind a sensational Bagnaia, who has now revitalized his title bid. 

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Images of Italian MotoGP 2022: MotoGP.

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