Home hero Bagnaia wins Italian MotoGP

Ducati rider flies up from fifth in starting grid to finish 0.635 ahead of leader Quartararo

AFP May 30, 2022


Francesco Bagnaia won the Italian MotoGP for the first time on Sunday after a confident display on home turf, while Fabio Quartararo extended his lead at the top of the championship standings.

Ducati rider Bagnaia flew up from fifth in the starting grid to finish over half a second ahead of reigning champion Quartararo at Mugello.

The Italian took over the lead midway through the race and never let go, leading from the front before celebrating with the Italian flag in front of delighted local supporters.

"It's incredible. I'm really happy to have won at home in front of our fans, it's really great," Bagnaia told Sky Sport Italia.

"I think the team and me deserve this win because we worked a lot. The start was not the best but I am happy to win the race.”

Quartararo's overall lead over Aleix Espargaro is now 16 points after the Spanish rider finished third behind the Yamaha man.

Bagnaia trails France's Quartararo by 41 points after his second win this season, adding to his victory in Spain at the start of the month.

Quartararo called Sunday's race "the best of my career" after he rose from sixth on the grid to finish behind Bagnaia.

"I was feeling bad all weekend, then I made an amazing start. I told myself 'you have nothing to lose' ... I'm super happy to have raced as best as I can," he told Sky.

“In France, it's mother's day, so I want to wish a good one to my mum."

Six-time champion Marc Marquez finished 10th in his last race before going under the knife to solve problems with his right arm after fracturing it nearly two years ago.

Fabio Di Giannantonio, who stunned the field with his first ever MotoGP pole, couldn't repeat Saturday's heroics and finished back in 11th, some 12 seconds behind his countryman and namesake Bagnaia.

Di Giannantonio lost the race lead to Luca Marini in the fourth corner of the race, and soon after fellow rookie Marco Bezzecchi was also past him and then into the lead.

Bagnaia had dropped back a few places at the start of the race but made his move on lap nine when after having already surged past Di Giannantonio, Quartararo and Marini, he overtook Bezzecchi early in the ninth lap.

From there he comfortably held off the competition to bounce back from not finishing at Le Mans a fortnight ago.

Johann Zarco gave Ducati another reason to celebrate when he finished fourth, while rookie Bezzechi had his best MotoGP finish in fifth.

Spaniard Pedro Acosta became the youngest rider to win a Moto2 race, The KTM rider storming to victory aged 18 years and four days.

Last season Acosta was the youngest ever rider to win the Moto3 championship and looks a serious prospect.


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