Bagnaia wins at Assen, Quartararo crashes into Espargaro - The Race
MotoGP

Bagnaia wins at Assen, Quartararo crashes into Espargaro

Jun 26 2022
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia won the 2022 edition of the Dutch TT at Assen, as MotoGP championship leader Fabio Quartararo crashed into his main title rival Aleix Espargaro.

The fifth lap of the race marked comfortably the most contentious incident of the 2022 title race so far, as Quartararo lunged down the inside of Espargaro at Strubben for second place and went wide, crashing moments later and taking Espargaro with him into the gravel.

The Aprilia man was able to roll out and continue in 15th, while Quartararo remounted but struggled to extract any meaningful pace in the likely-damaged Yamaha M1 – pulling into the pits and then rejoining to have a massive highside at, again, Strubben. It marked the reigning champion’s first MotoGP retirement since 2021.

Quartararo was having to find a way through on Espargaro in the first place because he’d allowed the Aprilia man through while running wide at Turn 1 in an attempt to put opening-lap pressure on Bagnaia.

He’d also dropped behind Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin but immediately re-passed him and then pulled off an actual clean move on Espargaro at Strubben that nonetheless wasn’t enough to keep him ahead for the rest of the lap.

Bagnaia, Espargaro and Quartararo then established themselves as the lead group, but Esparagro’s ill-fated overtaking attempt suddenly made things so much more comfortable for the Italian, handing him a lead of a second over VR46 rookie and fellow Valentino Rossi protege Marco Bezzecchi.

That lead started to oscillate a bit when rain drops threatened to turn into something more for the final 10 laps of the race, but anything close to a proper shower wouldn’t follow – and Bagnaia comfortably saw out the race.

Bezzecchi bagged the first rookie podium of the season (and his VR46’s maiden podium in MotoGP) behind him, while Maverick Vinales celebrated his first podium on the Aprilia – having last visited the rostrum on the Yamaha at the same track last year.

Vinales’ podium was made possible by him seeing off a late attack from Jack Miller, who thrived in the uncertain late-race conditions, having recovered from 10th after serving a long-lap penalty for impeding none other than Vinales in qualifying.

Miller lunged down the inside of Vinales at the Geert Timmer chicane on the penultimate lap but couldn’t make the move stick, instead dropping into the clutches of KTM’s Brad Binder.

However, the real show was yet to come. Charging from 15th place, Espargaro arrived on the back of the duo and passed both in one move into the Geert Timmer chicane on the final lap, securing fourth place and reducing Quartararo’s championship lead to 21 points.

Binder also found his way through Miller for fifth, while Martin – who ran third for much of the race but floundered once grip worsened – settling for eighth.

Joan Mir was bizarrely hit by Miguel Oliveira’s KTM on the grid, and ended up beating Oliveira to eighth by a tenth of a second – with Mir’s Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins another three tenths back.

Quartararo, who arrived to Espargaro’s pit box after the race to apologise, wasn’t the only Yamaha rider to hit the deck, with Franco Morbidelli likewise falling at Strubben – albeit just the once – soon after being assessed a double long-lap penalty for failing to serve the original penalty he’d incurred for impeding in practice.

RNF Yamaha rookie Darryn Binder fell, too, his M1 torn to pieces by the gravel trap at Stekkenwal, while Andrea Dovizioso’s 16th-place finish ensured Yamaha took no points out of Assen.

The only rider to retire aside from the three Yamahas was Raul Fernandez of Tech3 KTM, the rookie pulling into the pits with a reported case of arm pump.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Bike Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 26 26 40m25.205s 1m32.608s 0 25
2 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.689s 0 20
3 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Aprilia 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.688s 0 16
4 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.5s 0 13
5 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.694s 0 11
6 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.769s 0 10
7 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.673s 0 9
8 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.635s 0 8
9 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.969s 0 7
10 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.629s 0 6
11 Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.897s 0 5
12 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.862s 0 4
13 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m32.874s 0 3
14 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m33.057s 0 2
15 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m33.246s 0 1
16 Andrea Dovizioso WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m33.582s 0 0
17 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m33.774s 0 0
18 Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda 26 0 +-40m0-46s 1m33.676s 0 0
19 Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 26 0 +-40m0-45s 1m33.742s 0 0
20 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Aprilia 26 0 +-40m0-45s 1m33.727s 0 0
Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 18 0 DNF 1m34.068s 0 0
Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 11 0 DNF 1m32.603s 0 0
Darryn Binder WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 8 0 DNF 1m33.722s 0 0
Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 8 0 DNF 1m33.999s 0 0

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