MotoGP in Barcelona


26.05.2024

Sprint


The sixth sprint race of the season, which took place today at Montmeló’s “Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya” saw Enea Bastianini fifth at the finish line. Francesco Bagnaia crashed out of the lead during the final lap of the encounter.

From the eleventh place of the grid, Bastanini had an excellent start as he exited the first chicane in sixth place. After an early part of the race that saw him tailing the leading group, Enea lost some ground following a coming together with Marc Marquéz as the latter overtook him. In the final laps, he managed to return to a competitive pace, but unfortunately the gap with the riders ahead was too big to bridge.

Bagnaia had a perfect launch from second place on the grid as the reigning world champion took the lead and successfully defended it in the first laps. After dropping down to fourth in the central part of the encounter, Pecco was back at the front with sixth laps to go as he tried to manage the small margin he had on the following rider. During the final lap, Bagnaia was yet another victim of the slippery track conditions – just like two previous race leaders before him - as he lost control of his Desmosedici machine and said goodbye to a race win that was well within reach.

The Sunday race of the Catalunya Grand Prix (24 laps) will get underway tomorrow at 14:00 local time after the traditional warm up session – scheduled at 9:40.

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 5th
“The day didn’t go as expected, especially after the steps forward we made yesterday. Unfortunately, this morning the feeling went back to the one I had at the beginning, and it was hard. Furthermore, I got a good lap cancelled in qualifying as I rode over the green stripe at turn 13, so I found myself quite far back on the grid. The sprint race went quite well: I had a good start but unfortunately a coming together with (Marc) Márquez sent me off the track and from there on I was unable to return on the leading group. It’s a shame, but we’ll try to do better tomorrow.”

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – DNF
“We spent some time after the race in the pit-box to analyse the crash: I hit the brakes at the same spot and I was a little slower, but two degrees more in the leaning angle led me to the crash. It wasn’t anything big, but this is the reason behind the tumble. It’s a shame, because I was fast and I was controlling the margin at the front; I knew I had the pace and I was trying to keep everything in check, and I started to push once I saw that the others were starting to struggle. Obviously I’m very disappointed, especially because this is the third weekend in a row coming out of the sprint race empty-handed. It’s clearly a missed opportunity as the 12 points were well within reach, so I’m a little bit angry about it. I’ll need to be more careful tomorrow, especially at turn five.”

Race


The Ducati Lenovo Team returns on the top step of the podium in the Sunday race of the Catalan Grand Prix courtesy of an extraordinary performance by Francesco Bagnaia, who takes his third race win of the season. Enea Bastianini crossed the line in ninth place ad the end of the 24-lap encounter before receiving a 32-second penalty for failing to comply a long-lap penalty, which demotes him to eighteenth position.

Bagnaia had another perfect start from the front row and stayed in the lead in the early laps while trying to preserve the tyres. After dropping down to third place with twelve laps left, Pecco lost a little bit of ground from the race lead while still maintaining the visual on the two riders battling for first position. Following Acosta’s crash, the reigning world champion started his relentless pursuit of the then-leader Martín and eventually overtook him at turn five with less than six laps to go, before crossing the finish line with a 1.7 margin on his opponent.

Bastianini rode through the first chicane in tenth place but could not stay with the leading group – albeit still within the top ten. At halfway point in the encounter, Enea was given a long-lap penalty by the race direction after cutting the first chicane, as he was forced to do so following an overtaking manoeuvre by Alex Márquez. By not carrying out the long-lap during the race, the penalty translated into an extra 32 seconds added to his total race time and resulted in an eighteenth-place finish.

As the Grand Prix of Catalunya draws to a close, Bagnaia is second in the title race, 39 points shy of Martín, while Bastianini sits fourth and 61 points in arrears. The Ducati Lenovo Team leads the team standings with 210 points, while Ducati tops the manufacturer standings (204 points).
The standard bearers of the Ducati Lenovo Team will be back in action from Friday in front of their home crowd at the Mugello International Circuit, for the seventh Grand Prix of the season.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1st
“Today’s win was a very important one, both for how things panned out yesterday and also for last year’s results at this track. I tried to set the pace at the beginning and I thought it was the right one. As soon as Jorge (Martín) and Acosta got past me, I tried to stay with them, but I thought their pace was a bit too quick especially with regards to the tyre wear on the full-race distance. Then I saw that their pace got back to a rhythm that was similar to mine. Once I overtook Jorge, I noticed I had already pulled a 0.4secs margin on him in one lap, so the only thing I had to do was to make it to the finish line. I rode the final lap almost with the feet on the ground, to avoid surprises. Now the Mugello awaits, and I hope fans will turn up at the circuit as many as they did here.”

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 18th
“It was a frustrating race for me, as a long-lap penalty came at halfway point as I was forced to run off the track after an overtake manoeuvre by Alex Márquez, in a situation where I had no other option but to cut the first chicane. I hope there’ll be more consideration in the future in this type of situations, as I feel that I didn’t deserve this penalty. On the contrary, I thought Alex was the one who had to give me back the position, but it didn’t go this way. Now we need to focus on making amends in the next race.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“It was another tight race. We’re witnessing a time of incredible races for the fans, whom I think are enjoying a lot, not so much for myself because the tension is always sky high and I’m exhausted! It’s incredible to see these champions giving it all on the track. After last year’s results we chose to select this circuit as out test track with Michele (Pirro), and I believe this helped us find some valid solutions to improve our bike set-up. The guys have done an excellent work once again to prepare this event the best way and to put the riders in the best possible condition to do well.”


Gallery:



Race results

Pos.Nr.DriverTeamBikeTime
1 1 F. Bagnaia 40:11.726
2 89 J. Martin +1.740
3 93 M. Marquez +10.491
4 41 A. Espargaro +10.543
5 49 F. Di Giannantonio +15.441
6 25 R. Fernandez +15.916
7 73 A. Marquez +16.882
8 33 B. Binder +18.578
9 20 F. Quartararo +20.477
10 88 M. Oliveira +20.889
11 72 M. Bezzecchi +21.023
12 12 M. Viñales +22.137
13 31 P. Acosta +31.967
14 30 T. Nakagami +32.987
15 36 J. Mir +33.132
16 5 J. Zarco +34.554
17 10 L. Marini +36.689
18 23 E. Bastianini +50.615
19 6 S. Bradl HRC Test Team +55.295
20 42 A. Rins +63.428
DNF 21 F. Morbidelli
DNF 37 A. Fernandez
DNF 43 J. Miller

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