Bengaluru, May 29: Ducati rider Francecso Bagnaia clinched his first win in the Italian GP at Mugello circuit on Sunday (May 29) despite the best efforts of Yamaha's defending champion Fabio Quartararo while Aprilia Racing's Aleix Espargaro finished third for the fourth race in a row.
Despite falling deep into the top 10 in the opening corners at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, the Italian hit the front before the halfway mark and banked an important 25 points to get his title bid back on track.
2022 FIM MotoGP World Championship leader Quartararo was a commendable second on a Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP entry which had to make up speed in the corners.
Ducati had swept the top five in qualifying but, rather than Bagnaia being on the front row, it was Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP) starting from pole, his fellow rookie Marco Bezzecchi sitting second on the grid on one of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team bikes, and the latter's team-mate Luca Marini alongside them.
Johann Zarco passed Bezzechi on the final lap to claim fourth.
Marini made it VR46 bikes fifth and sixth, while Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) proved once again that he is the Sunday man by climbing from 16th on the grid to seventh all-told.
Rounding out the top 10 were Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), and - in his last race before yet more surgery on his right arm - Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).
Pole-sitter Di Giannantonio, who had promised much, had to settle for 11th place, followed by Maverick Vinales, Jorge Martin, Alex Martin and Jack Miller rounding off the top-15 in that order.
In the 2022 FIM MotoGP World Championship standings, Quartararo's lead over Aleix Espargaro has gone up by eight points, while Enea Bastianini is now 28 points off the pace in third spot.
Bagnaia's win sees him jump to fourth in the standings, albeit a further 13 points back.
While all the drama was going on, Quartararo made deep inroads on the margin which Bagnaia was enjoying at the head of the field. The El Diablo brought the gap back under a second with around half a dozen laps to go, but the works Ducati rider was able to respond.
He was back out to a 1.1sec lead with a lap to go, before cruising to the chequered flag, 0.6sec behind the winner.
The Frenchman will surely surely cherish the second-place finish as it was an important one after recording a did not finish in his home Grand Prix two weeks back.
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team)
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.635
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 1.983
4. Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) + 2.590
5. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 3.067
6. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 3.875
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 4.067
8. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) + 10.944
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 11.256
10. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 11.800
The MotoGP caravan now moves to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix on June 5.
(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)