Bastianini wins Aragon GP, pips Francesco Bagnaia; Quartararo crash leaves the title race wide open | The Financial Express

Bastianini wins Aragon GP, pips Francesco Bagnaia; Quartararo crash leaves the title race wide open

The Aragon GP has changed the game completely and has tossed the riders’ championship 2022 up in the air.

Bastianini wins Aragon GP, pips Francesco Bagnaia; Quartararo crash leaves the title race wide open

Francesco Bagnaia was denied at MotorLand Aragon as his future teammate Enea Bastianini made a swift move on the Ducati rider at turn seven on the final lap to win the Aragon Grand Prix. The 24-year-old Gresini rider came off second best to Bagnaia at Misano last week in what was another epic close hunt.

Six-time premier class world champion Marc Marquez returned to the grid after a successful surgery on his injured right arm, which had forced him out for 112 days. 

The Honda rider’s return didn’t quite go as he would’ve planned but he has surely blown the title race wide open as he closed the door on reigning champion Fabio Quartararo at turn three.

Quartararo, unaware, rammed his Yamaha into the rear of Marquez’s Honda, which left him sliding across the asphalt. The Frenchman’s misery didn’t end here as he later revealed that he was involved in another incident on his way back to pitlane as a marshal crashed head-to-head into the scooter he was on.

Thankfully, the 23-year-old escaped serious injuries on both occasions and walked away with some bruises on his torso.

Moments later, in a similar turn of events, LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami ran into the back of Marquez, meanwhile getting eliminated on the spot and forcing the Spaniard to retire at the end of lap one on his return.

Bagnaia led the majority of the race against his compatriot Bastianini, who was closely chasing him within a fluctuating time gap of seven-tenths and four-tenths, before being overtaken by the latter in the final lap.

The Ducati rider crossed the finish line at second and has now bagged 201 points in the season – second to leader Quartararo who failed to add to his tally of 211.

Aleix Espargaro, who occupied the fourth spot for a better part of the grand prix, made a move on the inside of Brad Binder’s KTM to secure his first podium since the Italian MotoGP in May. Binder was followed by future teammate Jack Miller.

Pramac’s Jorge Martin crossed the finish line in sixth followed by VR46 rider Luca Marini. Johann Zarco finished eighth ahead of Alex Rins, who recovered on his Suzuki after being forced off the track due to the Marquez-Quartararo clash during lap one.

VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi finished tenth ahead of KTM’s Miguel Oliveira. LCR Honda’s Alex Marquez got the better of his compatriot Maverick Vinales with Cal Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro grabbing the last points on the offering.

The Aragon GP has changed the game completely and has tossed the riders’ championship 2022 up in the air. With five races to go, the top three contenders, Quartararo, Bagnaia and Espargaro are separated by merely 17 points as an in-form Bastianini, with momentum on his side, is on the hunt with 163 points bagged so far.

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