Pecco Bagnaia has won the San Marino MotoGP 2022 this Sunday at the Misano Circuit in Italy. The local hero defeated his compatriot and future Ducati teammate, Enea Bastianini (Gresini) by 0.034s, becoming the first Ducati rider to achieve four consecutive wins. Maverick Viñales has taken his third podium with Aprilia.
As for the current World Championship leader, Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), he had to make due with a fifth place. His main title rival until now fared even worse. Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) finished behind the Frenchman after a very disappointing performance.
The Catalan pilot has, as a result, lost the second place in the standing to Bagnaia by just three points (181 vs 178). The Milanese, on the other hand, with his sixth triumph of the season after Spain , Italy, Holland, Great Britain & Austria, continues his spectacular comeback. So much so that he is now only 30 points down from the top despite leaving Germany at 91 down.
Miller holds on at the start…and then crashes
Miller held on to his pole position against Bastianini at the start of the San Marino MotoGP 2022. ‘Pecco’, for his part, jumped from fifth to third place in a spectacular start, only to continue defending his position against Enea’s attacks, a few metres later.
On the fourth corner of the second lap, the Australian pilot crashed leaving Bastianini in the lead, followed by Bagnaia, Viñales and Marini. Meanwhile, the crown defender had climbed from eighth to seventh place.
Just one lap later, Pecco passed Bastianini, who would lose second place to Viñales soon after that. As for his teammate Aleix, he was riding in fifth position, just ahead of Quartararo.
Bagnaia leads but cannot escape
Four laps later and Bagnaia was trying unsuccessfully to break away from Viñales. Both were running 0.3s ahead of Bastianini and Marini, who, in turn, preceded Aleix by a few meters, followed by Quartararo. Only two turns later (21 to go), the Frenchman devoured the Spaniard at curve 14. By then a quartet had formed riding 0.9s ahead of Quartararo and Espargaró, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Despite having Viñales hot on his heels, who was in turn pursued by Bastianini and Marini, Bagnaia continued to lead the San Marino MotoGP. True to his style, ‘Pecco’ led the head quartet with 17 laps to go, containing Viñales and Bastianini with Marini closing the pack at the rear. 0.6s behind was Quartararo and 0.9s later came Aleix.
A small mistake by Bastianini then allowed ‘Pecco’ and Maverick to distance themselves almost 0.4s from the Gresini pilot. Bagnaia’s excellent breaking skills prevented the Aprilia rider from overtaking him.
‘The Beast’ goes on the attack
With only eight turns left to the finish line, Bastianini devoured Viñales. The struggle between the two had given Bagnaia a break and he was able to open a 0.6s gap. In a short space of time, ‘Top Gun’ was losing steam. The duel between the two future Ducati teammates was served, and it would develop over some thrilling final laps.
Both compatriots were rolling parallel to each other while Bastianini was closely chasing Bagnaia with Maverick 0.2 away in ten. On the final lap, ‘The Beast’ got so close to Pecco that he had to perform a dodging manoeuvre in order to avoid crashing against him.
That incident gave Bagnaia a few thousandths of a second extra. Despite the scare, ‘The Beast’ returned to the fray, got into ‘Pecco’s slipstream on the finish straight and became only a few millimetres away from winning. Viñales arrived behind.
Images of San Marino MotoGP 2022: Ducati Corse.