Bastianini wins French GP as Bagnaia crashes out after duel - The Race

Bastianini wins French GP as Bagnaia crashes out after duel

May 15 2022
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Enea Bastianini claimed his third win of the 2022 MotoGP season on a year-old Ducati at Le Mans, launching himself back into the thick of the title battle.

Gresini rider Bastianini outduelled Francesco Bagnaia to take the lead mere corners before the latter promptly crashed out, dashing Ducati’s hopes of a podium lockout.

At the start, poleman Bagnaia was beaten by team-mate Jack Miller immediately off the line, and a bold trajectory into Turn 1 allowed Bastianini to relegate him to third place.

Yet Bagnaia got back past Bastianini during the first lap, and eroded an early Miller lead to pounce on lap four, as the Aussie went wide at La Musee and yielded the place coming into Garage Vert.

Behind them, pre-race favourite Fabio Quartararo had suffered a poor start and dropped to as low as ninth as a result of an aggressive Takaaki Nakagami counter-attack, but soon settled into sixth place as part of a three-rider group chasing the three Ducatis out front. This would become a two-rider group a few laps later as Mir went down from fourth place.

Bagnaia didn’t make a break for it once clearing Miller, but the Aussie soon fell into the clutches of Bastianini’s year-old Ducati, which slid up down his inside at Garage Vert approaching the halfway point in the race. Miller dropped away soon after as Bastianini began to ramp up pressure on Bagnaia.

On the 21st lap, that pressure finally translated into an overtake at the Dunlop chicane – but Bastianini then ran wide at La Chapelle and handed the lead back to Bagnaia.

Yet this proved a temporary setback as Bagnaia first got Garage Vert all wrong to lose first place, and then crashed out later in the lap at Raccordement.

Bagnaia’s crash promoted Miller to second, the Aussie finishing 2.7s behind Bastianini, and Aleix Espargaro to the final podium position.

The Aprilia rider fought off Quartararo to finish a tenth ahead, and is now four points behind the Yamaha man in the standings – with Bastianini a further four behind.

Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) completed a lonely race in fifth, seven seconds off compatriot Quartararo, while Marc Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR) led Honda’s efforts in seventh and eighth.

Early contact with Zarco cost Brad Binder a left winglet, but his KTM RC16 remained competitive enough for him to finish eighth, ahead of Luca Marini (VR46 Ducati) and Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) – the latter having to recover from a start that dropped him outside the top 20.

Marquez’s factory Honda team-mate Pol Espargaro was compromised late on by having to avoid the spinning KTM of Miguel Oliveira – after Oliveira crashed at the Dunlop chicane – and had to settle for 11th, ahead of top rookie Marco Bezzecchi.

Neither Suzuki rider finished the first race following the announcement their employer was seeking to quit MotoGP at the end of the year. Alex Rins crashed out of third a few laps before Mir, having gone straight on in at Turn 2 and falling after a hard bounce on the kerbs once momentum brought him back onto the track at the Dunlop chicane.

There was also a fall for Jorge Martin at Chemin aux Boeufs, marking his fifth non-score in seven races, and crashes for Tech3 KTM rookie duo Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez a handful of laps apart.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Bike Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 27 7 41m34.613s 1m31.885s 0 25
2 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 27 3 +2.718s 1m32.163s 0 20
3 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia 27 0 +4.182s 1m31.946s 0 16
4 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 27 0 +4.288s 1m31.947s 0 13
5 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 27 0 +11.139s 1m32.145s 0 11
6 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 27 0 +15.155s 1m32.349s 0 10
7 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 27 0 +16.68s 1m32.394s 0 9
8 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 27 0 +18.459s 1m32.404s 0 8
9 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 27 0 +20.541s 1m32.409s 0 7
10 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Aprilia 27 0 +21.486s 1m32.397s 0 6
11 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 27 0 +22.707s 1m32.461s 0 5
12 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 27 0 +23.408s 1m32.076s 0 4
13 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 27 0 +26.432s 1m32.636s 0 3
14 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 27 0 +28.71s 1m32.729s 0 2
15 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 27 0 +29.433s 1m32.76s 0 1
16 Andrea Dovizioso WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 27 0 +38.149s 1m32.87s 0 0
17 Darryn Binder WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 27 0 +59.748s 1m33.528s 0 0
Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 24 0 DNF 1m32.484s 0 0
Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 20 17 DNF 1m31.778s 0 0
Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 16 0 DNF 1m32.294s 0 0
Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 13 0 DNF 1m32s 0 0
Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 6 0 DNF 1m33.445s 0 0
Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 5 0 DNF 1m32.052s 0 0
Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 3 0 DNF 1m33.272s 0 0

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