Algarve MotoGP: Bagnaia wins red-flagged race

Francesco Bagnaia dominated the Algarve Grand Prix to win the MotoGP constructors' championship for Ducati, as the race was red-flagged on the penultimate lap for a crash.

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A heavy collision between Tech3's Iker Lecuona and KTM stablemate Miguel Oliveira at Turn 13 on the penultimate tour led to the race being red-flagged, though both riders were seen on camera as being conscious.

Ducati's Bagnaia led the 25-lap race for all but a few hundred metres to claim his third win of the campaign, while world champion Fabio Quartararo crashed out late on after a tricky race for the Yamaha rider.

Bagnaia got a sluggish launch off the line from pole position and initially allowed Ducati teammate Jack Miller to move into the lead.

But Bagnaia regained first into the first corner, with Joan Mir on the Suzuki mugging Miller into the Turn 8 right-hander for second to begin the chase on the sister factory Ducati in front.

Both Bagnaia and Mir quickly put six tenths between themselves and Miller, with the leading duo's lap times pretty closely matched in the early laps.

But by lap seven Bagnaia had started to stretch his legs and ask questions Mir struggled to answer, the Suzuki rider slipping eight tenths adrift of Bagnaia.

That gap would steadily climb to over a second, with Bagnaia over two seconds clear come the 16th of 25 laps, closing the book on the battle for victory at the Algarve GP.

Quartararo didn't make a great start from seventh on the grid, dropping to eighth, before climbing back up to sixth when Lecuona and Honda's Pol Espargaro ahead ran wide at Turn 1 on the second lap.

But the Yamaha rider's race would be dictated by the M1's lack of horsepower as he got mired behind the Pramac Ducati of Jorge Martin, with Johann Zarco eventually joining that battle.

Quartararo would crash out on lap 21 when he fell at the Turn 5 hairpin, registering his first DNF of the 2021 season.

The race would be halted just as the leaders started the second-to-last lap for the Lecuona/Oliveira incident, with the result taken from the end of lap 23.

This secured Bagnaia victory, with Mir taking his best finish of the season in second to secure third in the riders' championship.

After a late tussle, Miller took the final podium place from LCR's Alex Marquez, enjoying his best race of the 2021 season aboard the Honda.

Zarco rounded out the top five after Quartararo's crash, with Pol Espargaro heading Martin, Alex Rins (Suzuki), Avintia rookie Enea Bastianini and the KTM of Brad Binder.

Takaaki Nakagami came from last to 11th on his LCR Honda, beating Avintia's Luca Marini, Petronas SRT duo Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso, and Marc Marquez's Honda stand-in Stefan Bradl.

Maverick Vinales was the sole Aprilia at the finish after teammate Aleix Espargaro crashed out on lap eight at the first corner, with Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli the final finisher in 17th.

As well as Lecuona, Oliveira and Quartararo, Tech3's Danilo Petrucci also failed to see the chequered flag after a lap-one crash.

Cla Rider Bike Gap
1 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati  
2 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 2.478
3 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 6.402
4 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 6.453
5 France Johann Zarco Ducati 7.882
6 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 9.573
7 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 10.144
8 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 10.742
9 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 13.840
10 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 14.487
11 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 20.912
12 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 22.450
13 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 22.752
14 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 26.207
15 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 26.284
16 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 26.828
17 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 27.863
  Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 1 Lap
  Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 1 Lap
  France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 3 Laps
  Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 16 Laps
  Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM  
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