Enea Bastianini said he tried to make Francesco Bagnaia "nervous" by overtaking him, a tactic that worked as he secured the win at the French Grand Prix on Sunday in MotoGP.

To make Bagnaia's afternoon even worse, the Ducati rider crashed out just a few turns later.

After working his way up from fifth on the grid, Bastianini made his way up to Bagnaia at the front before putting pressure on his fellow Italian.

The drama arrived on lap 21 as Bastianini overtook Bagnaia before the latter immediately took his position back, only to hit the kicker and run wide.

That allowed Bastianini to ease back into the lead, with Bagnaia's race ending after going into the gravel shortly after.

"I'm really happy about this race. The weekend has been really complicated for me with some crashes," Bastianini said after his win.

"In the race I see that my pace was really nice, and at the end when I see Pecco [Bagnaia] very close I understand 'okay now you have to stay behind', and I tried overtaking him in the second corner to make him a little bit nervous, and at the end he goes long and I win this race.

"It's all for my team because they work a lot at this Grand Prix to give me the best bike, and it's incredible this job."

Bagnaia started on pole alongside fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller, who did at least finish second, and the Australian explained why he had allowed Bagnaia to get back ahead of him early in the race.

"The boys rode a strong race at the front there. Pecco wanted to pass me early on, it seemed like he had a bit better speed," Miller said. "I had good grip, I just wasn’t able to push off on that right-hand side.

"Pecco wanted to pull away so I was like 'alright, go for it', but as soon as he got in the front he sort of started having moment after moment.

"Then I saw Bastianini coming and coming. He put the move on me and to be honest I had nothing back for him until he and Pecco got into a bit of a battle, my lap times started coming down again there towards the end and I was actually able to come a bit closer to him, but yeah he was riding really well today."

Enea Bastianini secured a big win at the French Grand Prix after a battle with Francesco Bagnaia, which ended with the latter crashing out.

Bagnaia started on pole alongside fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller, and led for most of the race.

However, after working his way up from fifth, Bastianini overtook Miller and started making ground up on Bagnaia at the front.

The drama arrived on lap 21 as Bastianini overtook Bagnaia, before the latter immediately took his position back, only to hit the kicker and run wide, allowing Bastianini to ease back into the lead.

Matters got much worse for Bagnaia just a few turns later as he crashed out, seemingly trying too hard to make the ground up.

Bagnaia had finished on the podium in six of his previous 12 MotoGP races (five wins), though had not reached it in any of his three Grand Prixs at Le Mans in the top category, and that run continued this time around.

Miller came home in second to at least give Ducati something to cheer, while Aleix Espargaro held off a challenge from Fabio Quartararo to take third.

Quartararo had finished on the podium in his previous two races and if he had done so in France, would have equalled his best run so far in the top category (three podiums in a row twice).

Alex Rins and Joan Mir made it a weekend to forget for Suzuki Ecstar as they both failed to finish, with Rins crashing out early after losing control of his bike when re-joining the track from the gravel on lap three. Mir made an uncharacteristic error to also go down in the gravel.

Marc Marquez finished sixth and has now collected points in his last nine MotoGP races (including two wins and three podiums), which was already his best run since 2019 and the best scoring run of any of the current riders.

TOP 10

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing)
2. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) +2.718secs
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +4.182s
4. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +4.288s
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +11.139s
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +15.155s
7. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) +16.680s
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +18.459s
9. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing) +20.541s
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) +21.486s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 102
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) 98
3. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) 94
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 69
5. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) 62

Teams

1. Aprilia Racing 131
2. Suzuki Ecstar 125
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 121
4. Ducati Lenovo 118
5. Red Bull KTM 99

Fabio Quartararo won a MotoGP race for the first time this season, sending him top of the championship after a routine victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix, with Johann Zarco in second and Aleix Espargaro third.

Quartararo won the last Portuguese Grand Prix in 2021, although failed to finish in the top 10 in his other two MotoGP appearances at the Algarve International Circuit (14th in 2020 Portuguese GP and did not finish at the 2021 Algarve GP).

However, despite winning last year's championship, the Frenchman's previous race win was at the British Grand Prix in August.

Quartararo eased past Joan Mir early in Sunday's race in Portimao, though, and never looked back as he cruised to the win, while all the drama happened behind him.

Previous championship leader Enea Bastianini crashed out on lap 10, appearing to clip the seam of the curb at turn eight before sliding off the track while in 10th place.

Mir was left fighting for second place and was eventually overtaken by a determined Zarco, but things were to get worse for the Spaniard as Jack Miller, while attempting to pass on the inside, slid his bike and took both of them out of the race at the start of lap 16.

Mir has now gone six races in a row without a podium, which was already his worst run in MotoGP since his first 20 races in the top category between 2019 and 2020.

It was a performance to remember from Alex Rins, though, as he took his Suzuki from 23rd all the way up to fourth, making up a remarkable 13 places on the opening lap alone.

Elsewhere, there was some good old-fashioned racing between the Marquez brothers near the end of the race, with Marc ultimately getting the better of Alex to take sixth place.

TOP 10

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha)
2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +5.409
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +6.068
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +9.633
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +13.573
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +16.163
7. Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) +16.183
8. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo) +16.511
9. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +16.769
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) +18.063

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 69
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 69
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 66
4. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 61
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 51

Teams

1. Suzuki Ecstar 115
2. Aprilia Racing 91
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 86
4. Red Bull KTM 81
5. Pramac Racing 79

Enea Bastianini toasted his Grand Prix of the Americas victory by treating himself to some burgers and said he is hungry to keep hold of top spot in the championship.

The Gresini rider passed Ducati's Jack Miller with five laps remaining at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas to record his second win in four races this season.

Bastianini finished 2.058 seconds ahead of closest challenger Alex Rins, who also overtook third-placed Miller, as the Italian added to his maiden MotoGP triumph in Qatar.

"It's a fantastic day," Bastianini said. "Miller had fantastic pace in the first part of the race, then I felt like I had to push, I accelerated like crazy and I won.

"Winning here in America is fantastic. Now we eat some burgers!"

Bastianini leads the riders' standings with four of the 21 races completed, sitting five points better off than Suzuki Ecstar rider Rins and 11 clear of Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia.

And the 24-year-old is beginning to believe that an unpredictable 2022, in which 10 riders have finished on the podium over the first four races, could be a memorable one.

"It's possible," Bastianini said when asked if he can retain top spot. "This is better than the Qatar win because we know we are consistent and every race we are on the front.

"We will see if we can repeat this result in the future. In European races I think the gap will be closer again."

Bastianini is just the third winner in the nine-year history of the race, with Marc Marquez having prevailed on seven previous occasions and Rins once, in 2019.

Marquez recovered from a poor start on Sunday to climb from 17th to sixth, while Joan Mir and Francesco Bagnaia rounded out the top five.

While Marquez climbed the standings late on, Miller fell from first to third in a race that he led for 15 of the 20 laps.

Rather than feeling too downbeat, though, the Australian simply congratulated Bastianini and Rins for finishing stronger.

"I have mixed feelings," he said. "I had a fantastic race. Enea passed me but I didn't make any mistakes.

"This championship is so long, anything can happen. It's wide open."

Enea Bastianini recorded his second victory of the 2022 MotoGP campaign, beating Alex Rins and Jack Miller to win the Grand Prix of the Americas in Houston, Texas.

The Italian became the first rider to rack up two victories this term after starting fifth on the grid, overtaking Miller with five laps to go in a fiercely competitive race.

The 24-year-old, who claimed his first MotoGP win in Qatar's curtain-raising race last month, made a strong start to fight his way into contention early on, entering second spot with nine laps to go.

Bastianini then passed Miller and pulled clear of the Australian, who dropped into third as Alex Rins clinched a second consecutive podium finish, keeping him second in the drivers' championship standings.

The Gresini rider ended the race 2.058 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, maintaining his lead at the top of the early-season riders' standings.

Elsewhere, Jorge Martin made a solid start from pole position, but suffered a poor end to the race in which he dropped to fourth with eight laps to go, and to eighth by the time he saw the chequered flag.

Marc Marquez suffered a horrendous start in Texas, dropping as low as 17th in the early stages, but recovered somewhat to finish sixth, while Joan Mir and Francesco Bagnaia rounded out the top five.

World champion Fabio Quartararo, meanwhile, finished in seventh as he struggles to match his terrific early-season form from 2021, and Aleix Espargaro could only manage a 13th-placed finish, one week after his sensational maiden victory in Argentina.

TOP 10

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini)
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +2.058
3. Jack Miller (Ducati) +2.312
4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +3.975
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +6.045
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +6.617
7. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +6.760
8. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +8.441
9. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +12.375
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +12.642

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 61
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 56
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 50
4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar)) 46
5. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 44

Teams

1. Suzuki Ecstar 102
2. Red Bull KTM 70
3. Aprilia 69
4. Gresini 61
5. Pramac Racing 59

Aleix Espargaro held off Jorge Martin in Argentina to land the first MotoGP win of his career – Aprilia's first race victory since the team's 2015 return.

The 32-year-old Espargaro had claimed Aprilia's first pole position with an impressive qualifying performance in Termas de Rio Hondo, and followed up to claim a long-awaited grand prix win in a thrilling race.

Espargaro landed the landmark victory on his 200th MotoGP start, and he had to be at his best to overcome compatriot Martin in an absorbing contest.

It was not plain sailing for Espargaro after his slow start allowed Martin to snatch an early advantage, which he maintained for 17 of 25 laps.

Martin, who crashed out of races in Qatar and Indonesia during his nightmare start to the season, lost the lead to Espargaro on the fifth turn of lap 18 but forced his way back to the front of the pack shortly thereafter.

Espargaro then passed Martin again at the same point of lap 21, holding on during a nervy ending to secure the triumph by 0.807 seconds.

Alex Rins finished third and Joan Mir recovered from an eighth-placed start to grab fourth place, meaning Spanish riders occupied each of the top four positions in Argentina.

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo dropped as low as 13th during the early stages but recovered to finish comfortably inside the top 10.

Enea Bastianini, who stormed to a thrilling success in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix last month, could only manage 10th, ceding first place in the riders' championship to Espargaro, who now leads the championship for the first time in his career, sitting seven points clear of Red Bull's Brad Binder.

TOP 10 

1. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia)
2. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.807
3. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +1.330
4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +1.831
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +5.840
6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +6.192
7. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +6.540
8. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +10.215
9. Marco Bezzecchi (Team VR46) +12.622
10. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) +12.987

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders
1. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 45
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) 38
3. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 36
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 36
5. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 35

Teams
1. Suzuki Ecstar 69
2. Red Bull KTM 66
3. Aprilia 58
4. Monster Energy Yamaha 49
5. Pramac Racing 44

An elated Enea Bastianini said Gresini "have all cried" after his emotional maiden MotoGP victory at the season-opening race in Qatar.

The 24-year-old took the top step on the podium for the first time in the premier class after passing Pol Espargaro with four laps to go under the lights at the Lusail International Circuit.

Espargaro led for the majority of the race after storming from sixth to first at the start, but Bastianini capitalised on the Repsol Honda rider's fading tyres to pass him on the inside and go on to take the chequered flag.

It was Gresini's first MotoGP triumph since 2006 and came just over a year after the death of their team principal Fausto Gresini.

Nadia Padovani, Gresini's wife who is now the team principal and owner, was in tears after 2021 rookie Bastianini crossed the finishing line, and she was not the only one.

Bastianini said: "It is such an emotional day for all of the team. We have all cried at the end of the race.

"We did a very good job from most of the testing and this weekend. The set-up of the bike was incredible, we worked very well to prepare for the race and this morning in the warm-up when I saw we had really good pace I thought I can have a good race.

"My decision was to stay with the medium of the rear (tyre). That was the best decision for me, I pushed in my style in the last seven to eight laps and I won the race."

Brad Binder took second and Espargaro was third after going wide when he was passed by Bastianini and subsequently losing another place, with Marc Marquez fifth behind Aleix Espargaro.

Bastianini knows he has a whole host of top-class riders to do battle with as he attempts to build on his first win.

The Italian added: "Pol Espargaro was so fast, he saved his tyres very well. This is a very good step for me, and now it's going to be very competitive. Binder also had a really good race, and it was not easy for me to win but I did it.

"In MotoGP it's not easy because many riders are so fast, and sometimes it's not possible to be on the front, but I am always going to do my best."

Reigning champion Fabio Quartararo could only finish ninth.

Enea Bastianini secured a brilliant maiden MotoGP victory after passing Pol Espargaro late in an eventful season-opening race under the lights in Qatar.

Espargaro had led for the majority of the race after storming from sixth to first in a blistering start, with Jorge Martin dropping from pole to eighth early on.

It was Gresini's Bastianini, a rookie at this level last year, who made a dream beginning to the season, though, overtaking Espargaro with four laps to go and taking the chequered flag ahead of Brad Binder for his team's first win in the premier class since 2006.

Bastianini's win at the Lusail International Circuit sparked emotional scenes, as Gresini's then team principal Fausto Gresini died just over a year ago.

Espargaro was the third man on the podium, while Marc Marquez was fifth and Martin crashed out.

Repsol Honda rider Espargaro got off to a flyer as Martin slipped back through the field, with Bastianini dropping a couple of places from second on the grid.

Espargaro's team-mate Marquez moved up a spot from third to second until the six-time champion was passed by Binder and Bastianini with 16 laps to go.

Martin's miserable race was summed up when he crashed with Francesco Bagnaia and slid into the gravel along with the Italian.

Bastianini had the pace to close in on the long-time leader and duly made his move on the inside, with Espargaro going wide in a costly lapse that allowed Binder to nip in for second place.

Aleix Espargaro took fourth place, while reigning champion Fabio Quartararo crossed the line in ninth.


TOP 10

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing)
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +0.346
3. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +1.351
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +2.242
5. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +4.099
6. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +4.843
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.881
8. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +10.536
9. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +10.543
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU) ++14.967

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders
1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) 25
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) 20
3. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) 16
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 13
5. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 11

Teams
1. Repsol Honda 27
2. Gresini Racing 25
3. Red Bull KTM 20
4. Suzuki Ecstar 19
5. Aprilia 17

Jorge Martin will start the season-opening Qatar MotoGP from pole position but the Spaniard is not confident he will be celebrating a victory on Sunday.

The Pramac Racing rider began the last race of 2021 at the front of the grid in Valencia, where he ended his rookie season with a second-placed finish.

On Saturday, Martin beat Enea Bastianini to pole by 0.147 seconds with a lap of 1:53.011, while six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez joins them on the front row as defending champion Fabio Quartararo was only 11th-fastest. 

Yet 24-year-old Martin will go into the race at the Lusail International Circuit under the lights without any great expectations of taking the top step on the podium.

He said: "I'm super happy about my performance. I wasn't expecting to be that fast.

"I'm not 100 per cent confident for tomorrow. We are still missing one to two tenths to fight for victory, but we will be one of the candidates. We have to work hard this evening and find this small thing to battle. 

"We are aiming for the win, but I am always a little bit on the limit. We have struggled with a new engine. It's not that easy.

"We are still missing how to manage the tyre and I am worried about the end of the race, but with my engineers and staff we will find something that will help me and we will be fighting for the victory."

Gresini Racing's Bastianini will start on the front row for the first time in the premier class and has his sights on a podium finish.

The Italian said: "For the first time I will start on the front row. I'm very happy about today, we did a very good job because it was difficult to go on the second qualifying.

"I did one error in the last sector, but I did a very good lap and I think tomorrow we can battle for the podium."

Marquez said: "It's important to start on the front row on a track that I'm not riding comfortably on. My style is not coming naturally on this race track but today I felt better, especially in FP4.

"We made an important change on the bike and since that point I started to feel better and in qualifying also the performance was there. I'm happy but tomorrow is the most important day. We are not the fastest but we will try to manage in a good way."

Provisional classification

1. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) 1:53.011
2. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) +0.147s
3. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.272s
4. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.287s
5. Alex Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.308s
6. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +0.335s
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +0.339s
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.396s
9. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +0.4s
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.47s
11. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.624s
12. Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.971s 

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