Mugello MotoGP: Quartararo dominates as Bagnaia crashes out

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo dominated a dramatic MotoGP Italian Grand Prix after an early crash for Francesco Bagnaia to strengthen his championship lead.

The MotoGP field assembled ahead of the 23-lap race for a moment of silence to remember 19-year-old Moto3 racer Jason Dupasquier, who died from injuries sustained in a horrible crash in qualifying on Saturday.

The drama of the race started before lights out, when Avintia rookie Enea Bastianini ran into the back of Johann Zarco as he warmed up his brakes on the grid on the warm-up lap.

This left Zarco with some tail unit damage while Bastianini was forced to miss the race, but the start wasn’t delayed as a result.

Race Direction will investigate the incident after the race.

Bagnaia grabbed the lead on the run into San Donato at the start, but poleman Quartararo didn’t get swallowed up into the pack thanks to Yamaha’s new front holeshot device.

The power of the Ducati meant Quartararo couldn’t do much to keep Bagnaia in reach on the 1.1km front straight as they started lap two.

Behind them, Honda’s Marc Marquez made contact with KTM’s Brad Binder and crashed at the Poggiosecco right-hander – with Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli dropping to the back of the pack having been forced to run off track to take avoiding action.

The drama continued a few corners later as race leader Bagnaia crashed at Arrabbiata 2 having just run slightly off-line, gifting Quartararo clean air to exploit the corner speed of his Yamaha.

Quartararo did have to engage with Pramac’s Johann Zarco over laps three and four, with the Yamaha rider executing a decisive move at Poggiosecco.

From there, Quartararo steadily built up his lead with a searing pace, the Frenchman coming under no threat to the chequered flag three seconds clear of the rest to claim his third win of the 2021 season.

Zarco held onto second until lap 16, when KTM’s Miguel Oliveira came through, while the Pramac rider would soon come under threat from the Suzukis behind.

Alex Rins and Joan Mir engaged in a tight tussle over fifth spot in the early stages, but strong late pace put them into podium contention in the closing stages.

World champion Mir scythed past Zarco at the Palagio left-hander to steal third on lap 17, with Rins demoting the Frenchman further on the following tour at the Saveli left-hander.

But having crashed out of strong positions in the last three races, Rins’ miserable run continued when he slid off at the last corner on lap 19.

Over the final lap Mir closed down the resurgent KTM of Oliveira but could do nothing to get ahead of the Portuguese rider.

Oliveira was demoted from second to third for marginally exceeding track limits on the exit of the Borgo San Lorenzo right at Turn 5 on the last lap.

However, Oliveira’s second was reinstated after Mir was deemed to have also exceeded track limits at the same place on the last lap

Zarco held onto fourth, 1.3s clear of Binder, while the sole remaining factory team Ducati of Jack Miller was only sixth.

Aleix Espargaro was seventh on the Aprilia ahead of a struggling Maverick Vinales, the Yamaha rider forced to recover from 16th after a poor start.

Danilo Petrucci was ninth on the Tec h3 KTM ahead of Valentino Rossi on the Petronas SRT Yamaha, with Iker Lecuona (Tech 3) getting the better of Honda’s Pol Espargaro in 11th.

The final points went to Pramac stand-in Michele Pirro, LCR’s Alex Marquez and Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori, while Morbidelli was 16th ahead of Avintia’s Luca Marini.

Takaaki Nakagami was a late crasher on the second LCR Honda.

Quartararo’s victory now lifts him 24 points clear of Zarco in the standings, with Bagnaia now 26 adrift after his crash.

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 20 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha  
2 36 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 3.000
3 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 2.592
4 5 France Johann Zarco Ducati 3.535
5 33 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 4.903
6 43 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 6.233
7 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 8.030
8 12 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 17.239
9 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 23.296
10 46 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 25.146
11 27 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 25.152
12 44 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 26.059
13 51 Italy Michele Pirro Ducati 26.182
14 73 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 29.400
15 32 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 32.378
16 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 37.906
17 10 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 50.306
  30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda  
  42 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki  
  63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati  
  93 Spain Marc Marquez Honda  
  23 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati  

Related video

MotoGP Italian Grand Prix - Start time, how to watch & more
Previous article

MotoGP Italian Grand Prix - Start time, how to watch & more

Next article

Quartararo: Mugello win “not a great feeling” after Dupasquier death

Quartararo: Mugello win “not a great feeling” after Dupasquier death
Load comments
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Prime

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

Nov 8, 2021