Bagnaia fights off Quartararo to win Spanish GP at Jerez - The Race
MotoGP

Bagnaia fights off Quartararo to win Spanish GP at Jerez

May 1 2022
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Ducati MotoGP rider Francesco Bagnaia defeated Fabio Quartararo in a sizzling duel at Jerez to end his poor start to the 2022 MotoGP season.

Bagnaia had finished no higher than fifth in the five preceding events, but rode a masterful race to defeat pre-weekend favourite Quartararo.

At the start, Bagnaia successfully fought off a marginally better getaway from the Yamaha man by beating him on the brakes at Turn 1, as the pair immediately began to prove pre-race expectations correct by mounting an early breakaway.

But while Quartararo did initially tucked in right behind Bagnaia and mounted a semi-challenge for the lead on the third lap, he then dropped half a second back from the Italian.

By the time the race reached its halfway point, Quartararo had over five seconds in hand over the chasing pack, led by Jack Miller, yet he was now trailing Bagnaia by eight tenths.

After several laps of trying to make a permanent dent in that gap, Quartararo finally closed to within four tenths of Bagnaia with two laps left to run but the Italian held firm to win by 0.285s.

Behind the pair, Miller spent most of the race fending off Marc Marquez and Aleix Espargaro for third, but on the 20th lap Marquez finally found a way through, throwing his Honda down the inside of Miller at the fast Sito Pons corner.

Espargaro then aggressively divebombed Miller into the Jorge Lorenzo corner, and then instantly picked up another position as Marquez folded the front right ahead, somehow keeping his Honda upright with his knee but then also letting Miller back through into Turn 1.

While Espargaro escaped into the distance virtually right away, Marquez did ultimately secure fourth by passing Miller on the final lap.

Joan Mir finished a quite race in sixth, having briefly threatened a podium challenge that never quite materialised. Behind the Suzuki, under-threat LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami bagged his best finish of the season in seventh, while Gresini Ducati’s Enea Bastianini passed VR46 rookie Marco Bezzecchi on the final lap to claim ninth place.

Brad Binder was the lead KTM in 10th place, 20 seconds off the winner.

Espargaro’s Aprilia team-mate Maverick Vinales slipped to second-to-last after a dreadful start and could only recover to 14th, beating his Yamaha replacement Franco Morbidelli in a last-lap tussle.

It was a nightmare race for Suzuki’s Alex Rins, who had entered the weekend level with Quartararo at the top of the standings. Having made early progress to 12th place, he then lost positions by running wide at the final corner before then taking a lengthy trip through the gravel at Turn 12 – which effectively ended his chances at scoring.

Pramac Ducati rider Jorge Martin and Honda wildcard Stefan Bradl both crashed in near-tandem at the final corner on the opening lap, and while both got back on their bikes, Bradl then crashed again a few laps later to exit the race.

Also leaving the race due to crashes were Martin’s team-mate Johann Zarco and RNF Yamaha rookie Darryn Binder.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Bike Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 25 25 41m0.554s 1m37.669s 0 25
2 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 25 0 +0.285s 1m37.678s 0 20
3 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia 25 0 +10.977s 1m38.184s 0 16
4 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 25 0 +12.676s 1m38.059s 0 13
5 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 25 0 +12.957s 1m38.14s 0 11
6 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 25 0 +13.934s 1m38.222s 0 10
7 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 25 0 +14.929s 1m38.472s 0 9
8 Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 25 0 +18.436s 1m38.567s 0 8
9 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 25 0 +18.83s 1m38.553s 0 7
10 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 25 0 +20.056s 1m38.55s 0 6
11 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 25 0 +20.856s 1m38.545s 0 5
12 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 25 0 +23.131s 1m38.609s 0 4
13 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 25 0 +25.306s 1m38.851s 0 3
14 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Aprilia 25 0 +27.358s 1m38s 0 2
15 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 25 0 +27.519s 1m38.643s 0 1
16 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 25 0 +29.278s 1m39.029s 0 0
17 Andrea Dovizioso WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 25 0 +35.204s 1m38.983s 0 0
18 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 25 0 +35.361s 1m39.142s 0 0
19 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 25 0 +38.922s 1m38.556s 0 0
20 Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 25 0 +43.378s 1m39.068s 0 0
21 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Aprilia 25 0 +44.299s 1m39.409s 0 0
22 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 25 0 +1m07.681s 1m38.74s 0 0
Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda 10 0 DNF 1m38.926s 0 0
Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 9 0 DNF 1m38.429s 0 0
Darryn Binder WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 5 0 DNF 1m38.948s 0 0

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