Double blow for Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) in Jerez! The reigning world champion won the Spanish Grand Prix, the fourth round of the MotoGP season, and took the championship lead on Sunday in Jerez. The Turinese, in search of redemption after falling during the last two courses, struck a blow in the Andalusian heat by winning his 13th victory in the premier category, the day after his second place in the sprint.
Starting from fifth place, ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia made the superiority of his Desmosedici speak to take on his adversaries: he quickly got behind the two KTMs of Jack Miller and Brad Binder, before overtaking them. He first overtook the Australian shortly after halfway, before obliterating the South African with four laps to go. This time, the Italian made no mistake, resisting Binder’s desperate attacks well on the last lap, and crossed at the first finish line.
22 steps ahead
Arrived in Spain 11 lengths behind Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati-VR46) in the world championship standings, Bagnaia will tackle the next race, the French Grand Prix at Le Mans in two weeks, 22 lengths ahead of his compatriot, which fell on Sunday, and 25 on Binder. KTM also had a fast weekend in Spain, placing both of its riders on the sprint podium on Saturday, with the added bonus of Binder’s win, and also the race on Sunday.
Quite the opposite of Yamaha, which again disappointed on a circuit which nevertheless succeeded in the Japanese team. Two weeks after securing his first podium of the season in Austin, Frenchman Fabio Quartararo struggled all weekend. Only 16th in qualifying, the worst result of his career since his debut in the premier category in 2019, and 12th in the sprint on Saturday, the 2021 world champion however limited the damage on Sunday by taking 10th place.
During the first start, Fabio Quartararo had crashed at the second corner of the first lap. The 2021 world champion remained on the ground for a few minutes before getting up and limping off. After contact with Bezzecchi, the Niçois had slipped and dragged down the unfortunate Portuguese Miguel Oliveira (Aprilia-RNF), who was hit in the shoulder and forced to retire.
After quickly returning to the Yamaha pit, the Frenchman was able to take the second start, but was fined a “long lap” penalty, a borrow to divert in a turn. Unfortunately, he went out too wide while doing it and had to do it again, losing precious places despite having made a good start. In the standings, ‘El Diablo’, who on Saturday had a rant against his stable where “competent people are missing” according to him, is already relegated to 47 lengths from Bagnaia.
The other Frenchman Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac) will also leave Andalusia with regrets. While he had a good race in fifth position after starting from eighth place, he fell eight laps from the end. The Avignonnais thus saw the possibility of scoring points in the world championship slip away, where he fell to ninth place, 41 behind the leader.