until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Bagnaia boosts title hopes with Mugello MotoGP double

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Reigning MotoGP champion Pecco Bagnaia completed a Mugello double by dominating the relatively-processional 23-lap Italian Grand Prix.

Bagnaia led a 1-2 for the factory Ducati bikes - running a special blue livery in honour of the Italian national team instead of their usual red colours - as championship leader Jorge Martin let second place slip away at the final corner.

A grid penalty for impeding Alex Marquez on Friday had relegated Bagnaia off the front row, but it made zero difference to his race. He was third coming out San Donato after the start, outdragged team-mate Enea Bastianini on corner exit and then lunged down the inside of leader Martin.

There was no beating Bagnaia from there on, although his lead never grew particularly large - and, in fact, he allowed for a brief late moment of tension as Martin closed back in.

Staying in range of Bagnaia, Martin ended up just two tenths of a second off Bagnaia when the champion ran an untidy lap 21 of 23, but Bagnaia responded immediately to reassert his dominance.

Martin seemed to accept defeat there - but perhaps wouldn't have expected that he'd have another battle on his hands before the chequered flag.

It was a leading quartet for most of the race, with Bastianini and Marc Marquez tucked in behind the leading duo but unable to make much of an impression.

Marquez, whose 2023-spec Gresini Ducati was emitting some smoke from his rear as he engaged the ride height device coming onto the main straight, finally worked his way past Bastianini with a fairly audacious lunge at the first corner.

But his pace immediately evaporated from there, and Bastianini repassed him into Scarperia on the penultimate lap.

Remarkably, he still had enough time to chase down Martin, too, and Martin running wide at the final corner, Bucine, opened the door for Bastianini to steal second place, as the top three finished within a second.

Marquez settled for fourth, another second back. He trails Martin by 35 points coming out of Mugello, while Bagnaia is now 18 points back from Martin.

Pedro Acosta tried to keep up with the Ducati quartet in the early stages, but simply didn't have the pace. It resigned him to a lonely race in fifth, as by far the best of the KTM RC16 runners on his Tech3-run, Gas Gas-badged machine.

Franco Morbidelli took sixth for Pramac Ducati, completing by far his best weekend since joining the team, while Fabio Di Giannantonio (VR46 Ducati) nearly denied him the place with a late charge.

On a pretty beige day for Aprilia, Maverick Vinales was the sole rider in the field to roll the dice on a medium rear tyre - rather than the soft rear - and spent most of the grand prix boxed in behind Morbidelli.

His pace then dropped away and he was overtaken by Di Giannantonio before finishing eighth.

Alex Marquez made it seven Ducatis in the top nine - with only Marco Bezzecchi, the eighth Ducati rider, cut adrift in 13th.

Brad Binder (KTM) defeated Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) to salvage a top-10 from a distinctly unimpressive weekend, albeit still better than the one of team-mate Jack Miller - who finished 16th, fighting off KTM wildcard Pol Espargaro on the final lap.

Yamaha's early-weekend promise amounted to nothing more than one point, scored by Alex Rins in 15th place.

But it was still much more than Honda even dared dream of, as it had factory rider Joan Mir and LCR rider Takaki Nakagami crash out and had Johann Zarco (LCR) as its top finisher in 19th place, over half a minute down on Bagnaia.

The only other retirement besides the two Hondas was Augusto Fernandez, who had to park his Gas Gas-badged KTM in the pits with an apparent issue.

Race Results

PosNameCarLapsLaps LedTotal TimeFastest LapPitstopsPts
1Francesco BagnaiaDucati232340m51.385s1m45.770s037
2Enea BastianiniDucati230+0.799s1m45.973s020
3Jorge MartinDucati230+0.924s1m45.975s016
4Marc MarquezDucati230+2.064s1m46.105s022
5Pedro AcostaKTM230+7.501s1m46.052s018
6Franco MorbidelliDucati230+9.890s1m46.044s016
7Fabio Di GiannantonioDucati230+10.076s1m46.405s012
8Maverick ViñalesAprilia230+11.683s1m46.291s013
9Alex MarquezDucati230+13.535s1m46.396s09
10Brad BinderKTM230+15.901s1m46.416s010
11Aleix EspargaróAprilia230+19.182s1m46.542s06
12Raul FernandezAprilia230+20.307s1m46.305s04
13Marco BezzecchiDucati230+20.346s1m46.752s03
14Miguel OliveiraAprilia230+23.292s1m46.593s02
15Alex RinsYamaha230+23.613s1m46.673s01
16Jack MillerKTM230+28.417s1m46.994s00
17Pol EspargaróKTM230+28.778s1m46.989s00
18Fabio QuartararoYamaha230+30.622s1m46.988s00
19Johann ZarcoHonda230+31.457s1m47.061s00
20Luca MariniHonda230+32.310s1m47.179s00
21Lorenzo SavadoriAprilia230+46.724s1m47.592s00
Takaaki NakagamiHonda90DNF1m47.147s00
Joan MirHonda60DNF1m47.289s00
Augusto FernandezKTM40DNF1m47.348s00
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