Fabio Quartararo lamented a "rookie mistake" after twice crashing at the Dutch TT to see the 2022 MotoGP title race blown wide open again.

The Monster Energy Yamaha rider's lead over Aleix Espargaro at the top of the standings was cut from 34 points to 21 after failing to finish Sunday's race in Assen.

After a near blemish-free season up to this point, reigning world champion Quartararo uncharacteristically clattered into Espargaro early on when pushing for second place.

Both riders ended in the gravel, but whereas Espargaro was able to make up significant ground to finish fourth, Quartararo again came off his bike on lap 12.

He lost grip on his rear tyre and was sent flying over his handlebars in a nasty fall, with this his first MotoGP retirement since Valencia 2020.

Quartararo apologised to Espargaro immediately after the race, which was won by Francesco Bagnaia, and took full blame for the contentious incident.

"I made a rookie mistake. I wanted to push too much from the beginning," he told Canal+. "I apologise to Aprilia and to Aleix for putting him out of the track.

"It's with these mistakes that you learn for the future, but it was a really stupid mistake. We could very well have set a very good pace and fought for the win. 

"These are mistakes that you learn from for the future. I wanted to restart and try to score some points, but I saw that the bike was a problem. 

"I stopped, the team told me to restart in case of rain, but when I restarted, I could see that something was wrong.

"I tried, but I don't know [what happened]. We have to analyse the crash, but I lost the rear a bit abruptly, so we'll see what they say. I made a rookie mistake."

Despite seeing his lead cut, Quartararo still holds a healthy advantage at the top of the riders' standings heading into the five-week break.

Espargaro produced the ride of the day – and one of the best individual rides of the season – to recover from 15th after being sent off the track by his title rival.

The Aprilia rider overtook Jack Miller and Brad Binder on the final lap to finish just outside the podium places, but he could not make a serious dent in Quartararo's title lead. 

"I was very strong in that place, and Fabio knew it," Espargaro said of the early collision. "The reason Fabio did his movement is because his feeling with the bike is super-high. 

"We saw it also in Germany, corner one with [the overtake on Bagnaia]. He's not a dirty rider, but his confidence is that high.

"Today, it's not that he was arrogant. But because he felt super, a lot faster than the rest, he made a bad judgment.

"I knew this could happen. From this moment I said to myself – Fabio is almost perfect, he made no mistakes during the season, so if he makes one mistake you have to profit."

Ducati's poleman Bagnaia led from the start to move back to within 66 points of Quartararo with nine rounds to go.

The Italian, who is fourth in the championship, now has three wins and three retirements in his past six races.

Bagnaia never looked like relinquishing first place to Marco Bezzecchi, although he admitted to being "terrified" of a third DNF in a row when rain hit late on in the Netherlands.

"Looking at the gap with Bezzecchi, he was always catching," Bagnaia said. "I had to push again, I had to open this gap again to be smarter and more calm again later in the race.

"But then the rain came. When I saw the rain, I just slowed down a bit, but Bezzecchi was pushing again.

"So, it was very difficult. I was terrified to crash again, so the main thing was to finish the race. It wasn't easy, but I tried to be smart, I tried to not push over the limit."

Francesco Bagnaia reignited his 2022 MotoGP title hopes with victory at a dramatic Dutch TT, in which championship leader Fabio Quartararo failed to finish.

Ducati rider Bagnaia had crashed out in four of the previous 10 races this year, but he took full advantage of pole position on Sunday by comfortably holding on to first place.

Quartararo endured a rare off day in Assen, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider finishing outside the points after twice crashing to see his championship lead cut.

Bagnaia is now 66 points behind the Frenchman heading into the five-week break, while Aleix Espargaro is within 21 points of top spot after making an exceptional recovery.

The drama at Circuit Assen started at Turn 5 when Quartararo, in an attempt to take second place from Espargaro, collided with his rival in a hugely contentious moment.

Both riders ended in the gravel before rejoining. But while Espargaro brilliantly made up ground, Quartararo was left with too much to do and crashed for a second time.

The reigning world champion high-sided out of Turn 5 and landed awkwardly, bringing an end to his race and marking his first MotoGP retirement since Valencia in 2020.

The rain started to fall soon after, adding even more drama to a race that had it all, though ultimately Bagnaia saw things through by holding off Marco Bezzecchi.

Jack Miller, who served a long lap penalty, was not able to join his Ducati team-mate on the podium as he failed to catch Maverick Vinales – his first top-three finish for Aprilia.

Miller was then overtaken by Espargaro, who also moved in front of Brad Binder to climb from sixth to fourth in an exceptional final lap as the title race was blown wide open.

TOP 10

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 
2. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.444s
3. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +1.209s
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +2.585
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +2.721s
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) +3.045s
7. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +4.340s
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.185s
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +8.325s
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.956s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 172
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 151
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 114
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 106
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 105

Teams

1. Aprilia Racing 213
2. Monster Energy Yamaha 197
3. Ducati 197
4. Pramac Racing 184
5. Red Bull KTM 164

Francesco Bagnaia reignited his 2022 MotoGP title hopes with victory at a dramatic Dutch Grand Prix, in which championship leader Fabio Quartararo failed to finish.

Ducati rider Bagnaia had crashed out in four of the previous 10 races this year, but he took full advantage of pole position on Sunday by comfortably holding on to first place.

Quartararo endured a rare off day in Assen, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider finishing outside the points after twice crashing to see his championship lead cut.

Bagnaia is now 66 points behind the Frenchman heading into the five-week break, while Aleix Espargaro is within 21 points of top spot after making an exceptional recovery.

The drama at Circuit Assen started at Turn 5 when Quartararo, in an attempt to take second place from Espargaro, collided with his rival in a hugely contentious moment.

Both riders ended in the gravel before rejoining. But while Espargaro brilliantly made up ground, Quartararo was left with too much to do and crashed for a second time.

The reigning world champion high-sided out of Turn 5 and landed awkwardly, bringing an end to his race and marking his first MotoGP retirement since Valencia in 2020.

The rain started to fall soon after, adding even more drama to a race that had it all, though ultimately Bagnaia saw things through by holding off Marco Bezzecchi.

It was not quite an all-Ducati podium as Jack Miller, who served a long lap penalty, could not catch Maverick Vinales as he claimed his first top-three finish for Aprilia.

Miller was then overtaken by Espargaro, who also moved in front of Brad Binder to climb from sixth to fourth in an exceptional final lap as the title race was blown wide open.

TOP 10

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 
2. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.444s
3. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +1.209s
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +2.585
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +2.721s
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) +3.045s
7. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +4.340s
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.185s
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +8.325s
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.956s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 172
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 151
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 114
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 106
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 105

Teams

1. Aprilia Racing 213
2. Monster Energy Yamaha 197
3. Ducati 197
4. Pramac Racing 184
5. Red Bull KTM 164

Francesco Bagnaia vowed to fight Fabio Quartararo all the way after giving his slim MotoGP title chances a much-needed boost with pole position for the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Ducati rider fell 91 points behind Quartararo last week when crashing out of the German Grand Prix early on – his fourth abandonment in 10 races this season.

But Bagnaia, who has won two of his past five Dutch GP appearances, looked in good shape on Saturday when shattering the lap record at Circuit Assen with a time of 1:31.504.

Victory in the Netherlands on Sunday is needed if the Italian is realistically going to catch Quartararo, with four other riders separating last season's top two.

After an intense battle on the opening lap in Sachsenring last time out, Bagnaia is aiming to come out on top in round 11 to put some pressure on his rival.

"For sure, Fabio on this track is always so competitive. I would like to have a fight but this time until the end of the race, not just the first two laps," he said.

"I think it's more difficult on this track to open a gap, but we have demonstrated we can be so competitive in the first laps, Fabio too."

Bagnaia, who has claimed four poles this year, pitted after his record lap as he did not believe anyone would be capable of matching his pace.

"That’s the reason I stopped in the box, because I said 'doing more than this is impossible'. If someone did overtake me, I would be OK with it," he said.

"But I'm very happy for this qualifying because this morning I was struggling a lot to be consistent and competitive."

Championship leader Quartararo once again missed out on pole, yet he has made a habit of recovering as the weekend goes on this season.

And as he seeks a third successive victory for the first time in his MotoGP career, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider declared himself pleased with his performance in qualifying.

"I'm happy to have made that front row with the army of Ducatis around me. It's almost impossible to make a pole position with these Ducatis," he said.

"I was really on the limit [for my fastest lap] and on the next lap I wanted to try but I knew it was going to be a little bit worse. Today, the front row was the target."

Pramac's Jorge Martin will start Sunday's race in third, while Jack Miller of Ducati finished sixth in qualifying but was penalised for an incident involving Maverick Vinales.

Miller narrowly avoided colliding with Vinales and will serve a long lap penalty for the second weekend running, though the Australian felt there was nothing he could do.

Speaking ahead of the penalty being confirmed, Miller said: "I mean, I didn't do anything wrong. I did everything I could right. I pulled over to the left.

"I was side-saddle from push starting it. I was just trying to load my foot up and make sure that the [damaged] footpeg wasn't going to snap as I stood on it with all my weight.

"I was already hard on the left-hand side of the track and I just looked to make sure I'm not in anyone's way and Vinales was there. There's a lot of track there. 

"I understand the racing line and the track sort of pulls you that way, but there's not much I could do. I went to apologise because I know it's bad, but there's nothing I can do."

 

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) – 1:31.504
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 0.116
3. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 0.204
4. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.292
5. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) + 0.364
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) + 0.620
7. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.671
8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) + 0.768
9. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.803
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +0.863

Fabio Quartararo declared he is "riding better than ever" after a tyre choice gamble paid off at the German Grand Prix on Sunday.

Track temperatures exceeded 50 degrees at the Sachsenring, where Francesco Bagnaia started on pole, with reigning MotoGP world champion Quartararo one of just two riders to opt for the medium rear tyre.

The Frenchman's decision was rewarded as he overtook Bagnaia on Turn 1, with Quartararo leading for all 30 laps and winning the race by almost five seconds to extend his lead in the championship to 34 points.

Bagnaia crashed out on lap four, losing the rear end of his GP22 for his fourth abandonment of the season, and last year's runner-up now sits 91 points behind Quartararo.

While Bagnaia was left to rue his mistake, Quartararo admitted he was nervous about his tyre decision.

"I feel tired. I was sick all weekend and during the race I was coughing a bit," Quartararo told reporters.

"I have no words. We took a choice on the rear tyre, the medium, that was really risky and in the race we were lucky because it dropped much more than expected.

"But I'm super happy. A really, really special victory, it was a little bit like Barcelona.

"On Friday I was not so great, yesterday was much better and this morning, with the medium tyre I felt it was the correct choice.

"In the race the conditions were totally different and from the beginning I was scared because I was using the tyre a little bit more than expected to ride fast.

"The last five, six laps were a total disaster from the rear. But the feeling on the front was super good."

Yamaha's Quartararo picked up his third win of 2022, adding to victories at the Portuguese Grand Prix and Catalan Grand Prix, and the 23-year-old feels he is in the form of his life.

"Of course, I'm feeling better than ever every time I race," the defending world champion added.

"I'm learning and I feel like every time I find something. The focus here was to make 30 laps in front and being consistent was something difficult.

"Barcelona helped me a lot because I had a similar situation, but of course I'm feeling confident and I feel I'm riding better than ever."

Fabio Quartararo extended his MotoGP championship lead with victory at the German Grand Prix, where Francesco Bagnaia suffered yet more disappointment by crashing out.

Bagnaia had won twice in his past four races and set a scorching pace to claim pole at Sachsenring, but he was overtaken by Quartararo on Turn 1 and lasted three more laps.

In an attempt to reclaim first place from reigning world champion Quartararo, Bagnaia lost the rear end of his GP22 when coming through Turn 1 on lap four and left the track.

Bagnaia was unhurt physically, but his furious reaction said it all, with last year's runner-up now 91 points behind Quartararo and surely out of title contention for another year.

It was the fourth abandonment of the season for the Ducati rider, which is two more failures than he suffered throughout last year's 18-race campaign.

Adding to his victory at the Catalan Grand Prix last time out, Quartararo had no trouble in retaining his lead in Germany to move 34 points in front of Aleix Espargaro in the championship.

Monster Energy Yamaha's Quartararo is the first MotoGP rider other than Marc Marquez to win on this track since 2012, with the Spaniard missing this race due to injury.

Pramac Racing's Johann Zarco stayed safe in second place, 5.3 seconds behind the race winner, while Jack Miller did brilliantly to pip Espargaro to a place on the podium.

Luca Marini and Zarco's team-mate Jorge Martin completed the top six, with the latter returning to action after a period out following hand surgery.

Elsewhere, Maverick Vinales was forced to retire with 13 laps to go due to his rear ride-height device jamming. Joan Mir and Pol Espargaro were also among those not to finish.


TOP 10

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha)
2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +4.939s
3. Jack Miller (Ducati) +8.372s
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +9.113s
5. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46) +11.679s
6. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +13.164s
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +15.405s
8. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini) +15.851s
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +19.740s
10. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) +21.611s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders
1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 172
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 138
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 111
4. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 100
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) 82

Teams
1. Monster Energy Yamaha 197
2. Aprilia Racing 184
3. Pramac Racing 172
4. Ducati 162
5. Red Bull KTM 146

Francesco Bagnaia set a scorching pace to earn pole position for the German Grand Prix, but championship leader Fabio Quartararo served notice he is "ready to fight" for the win.

After setting Sachsenring lap records earlier in the day, a time of one minute and 19.931 seconds by Ducati's Bagnaia clinched first place on the grid for Sunday's race.

Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) was next quickest, with Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) completing the front row.

Bagnaia has won twice in his last four races but failed to finish on the other two occasions. The Italian rider has chalked up an unfortunate three abandonments this season in nine MotoGP outings, one more failure to finish than he suffered in last year's 18-race campaign.

"Today the qualifying wasn't easy. It was very hot and the wind was disturbing us a bit," Bagnaia said. "I'm very happy about this pole position."

Frenchman Quartararo has finished on the podium in four of his last five races, with the 23-year-old taking the win last time out at the Catalan Grand Prix and going 22 points clear of nearest rival Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) in the process.

Espargaro blundered in that race by celebrating a podium a lap too early, having miscounted, and dropped from second place to fifth as a consequence.

This time Espargaro will start fourth on the grid, no doubt counting the laps more carefully.

Quartararo senses threats from his rivals but is up for the challenge.

"They look so competitive. Aprilia and Ducati are looking fast, but I feel ready to fight with them," Quartararo said. "I think we are able to make great pace, not only in one lap, so I'm super happy to qualify in the front row today."

Quartararo experienced the rare mishap of seeing his visor break during free practice early on Saturday, and he swallowed up the responsibility.

"I'm always the first rider to do something strange," he said. "I think I didn't close it well, and when I turned around the visor came up, and then with the speed it came off, but I think it was my mistake."

Alex Rins pulled out of the race early on Saturday after feeling discomfort from the fractured left wrist injury he suffered in Barcelona, while Marc Marquez remains absent.

Six-time MotoGP champion Marquez has won the last eight editions of the German Grand Prix.

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) – 1:19.931
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 0.076
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.099
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) + 0.189
5. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini) + 0.197
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) + 0.219
7. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46) + 0.237
8. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 0.288
9. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia) + 0.537
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) + 0.631

Aleix Espargaro continued his dominant form in Barcelona by setting a "totally crazy" lap record to claim pole position for the Catalan Grand Prix.

Aprilia rider Espargaro topped three of the four practice sessions and was able to see off Francesco Bagnaia's late charge in qualifying on Saturday.

The Spaniard blitzed to a lap record of 1:38.771 in the third practice session and promptly broke his own mark with a time of 1:38.742 in qualifying.

Espargaro, whose only previous pole this season came in Argentina in round three, finished 0.031 seconds ahead of Bagnaia at a scorching Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Reflecting on an impressive showing in his home country, the 32-year-old said: "I did a totally crazy lap, slipping around everywhere and in truth I didn't really appreciate this lap.

"I was on the limit on each bend. The conditions today were super difficult. I'd say the most difficult I've experienced this season."

Espargaro is eight points behind reigning MotoGP champion and 2022 pacesetter Fabio Quartararo, who finished third in qualifying.

However, Espargaro has failed to finish in six of his seven appearances at the Catalan Grand Prix, completing the race only once when finishing 12th in 2020.

Monster Energy Yamaha rider Quartararo has finished on the podium in three of his last four races, meanwhile, and is one shy of finishing in the top three for a 25th time.

After struggling in practice, Quartararo is pleased to be behind only Espargaro and Ducati's Bagnaia heading into Sunday's race.

"I would have signed up for such a result, indeed," he said. "I would have been satisfied with second row, because yesterday's practice was a disaster. Nothing seemed to work.

"Technically we opted for a big change of setting today, and the track conditions also changed."

Bagnaia also has no complaints following a well-fought qualifying session in which 0.403s separated Espargaro in first and Suzuki Ecstar's Alex Rins in seventh.

"It wasn't easy because of the heat, which made the track slippery. For my part, I couldn't do any more," he said.

"I'm very happy with the work we did. We are close to Aleix in terms of the race pace."

Bagnaia, who has won his past three races held in Spain, added: "This is turning into one of the most difficult world championships.

"Tomorrow it will be essential to understand the grip of the track so as not to use the tyres too much. All the bikes are very fast and practically every driver is a world champion."

 

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) 1:38.742
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +0.031s
3. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.217s
4. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.285s
5. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing) +0.357s
6. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.400s
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.403s
8. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) +0.655s
9. Luca Marini (Mooney Racing) +0.709s
10. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) +0.735s

Francesco Bagnaia said winning the Italian Grand Prix was a dream come true as the Ducati star roared to Mugello glory.

The 25-year-old from Turin held off a challenge from Fabio Quartararo to earn a second win in the last three races and climb to fourth place in the MotoGP riders' standings.

This race has been won by an Italian rider in three of the last five editions now, with Bagnaia joining Andrea Dovizioso in 2017 and Danilo Petrucci in 2019 in that group.

Although Ducati star Bagnaia considers Misano his 'home' circuit, he savoured the moment of crossing the line first in front of Italian supporters.

"It's something I have always dreamed of, because winning in Mugello is incredible," he told a news conference.

"Misano is my home grand prix, but this one is the Italian Grand Prix. It's one of the toughest tracks ever, so it's great."

He was greeted by thousands of fans when he climbed off his bike and made his way towards a trackside enclosure.

"I was thinking to throw my helmet, but I knew we would have a penalty if I ride without my helmet, so it was not possible to do it," Bagnaia said.

Bagnaia crashed out when contesting the lead last time out at the French Grand Prix, having won the previous race in Spain.

This was the ideal way to overcome the Le Mans setback, and Bagnaia said: "For sure, for the championship it was important to take points in this race, but I have to say I was not feeling more pressure.

"We're doing a job where you have to live with pressure. Mistakes can happen, but the good thing is to restart and don't think about your problems, just think about things you enjoy, and I really enjoyed this weekend a lot."

Bagnaia got ahead of early pace-setter Marco Bezzecchi with 15 laps remaining and clung on under pressure from championship leader Quartararo.

Quartararo started sixth on the grid, one place behind Bagnaia, and the Monster Energy Yamaha rider was delighted with that effort.

Last season's champion Quartararo said: "It was basically my best race of my career. I was feeling bad all the weekend and I made an amazing start, the best one, and then I was overtaking, and losing the front, losing the rear. Ducati was overtaking on the straight, and I was overtaking back.

"I think it was the best race. Before the race I was OK, I had nothing to lose because I knew my pace was not so good.

"To be honest, I was running at my best today and I feel so happy."

Francesco Bagnaia triumphed at the Italian Grand Prix for the first time as the crowd at Mugello celebrated a home triumph.

The Ducati star continued his impressive run of mid-season form by fending off Fabio Quartararo, earning a second win in the last three races.

This outcome means the Italian stop-off on the MotoGP circuit has been won by an Italian rider in three of the last five editions, Bagnaia joining Andrea Dovizioso in 2017 and Danilo Petrucci in 2019 in that group.

Bagnaia got ahead of early pace-setter Marco Bezzecchi with 15 laps remaining and clung on under pressure from championship leader Quartararo. Bezzecchi faded to fifth place as Aleix Espargaro took third and Johann Zarco was fourth.

The victory comes as a relief to Bagnaia, who crashed out when contesting the lead last time out at the French Grand Prix, having won the previous race in Spain.

Bezzecchi's Mooney VR46 team-mate Luca Marini was involved in much of the early running, moving up to third midway through the 23-lap race. The colleagues went close to touching as they jostled to compete with Quartararo for second place.

Gresini's Enea Bastianini, third in the championship, was then running sixth when he crashed out with eight laps remaining. 

Bagnaia was defending a narrow lead but had enough power to resist Quartararo as they duked it out for the win, Marini sliding to sixth in the closing laps.

Before Dovizioso's 2017 win, Italian riders had not won any of the previous eight Italian Grands Prix, but it is becoming a regular sight to see Il Tricolore waved from the podium.

Two previous abandonments by Bagnaia at this circuit were cast aside as the 25-year-old from Turin took the top step this time, nudging up to fourth in the riders' season standings.

Tenth spot went to Marc Marquez, who faces a spell on the sidelines, with arm surgery booked in for the six-time MotoGP champion.

TOP 10

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati)
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.635secs
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +1.983s
4. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +2.590s
5. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +3.067s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders
1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 122
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) 114
3. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) 94
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 81
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 75

Teams
1. Aprilia Racing 151
2. Ducati Lenovo 144
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 141
4. Suzuki Ecstar 125
5. Red Bull KTM 115

Fabio di Giannantonio claimed a stunning maiden MotoGP pole in his home race at the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello on Saturday. 

The rookie Gresini rider snatched pole as rainy conditions hovered over the Mugello circuit, leading an Italian front three on the grid with Valentino Rossi duo Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini was halted due to a red flag.

Initial spots of rain prompted the field to venture out on rain tyres expect Brad Binder, who gambled and lapped almost three seconds quicker, forcing the rest to return to the pits for slicks.

Di Giannantonio took chances on the testy Mugello circuit, sticking his 2021-spec Gresini on pole with a time of 1:46.156, and his response post-qualifying was naturally one of excitement.

"It’s one thing unimaginable, since you arrive right here in Mugello and anticipate to do a superb outcome for all of the individuals who come for you, who cheer for you, all of the help that you’ve got right here in your house race," he said post-qualifying.

"Already using a Ducati MotoGP bike in Mugello is one thing unimaginable, and getting to the pole place is one thing else.

"It was such a fantastic finish of the day for me, and one of many desires of my life is to be high on the grid in MotoGP."

Johann Zarco briefly held provisional pole but had to settle for fourth on his Pramac Ducati, ahead of Francesco Bagnaia on the factory Ducati.

He was followed by reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo, with Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro and LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami rounding out the second row.

While Jack Miller missed out on Q2, but qualifying was ultimately marred by a fiery crash for Marc Marquez, who had a big highside at Luco.

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Fabio di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing) 1:46.156
2. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.088s
3. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46) +0.171s
4. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.227s
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +0.315s
6. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.350s
7. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.351s
8. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +0.405s
9. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +0.511s
10. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) +0.523s

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

Francesco Bagnaia secured another lap record and so another pole position at the French Grand Prix on Saturday, this time leading a Ducati one-two ahead of Jack Miller.

Bagnaia had ended defending MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo's sequence of four consecutive poles last time out at the Grand Prix of Spain, setting a Jerez record.

The Italian protected that position to win for the first time this season and will hope to repeat the feat at Le Mans, where he was again dominant in qualifying.

Bagnaia's time of 1:30.450 edged out Miller by 0.069 seconds, with Quartararo – looking to become the first home winner in France since 1954 – forced to settle for fourth.

But the Monster Energy Yamaha rider, who again leads the standings, recognises Bagnaia and Ducati are doing something special in qualifying.

Indeed, Bagnaia has a leading eight poles since the start of last season.

"I was disappointed, but two minutes later I was happy," Quartararo said. "On the qualifying, we miss something – all the time, not only in qualifying. 

"Ducati is able to really do something crazy – and the riders, I would not say only Ducati.  

"But we are all the same in the race pace, so it's difficult to really make the difference."

Even so, Bagnaia believes Quartararo will be the man to beat, although he added: "I think after the modification I did in qualifying, I am more close now.

"But it's difficult to say now. The forecast says tomorrow it will rain. I hope it will not be like this, but it looks like it could be."

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 1:30.450
2. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.069s
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +0.159s
4. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.238s
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) +0.261s
6. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.413s
7. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.493s
8. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.527s
9. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.618s
10. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.698s

Francesco Bagnaia was physically ailing during his Grand Prix of Spain victory but believes he is now in the "best shape" on Ducati's 2022 bike.

Bagnaia finished last season with four wins in six races – his first victories in MotoGP – only to make a slow start to the new campaign.

The Ducati man had not reached the podium this year heading into Sunday's race at Jerez, but pole position in qualifying set him up to end that run.

Indeed, Bagnaia led from start to finish, holding off defending champion and season leader Fabio Quartararo.

It was not as comfortable a ride as it may have seemed, however, as Bagnaia revealed afterwards he is still dealing with a shoulder injury suffered in a qualifying crash in Portugal.

"I was very worried about the race because this morning in the warm-up I was without painkillers, and I was struggling," he said

"But then Clinica Mobile always has something good to give to you, and that helped me.

"Just the last part of the race was difficult because all the braking is in the right apart from the last corner. Turn 6 was very difficult to stop the bike because it was like someone was putting pressure on my [shoulder], and it was painful."

But having returned to winning ways, Bagnaia heads into the rest of the season on a high.

"For sure we are back in best shape, not physically but in terms of my riding," he added. "I want to get home and recover because I think that today we have finally found what we were missing."

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