The Mugello Circuit witnessed one of the most surprising results in Qualifying and then the race on Sunday was equally exciting to witness. Fabio Di Giannantonio managed to start the race from pole position despite being relatively new in the premier class. The end of the race, however, saw a poetic finish with Francesco Bagnaia, an Italian rider on an Italian bike, riding for an Italian team and winning at the famed Mugello Circuit in Italy. This was also the last race for Marc Marquez before he takes an indefinite break from the season to treat his arm injury. The race also saw Jorge Martin of Prima Pramac Racing set the top speed record for the track by barreling his Ducati at 363.3kmph down the pit straight.
By hanging on to second place in this race, Quartararo has managed to stay at the top of the Rider’s Championship. Aleix Espargaro, who seems to be flying on his RS-GP this season, is just eight points behind while Bastianini, despite not finishing the race, sits in third.
‘Pecco’ Bagnaia displayed a great performance, redeeming himself after his crash in the last race. He left the grid in P5 and made his way through other Ducatis and more crucially Fabio Quartararo, to get to the front of the line. The factory Ducati rider led the race starting from Lap 9 once he overtook Marco Bezzechi, who had been fending him off for a while. His teammate, Jack Miller, who has been showing excellent pace so far in the season, was having a bit of a slow weekend as the Aussie finished just inside the points.
Fabio Di Giannantonio, the rookie that made it to the top spot in Qualifying could not hold onto P1 for very long. The Italian ride would have loved to finish the race on the podium but instead kept losing spots lap after lap. He managed to stay in P5 for a while but by Lap 10, he was riding in 10th place. His teammate, Enea Bastianini, who is in contention to win the Rider’s Championship was not having the best race today. During Lap 14, he lost the front and went into the gravel trap, ending his race. Before the crash, he was battling Johann Zarco for 6th place and could have racked a few crucial points had he finished the race.
As has been the case since the start of the 2022 season, Fabio Quartararo was wringing the neck of his Yamaha R1 to keep it in the front part of the pack. Despite the lack of top speed, Fabio consistently found a few tenths of a second in Sectors 2 and 3. He started in P6 with an intimidating pack of Ducatis in front and behind. As the race progressed, the flying Frenchman slowly but surely picked off the riders in front one by one. Lap 6 saw him slipping past Luca Marini and securing P2, the position he finished the race in. In stark contrast to this, Yamaha’s other rider, Franco Morbidelli started in P23 and only made his way up to P17.
A team that has not seen a lot of front-row action but was very much in the limelight this weekend was Mooney VR46 Racing Team. Team owner and legendary MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi’s iconic number 46 was retired on Saturday and then both riders from the team were on the front row when the race started on Sunday. Luca Marini lunged to the top spot in the very first lap of the race. He was overtaken only by his teammate Marco Bezzecchi a few laps later. This is Bezzecchi’s first year in MotoGP and he finished the race in Tuscany with a career-best P5, his teammate Luca Marini finishing right behind him in P6
Aleix Espargaro continued his streak of finishing on the podium with this race marking his fourth consecutive P3 finish this season. The Spaniard was seen desperately fighting his way from P7, trying to out-brake and overtake the less experienced Ducati riders in front. Maverick Vinales, the other Aprilia rider, also made the most out of the situation by finishing in P12 after a rather bad qualifying session that saw him starting in P24.
News of Suzuki exiting MotoGP at the end of the season seems to have had a rather negative impact on the riders as well. Both Alex Rins and Joan Mir were not able to find good lap times in Qualifying and the race on Sunday wasn’t any kinder. Joan Mir crashed during Lap 8, making this his second consecutive DNF. Just moments after Mir, Alex also crashed and could not finish the race. Suzuki has really gone from becoming top spot contenders to dropping to the bottom of the barrel.
Repsol Honda is not having a great time either and things don’t seem to be looking up anytime soon. Pol Espargaro retired from the race after a crash while Marc Marquez put up a valiant effort to finish in P10. He suffered a brutal highside in Q2 that resulted in his RC213V bursting into flames. The seven-time world champion is set to take a break from racing to get his arm operated for the fourth time and we are not sure when we will see number 93 on the track again.
Brad Binder was once again the star rider for KTM as he climbed up from P16 to P7, bringing home enough points to keep him in the 7th place in the Rider’s Championship too. His teammate Miguel Olivera was just two spots behind him.
2022 MotoGP: Italian GP results (Top 15)
|1||Francesco Bagnaia||Ducati Lenovo Team||41’34.6130|
|2||Fabio Quartararo||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||+0.635|
|3||Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia Racing||+1.983|
|4||Johann Zarco||Prima Pramac Racing||+2.590|
|5||Marco Bezzecchi||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||+3.067|
|6||Luca Marini||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||+3.875|
|7||Brad Binder||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+4.067|
|8||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||+10.944|
|9||Miguel Oliveira||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+11.256|
|10||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||+11.800|
|11||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Gresini Racing MotoGP||+12.916|
|12||Maverick Vinales||Aprilia Racing||+12.917|
|13||Jorge Martin||Prima Pramac Racing||+17.240|
|14||Alex Marquez||LCR Honda CASTROL||+17.568|
|15||Jack Miller||Ducati Lenovo Team||+17.687|