MotoGP: Ducati’s Bagnaia muscles past KTM duo to victory

Heartbreak for KTM’s Brad Binder and Jack Miller as relentless Pecco Bagnaia wins Spain GP, while Oliveira suffers a dislocated shoulder.

MotoGP: Ducati’s Bagnaia muscles past KTM duo to victory
Ducati's Francesco 'Pecco' Bagnaia stormed past the KTM speed merchants Brad Binder and Jack Miller to win the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Spanish GP was nothing short of twists and turns, crashes and if that wasn’t enough drama then there was also a restart after Lap 1. Ducati’s Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia stormed past the KTM speed merchants Brad Binder and Jack Miller to win the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez and retake the lead in the standings. 

Spanish GP: Red-flagged

From the word go, pole sitter, Aleix Espargaro had no answer to the blistering pace of Miller and Binder as the KTM eased past the Aprilia rider. Miller’s lead was cut short as his teammate overtook him on Turn 6. The race got more intense for the 2021 world champion Fabio Quartararo who got sandwiched between Marco Bezzecchi and Miguel Oliveira when all three riders were exiting Turn 2. Yamaha rider Quartararo’s handle clipped Bezzecchi’s VR46 Ducati motorcycle and in this process, the RNF Aprilia rider, Oliveira, was taken out of the race. Unfortunately, the Portuguese rider suffered a dislocated shoulder after the crash. Sadly, this is the second time this season Oliveira has been wiped out of a race with no fault of his.

Due to multiple crashes, the race was red-flagged. Unfortunately for Yamaha, the race stewards awarded Quartararo a long lap penalty due to irresponsible riding. 

Spanish GP: A class above the rest

Pecco Bagnaia showcased his hunger to win the grand prix and earned a hard-fought victory at Jerez. Starting from P5, he was quick off the blocks at was third behind Miller and Binder. The drama unfolded on Lap 4 when Binder blazed past his Australian teammate for the second time on the final turn to take the lead. With Miller feeling flustered after losing P1, Pecco took advantage of this and muscled past the KTM rider in the next lap. Temperature between the two riders started soaring as Miller wildly gestured to Pecco showing his frustration on this overtaking move. 

On Lap 8, the Aussie received some justice as Pecco was instructed to drop a position for recklessly overtaking Miller on Lap 5. The defending champion adhered to this only to overtake the KTM rider within no time and set his eyes on the South African rider, Binder. With only four laps left, the countdown had begun and the Ducati rider took his chances by first putting Binder under pressure and then blazing past him. As expected, the KTM rider did not meekly surrender and took the fight to the finish line only to find out that the ice-cool Bagnaia was in no mood to give up his advantage and bagged the chequered flag. 

Spanish GP: The rest of the pack

For a moment, it looked like the battle for P3 was brewing between Miller and Pramac’s Jorge Martin, but the Australian managed to keep the Italian rider at bay. Pole sitter Espargaro had to settle for a humble fifth position as his Aprilia couldn’t match the pace of the Ducatis and KTMs. As a wild card entry, the ‘Little Samurai’, Dani Pedrosa, took part in the Spanish GP and clocked the fastest lap on Friday’s Free Practice. Sadly, the veteran rider couldn’t manage a podium finish but took a respectable P7. This is Pedrosa’s second wildcard entry after Styria in 2021. Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami of LCR Honda came eighth and ninth respectively while Quartararo finished 10th.

Also Read: Perez beats Max to win at Baku; Leclerc takes first podium in 2023 for Ferrari 

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First published on: 03-05-2023 at 15:01 IST