Aragon MotoGP: Bastianini wins, Quartararo retires after Marquez clash

Enea Bastianini beat Francesco Bagnaia in a thrilling Aragon Grand Prix as a collision between Fabio Quartararo and Marc Marquez blew the MotoGP title race wide open.

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Making his MotoGP race return after a 112-day absence following surgery on his broken right arm, six-time premier class world champion Marquez leaped from 13th on the grid to sixth off the line.

The Honda rider swooped around Quartararo – who started sixth – at Turn 1, but exiting Turn 3 suffered a big moment on the rear end.

Quartararo was caught unsighted and crashed into the back of Marquez, the Frenchman getting clobbered by his own Yamaha as he slid across the asphalt.

Suffering some abrasions to his chest, Quartararo suffered no serious injuries in the incident.

The incident lodged Yamaha bodywork into the back of Marquez’s bike, which then locked at the rear when he engaged his ride height device on the exit of Turn 7.

This led to LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami running into the back of Marquez in a similar incident to Quartararo’s, with the Japanese rider eliminated on the spot as Marquez retired in pitlane at the end of the opening lap.

At the front, Bagnaia finished second in a thrilling scrap with Bastianini and is now just 10 points behind Quartararo in the standings.

While the chaos involving Quartararo and Marquez ensued behind, Bagnaia converted pole to the holeshot ahead of the fast-starting Brad Binder on the KTM.

Jack Miller quickly returned to the second spot he started in with a move on Binder into Turn 1 on the third lap, with Gresini’s Bastianini passing factory Ducati counterpart Miller at Turn 15 three tours later.

This battling gave Bagnaia a lead of over seven tenths as he began his seventh tour, though Bastianini had wiped this down to just 0.3s over that lap.

Bastianini used the superior speed of his Gresini-run Ducati GP21 relative to Bagnaia’s factory GP22 to outdrag his future teammate into Turn 1 at the start of lap eight.

But the Gresini rider would make a major mistake into Turn 12 a lap later and allowed Bagnaia to return to the front of the pack.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The gap between Bagnaia and Bastianini would fluctuate between seven tenths and four tenths up until the end of lap 19, when the latter edged slightly closer again.

Despite his Gresini Ducati squirming under braking for Turn 12, Bastianini was able to keep Bagnaia in sight and pressure him over the next few laps.

But it wouldn’t be until Turn 7 on the last lap that Bastianini found a safe run on Bagnaia to take the lead away from him, the Gresini rider defending his position on the run out of the last two corners by just 0.042 seconds to claim his fourth win of the season.

A lap prior, Aprilila’s Aleix Espargaro – having sat in fourth for most of the grand prix – scythed up the inside of Binder to snatch the last spot on the podium.

With Quartararo’s exit, Espargaro is now just 17 points off the championship leader, with Bastianini an outside bet at 48 points adrift with five races left in 2022.

Binder held off future KTM teammate Miller four fourth by 0.240s, while Jorge Martin was a distant sixth on his Pramac Ducati ahead of VR46 rider Luca Marini and Johann Zarco on the sister Pramac GP22.

Alex Rins was forced off track at Turn 3 due to the Quartararo/Marquez incident, but recovered to ninth on his Suzuki ahead of VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi.

Miguel Oliveira couldn’t advance on his 11th-place grid slot in the race on his KTM, with LCR’s Alex Marquez beating the Aprilia of Maverick Vinales, RNF Racing stand-in Cal Crutchlow and Honda’s Pol Espargaro.

Remy Gardner was 1.2s away from points in 16th on his Tech 3 KTM ahead of Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli, RNF’s Darryn Binder, Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio and Tech3’s Raul Fernandez.

Bastianini’s victory has secured Ducati the constructors’ championship for the third season in succession.

Aragon GP - Race results:

Cla Rider Bike Time
1 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati  
2 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 0.042
3 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 6.139
4 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 6.379
5 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 6.964
6 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 12.030
7 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 12.474
8 France Johann Zarco Ducati 12.655
9 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 12.702
10 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 16.150
11 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 17.071
12 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 18.463
13 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 18.730
14 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 20.090
15 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 27.588
16 Australia Remy Gardner KTM 28.805
17 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 30.422
18 South Africa Darryn Binder Yamaha 31.330
19 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 31.595
20 Spain Raúl Fernández KTM 36.160
  Spain Marc Marquez Honda  
  France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha  
  Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda  

 

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