Bagnaia makes title statement with victory in Jerez


After a recent drought for the young Italian, Francesco Bagnaia lead from the start to hold off Fabio Quartararo to take his maiden victory of the season.

Lights out went entirely to plan for Bagnaia as he started on pole and was still first after the scare that is turn one. Quartararo was the only one on the pace of the Ducati rider into turn one but could not get his bike underneath before the apex.

Starting third was Aleix Espargaro with Jack Miller and Marc Marquez getting ahead of the Aprilia rider after a slow start and lunging too deep into turn one allowed the fourth and fifth place starters to get ahead early on in the race.

Despite the fast start of Miller and Marquez, Takagi Nakagami was the man who flew off the line as he launched from seventh on the grid getting ahead of Johann Zarco, Marquez and Espargaro leaving himself fourth after turn one.

Unfortunately for Nakagami, Pedrosa corner on the first lap would be when he would fall back with Marquez diving down the inside leaving the door wide open for Espargaro to follow suit.

Pedrosa corner had more spills to show for on the first lap with factory Ducati contract hunting Jorge Martín losing the front end and crashing out along with wildcard rider Stefan Bradl riding a testing entry for Honda.

Darryn Binder was the next rider to get caught out by the Jerez circuit after losing the frontend of his Yamaha that stunted his charge after he was hunting down factory Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli. An impressive charge with a less than impressive end.

The front two in Bagnaia and Quartararo were in a league of their own stretching a gap out that would end up larger than 10 seconds to the third placed rider.

Alex Rins, who started the day joint top of the standings with Quartararo, was the next rider to find the gravel as he pushed too hard after a disappointing qualifying in P14 and a race that so far had not seen him change position.

Zarco was the next to follow suit as the Jerez circuit was not kind to the riders on this event. He turned into the fast sweeping turn five before the front end dropped away on turn in. A strange crash to have so early on in the corner.

The race would stay dormant from this point on until five laps to go when Marquez made an audacious move into turn five, the likes that were not expected to Miller who had to concede the position.

The same lap would get worse for Miller as Espargaro lunged into Pedrosa corner to see himself lose two positions on the same lap but up ahead Marquez dropped the bike onto his elbow and somehow picked the bike back up. This lead to Espargaro gaining two places in one corner and Marquez to lose two as Miller would retain fourth.

Marquez had a clear pace advantage over Miller and would eventually take fourth place back on the last lap again in an unexpected position of turn eight, a place no overtake had been seen all race. Miller did not have enough to fight back on the last half a lap of the race.

Bagnaia would go on to win with Quartararo less than half a second behind. Espargaro would finish over 10 seconds back to complete the podium with Marquez and Miller just missing out on the rostrum.

This leaves Quartararo taking a lead in the championship with Espargaro moving up to second. Rins is now tied again with Enea Bastianini in third with Bagnaia going all the way up to fifth as before this weekend he had not finished higher than fifth in a race this season.

The MotoGP paddock move onwards and upwards to the Bugatti circuit located in Le Mans, France as round seven of this unbelievably tight season takes centre stage two weeks after Jerez on the 15th May.

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