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Race report
MotoGP Dutch GP

MotoGP Dutch GP: Bagnaia wins from Bezzecchi to extend points lead

Reigning MotoGP world champion Francesco Bagnaia extended his points lead with a convincing win in the Dutch Grand Prix at Assen on Sunday.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team, Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

The factory Ducati rider held off sprint race winner Marco Bezzecchi to avenge Saturday’s contest, in which Bagnaia had had to settle for second.

As Bagnaia celebrated an increased points lead of 35 points over Jorge Martin and 36 over Bezzecchi, Aprilia enjoyed a podium finish for Aleix Espargaro.

The Sunday race began in similar fashion to Saturday’s sprint, with Bezzecchi once again failing to convert his pole position to an early lead.

Once again it was KTM’s Brad Binder who leapt into the lead ahead of Bagnaia and Bezzecchi. And once again the factory Ducati man demoted the South African early.

This time, however, Binder hung on far longer in second place, with Bezzecchi holding watch behind him. Despite the hot track surface, Binder had opted for a soft rear tyre. This went against the other front-runners, with a medium rear being the mainstream choice.

It was lap 17 before Bezzecchi finally made his move on Binder. At that point, Bagnaia was a second up the road – and the gap immediately crept up towards a second and a half.

Bezzecchi had plenty of pressure from behind to consider, with Binder, Espargaro and Pramac Ducati’s Martin all showing a keen interest in second place.

But then Bezzecchi responded. With six laps to go, he was once again within a second of the world champion. 

Then, with four laps remaining, Bagnaia went three tenths quicker than his countryman, once again nudging the lead closer to the 1.5s mark.

It was a race-breaker for Bagnaia, who only had to keep it steady from then on to gain his revenge on Bezzecchi.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bezzecchi continued to have to keep an eye on his chasers as the race came to a close, but retained just enough of a buffer on the trio behind him to the flag.

No last-gasp moves materialised between Binder, Espargaro and Martin either, although the latter almost snuck ahead of Espargaro exiting the last corner.

Hanging onto fourth on the road by nine thousands proved to be worth a trip to the podium for the Aprilia man, as officialdom snatched third from Binder for the second day in succession. Once again this was for a late track limits transgression, in exactly the same spot as in the sprint race.

This time he was simply penalised a position, meaning he was still classified fourth ahead of Martin.

Yesterday’s beneficiary of a Binder demotion, Fabio Quartararo, had had high hopes of converting fourth to another podium result. But the Frenchman had a horror start and dropped to 12th on the opening lap.

Two laps later, the Yamaha man found himself in the gravel, with his countryman Johann Zarco for company after Quartararo slid into the Pramac Ducati.

Alex Marquez – also running a soft rear tyre – came home sixth, over 10 seconds behind Martin.

Luca Marini (VR46 Ducati) ran fifth early on, but a mistake on lap six saw him drop down the order and ultimately finish seventh.

Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales had already passed Marini for fifth spot on lap four, only to crash out at Stekkenwal later on the same lap.

KTM’s Jack Miller had another day to forget, falling at the first corner of the second lap.

MotoGP Dutch GP - Race results:

Cla Rider Bike Gap Interval
1 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati    
2 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 1.223 1.223
3 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1.925 0.702
4 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1.528  
5 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1.934 0.406
6 Spain Alex Marquez Ducati 12.437 10.503
7 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 14.174 1.737
8 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 14.616 0.442
9 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 29.335 14.719
10 Spain Augusto Fernandez KTM 33.736 4.401
11 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 35.084 1.348
12 Spain Raúl Fernández Aprilia 39.622 4.538
13 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 42.504 2.882
14 Germany Jonas Folger KTM 45.609 3.105
  Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati    
  Spain Iker Lecuona Honda    
  Portugal Miguel Oliveira Aprilia    
  Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati    
  Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia    
  France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha    
  France Johann Zarco Ducati    
  Australia Jack Miller KTM    

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