Pecco Bagnaia, the MotoGP world champion, arrived at the Spanish GP with doubts. The Italian came out reinforced and with the World Championship lead after tying the mighty KTM short and taking out the hammer four laps from the end to pass Brad Binder, one of the riders with the most pace this weekend, at the Lorenzo curve. After losing 45 very valuable points in two crashes that were difficult to justify in Argentina and the United States, the Ducati powerhouse gave a real lesson when it came to managing a race that turned uphill for him.
The commissioners forced him to give up a place on the eighth lap when he was already touching the rear of the South African, leader from the first bars until the Italian’s final hack. An aggressive pass on former teammate Jack Miller, ultimately third on Sunday, earned him a reckless driving penalty in an incident that underscored just how strict the judges have been in the premier class. The step back forced him to row behind the Australian again and to think very carefully about how to overtake him. Binder had almost a second ahead at various stages, but Bagnaia launched his final attack on lap 15, overtaking the Australian and closing the gap with his cool, methodical head. In the last corner of the Ángel Nieto circuit, on lap 21, he caught up with his rival for the win and managed to stay ahead of him without mistakes until the checkered flag.
“After two zeros it was not easy. I was trying to understand if I could push or not, if it was possible”, the number one in the championship was happy, now leading with a 22-point margin over Marco Bezzecchi, who fell on lap 17. “Number one!” exploded Davide Tardozzi, his boisterous team manager, in the garage. The victory was celebrated in style in the Ducati workshop, aware of the importance of scaring away the demons of Bagnaia, which last year had to overcome a 91-point difference to win the title after registering five zeros due to unsuccessful errors. forced. Those from Termas and Austin in this start of the course once again placed clouds in the mind of the champion, who last year already imposed himself with authority on the Andalusian track.
“We have to keep this weekend as the example to follow. Getting out of difficulties like this is something very important, ”she reflected to the DAZN microphones. “Work hard, and do things with your head”, he pointed out to maintain a line that makes him once again the rival to beat for the title. Bagnaia started Friday with more doubts than ever, falling out of the Top 10 and being forced to go through the sieve in the fight for the pole position. He took a step forward on Saturday being fifth on the grid and second in the ‘sprint’, and on Sunday he finished adjusting his “too perfect” machine, as he himself defined it after not understanding his fall in Austin. “I’m very happy. We have made a lot of progress. The step in front of the team has been magnificent ”, he concluded.
Despite missing out on victory, KTM completed its best weekend in MotoGP with the presence of its two official motorcycles on the podium of the race at sprint and the long race on Sunday. The Austrian brand emerged as a possible rival to the Ducatis in the fight for the title. Binder, who tried unsuccessfully to return the play to him in the last turn, is now third in the table at 25 points. Dani Pedrosa, a luxury guest in the event and the most acclaimed rider in the stands at Jerez, finished seventh, six seconds behind the winner after losing just one position compared to his position on the grid. The man from Castellar, a key piece as a tester for the Mattighofen factory, gave a good review of the new batch of talents at 37 years of age. In what is his second race without a Honda, the machine that accompanied him throughout his career until his retirement in 2018, showed that his speed and talent are not so easy to find among the current generation. of pilots.
Aleix Espargaró, who was leaving in pole with the Aprilia, he showed once again that they still lack a little to aspire to everything in Noale, falling to fifth place without being able to keep up with the leading Ducati and KTM. 80,000 fans came to see the race on Sunday for a total of 163,000 over the weekend, a notable increase compared to last year, although these figures are far from the best historical records. The public was able to enjoy an electrical test that had a red flag on both Saturday and Sunday. In the first start, an accident between Fabio Quartararo and Miguel Oliveira in the second corner forced the suspension of the race.
The Portuguese, who was already the victim of the attack of Marc Márquez in the first appointment of the course, took the worst part and had to be transferred by ambulance to the medical center with a dislocated left shoulder. The Frenchman from Yamaha lay for a few seconds on the gravel, but was able to get up and go limping, but in a hurry, to take part in the restart. He finished tenth and exhausted the grand prix after twice serving the long lap penalty imposed for throwing Oliveira, since on the first occasion he stepped on the white line that delimits the track limits, annulling its validity.
Classification of the Spanish GP