San Marino MotoGP 2021: Bagnaia keeps the championship alive after winning at home

‘Pecco’ Bagnaia (Ducati) has claimed his second consecutive victory with a commanding win at the San Marino MotoGP 2021. In second came the leader of the standings Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha). 

Despite getting dangerously close to the Italian during the final laps, the French pilot has been unable to pass him, crossing the finish lane 0.364 seconds behind the local winner. A sensational Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) completed the podium, his first in MotoGP.

 An equally outstanding Marc Marquez arrived in fourth just short of the champagne positions. After having suffered another two falls this weekend, to make up a total of 20 this year, he has given a truly remarkable performance, especially considering this is a particularly hostile appointment for the Spaniard. After a great maniouvre, the Catalan overtook Miller & Mir in the last lap of the race.

The greatest loser of the day was Jack Miller (Ducati). Bagnaia’s Australian teammate finished down in fifth from a starting second place, even though he was propped up one position following a penalty to Joan Mir, who fell to sixth place.

This was also a dreadful Sunday for Jorge Martín (Pramac Racing) who went to the ground when he was running fourth and after having been sanctioned with two long-lap penalties. 

After his home success, the #63 has shortened his distance with ‘El Diablo’ in the standings to 48 points, 4 less than one week before. Specifically, Bagania now treasures 186 points, against the 234 of Quartararo. With four races remaining and 100 units at stake, however, the Frenchman still has the situation under control… for now.

Joan Mir‘s (Suzuki) poor result means he is now third in the classification with 168 points, 66 away from the top. The crown defendant’s chances of revalidating his title are getting increasingly slimmer. 

The San Marino GP was partly decided right at the start, as poleman Bagnaia shoot off with extraordinary speed during the initial meters. Thanks to that brilliant exit he soon left all rivals behind by almost 1.5 seconds and, most importantly, avoided any risk of brushing others and falling. 

Miller, on the contrary, was unable to keep up with his teammate and kept losing ground to both him and to his pursuer, Quartararo, winner in Portugal, Italy, Holland & Great Britain. After the halfway point, on lap 13 of 27, the latter finally surpassed the Australian, on his mission to stop Bagnaia from escaping.

From that moment on, the Frenchman commenced his hunt for the local hero. He clenched his fists and managed to get hot on the heels of the #63 just when the performance of the Ducati tires was starting to decline

Bagnaia’s loss of speed coupled with Qartararo’s sensational driving meant both rivals for the win arrived at the three final laps with matching forces. The national idol, however, kept his cool and conquered his second consecutive victory in San Marino, giving at the same time an eight-point bite to Quartararo’s lead in the standings.

 An unexpected Bastianini came behind the two protagonists at the San Marino MotoGP 2021. The 2020 Moto2 World Champion imposed a merciless pace –3 lap records– during the final phase of the race devouring several rivals on his way to claim the first MotoGP podium of his career.

 He got to such speed that he broke the track’s record three times in a row. Marc Marquez crossed the finish line after him, taking a result well above his own expectations and despite the ongoing pain in his shoulder.

Images of San Marino MotoGP 2021: Michelin Motorsport.

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