A bumpy start and a frenetic ending. The fifteenth round of the MotoGP championship, with the Aragón Grand Prix, in Spain, caused a new coup in the World Championship, which has five races ahead and a tight battle for the title. With the victory, Enea Bastianini (Ducati) does not rest in the dream of becoming the monarch of speed motorcycling, although Francesco Bagnaia capitalized on the biggest gain of the day: the best sword of the official Ducati team cut 20 points and was positioned at 10 units of the defending champion Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), who barely traveled three curves.
The Devil met Marc Márquez (Honda), who returned to activity after a 112-day hiatus, took him ahead and flew off the bike; a burn on the chest and some limp, the physical toll of the Frenchman’s fall, which closed the day with a second incident, when he collided with a scooter: “Sore and burned. A pity, because it is the first time that I feel good in Aragón in many years and crashing in the third corner is not the best thing. I’m having some tough last races, but I’m still motivated”, commented the champion, who later recounted what was not seen on the broadcast: “A commissioner collided the scooter head-on with another and I had a second fall, luckily I had not helmet off.”
Two world champions and a contender for the crown focused attention on Aragón, although development ended up involving an extra handful of drivers on the northern Spanish track as well. The incident between Márquez and Quartararo modified the plans of the rest: the six-time MotoGP monarch returned to activity almost after four months, after the fourth operation on his right shoulder, and rehearsed a spectacular overtaking at the start by jumping to sixth post, from the thirteenth drawer. But chaos followed the fantastic game and the overtaking of the Catalan: “He was unlucky. In Turn 3 I had a scare: Bastianini and Aleix [Espargaró] went wide, everyone braked and that’s when the rear of the bike got a little out of control. I had to cut gas and Fabio [Quartararo] was right behind me, because it was the first lap, ready to overtake me. One mistake led to another,” Márquez commented to the DAZN microphones. If the champion’s wish was that the return of Márquez would be a wild card in the lonely fight against the Ducati, his reappearance only offered him disappointments.
With the Frenchman on the ground, the expertise of Alex Rins (Suzuki) was decisive in avoiding the body and the bike of the Devil, Márquez continued in the race, although four laps later he would be involved in a new incident. “After the contact with Fabio I noticed something strange, but then in Turn 4 it seemed to me that everything was fine. However, when I activated the rear height adjuster, the bike locked up and started to go to the left, because part of the fairing of Fabio’s bike had fitted on the right side”, said the Honda rider, who was driving slowly. hit at Turn 7 by Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda), who rolled on the Aragonese tarmac and his bike crossed the track.
With the information of what happened, in particular with the desertion of Quartararo, the poleman Bagnaia began a thoughtful race: if he won he would achieve a 25-0 points win over the Devil. But future garage mate Bastianini smoothed over Pecco’s task. The Beast offered a free sample of what he was willing to design on the eighth lap, when he rehearsed the pass and took the lead. It was meters that he enjoyed in clean air: a slight mistake at Turn 12 allowed Bagnaia to regain the place of privilege.
The speed of Bastianini’s Ducati GP21, last year’s model, compared to the GP22 with which Pecco races, unleashed the new duel. With the two drivers shod with the same tire compounds, the key would be to figure out who would keep them in better condition for the end of the race. The difference in the clock ranged between seven and four tenths in favor of Bagnaia, although the Beast never stopped having him in his sights and unleashed the final assault on the last lap. He was surprised, because he did it at Turn 7 instead of attacking on the long straight, where the Gresini Racing bike set an overwhelming speed of almost 250km/h.
With success, Bastianini proved to be an extraordinary finisher of races: the second parts of the grand prix always have him as a star protagonist. In Aragon, where Bagnaia signed his first MotoGP victory in 2021, the Beast reaped the fourth of his history and has credentials for the future, although he has not yet left the poster in the current course: 48 units separate him from Quartararo, with 125 in Game. “Enea was quicker, he had better traction in the final laps and I didn’t feel like he could take the position back when he overtook me in the finish. We knew that Fabio had the misfortune of crashing at the start, we achieved a great result”, said Pecco, who in five races cut 81 points with the Diablo and is now 10 points behind -211 against 201- with five races to go. of the calendar.
The Constructors world champion poster that Ducati wore in Aragon, a sign of the power of the Italian factory, which will launch the rest starting next week, in Motegui, with the desire to break with the 15 seasons without consecrating a monarch to a pilot.