#ItalianGP Mugello, Sunday roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In MotoGP, News


Sunday at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley is a day that Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) will keep fondly in his memory, as the Italian completed the double in Mugello – from pole – and extended his Championship advantage from one single point to a very healthy 21. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) kept the Italian honest from start to finish but didn’t quite have enough to topple the number 1 as he was forced to settle for second, although only a second back. The battle for third raged on all race long, finally seeing Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) fly through the field to take P3 and deny Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) a home podium.

Tensions were high on the grid as the sun shone over Mugello for one of the most iconic Grands Prix on the calendar, and it was Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) who took the holeshot into Turn 1 but Bagnaia came out of the gates determined to deliver on home soil, the Italian pushing his way back to the front at the next apex. He then began to stretch a lead as the chasing pack was swapping paintwork on the opening lap.

Bagnaia crossed the line for the first line 0.4s ahead of the special liveried Prima Pramac machine of Martin, who had made his way past Miller, and the Australian was under attack from a queue of riders led by Marini and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).

The front two began to break away as Bagnaia attempted to stretch out the field, with Martin clinging onto the coattails of Pecco as chaos started to unfold behind in the battle for third.

With 21 laps to go, Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) had a wild rush into Turn 1, seemingly unable to drop anchor and threading through the group. Both he and Miller were sent wide, allowing Marini and Marquez to bully their way through into third and fourth, and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was right in the mix too.

The race settled down as the laps began to tick away and it was Bagnaia leading with a consistent 0.4s gap over Martin, who nevertheless was keeping himself in victory contention. 1.5s back, a battle for the podium was brewing nicely with Marini sat in P3 with the Marquez brothers glued to his rear wheel.

As ever, Marc Marquez was on the absolute limit of his Honda machine. But it wasn’t quite enough at Mugello as the Spaniard ran wide at the final turn and crashed out on the dirty part of the tarmac with 17 laps remaining, ending his hopes of some points on Sunday.

That spread the field out a little bit as Marini had a bit of breathing space over Alex Marquez in fourth, with Zarco starting to threaten the podium fight in fifth. The podium fight was well and truly on with 11 laps to go as Alex Marquez rode up alongside Marini into Turn 1, pulling off the perfect block pass to demote the Italian down to P4 – with Zarco also waiting to pounce.

Marini continued to pile the pressure on Alex Marquez in front though, and then the slightest of mistakes saw the Spaniard crash out of the Italian Grand Prix. The only rider who’d put in a lap to match Bagnaia was out of the running.

Six laps to go and Zarco made Marini well aware of his presence as he made a beautiful move at the final corner to lead Marini onto the front straight. The Italian got straight back into the Frenchman’s slipstream and retook 3rd place as they barrelled into Turn 1, but Zarco wasn’t having any of it. The Prima Pramac rider snapped straight back at the VR46 rider, putting the hammer down in an attempt to break away from his fellow Ducati.

The Frenchman went on to do exactly that, and with some incredible late-race pace sailed away from Marini to consolidate a double Pramac podium at the team’s home circuit.

Ahead of that charge though was Pecco’s own as Bagnaia kept it pitch perfect to manage the gap ahead of Martin. It was down to only a second on the final lap, however, as the number 89 pushed on and Zarco homed in on him in turn, but Bagnaia kept it calm and took that well-earned home win, consolidating that points lead in style.

Binder set the new all-time MotoGP™ top speed record on Saturday and was the first non-Ducati in P5. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) was next up as the Aprilia rider managed to catch and pass Miller, but not by much as the two staged a near photo-finish drag race to the flag.

A tough start to the race for Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) saw him stuck down in P8 with 15 laps to go, and the Italian couldn’t make progress as the laps ticked down. He gives up a few points to Binder in taking that eighth, and even more ground to Martin as the Spaniard finished second.

Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) finished his first race back from injury in P9, with Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) rounding out the top 10 ahead of his teammate Fabio Quartararo as the tougher run continued for the Frenchman.

It was a big weekend for Bagnaia’s 2023 title hopes as the Italian support fuelled his Championship defence. With a 21-point lead over Bezzecchi, the number 1 has gotten the triple header off to a perfect start… just as the paddock heads to the very venue where it all went a little wrong for Bagnaia in 2021. The Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland awaits the grid next weekend, with action in Assen just one week later.


Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) put on a dominant display to reel in the points on Championship leader Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) in the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, taking an impressive victory at the Italian’s home circuit. Arbolino finished the race at some distance in second, but the number 14 put in some good damage limitation after a tougher weekend before the lights went out. Jake Dixon (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) snatched the final podium place on the final lap from polesitter Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Lons40).

It was a good start from Canet from pole, but the Spaniard lost out into Turn 1, dropping down the order to P4. Acosta led the pack on the first lap with Sam Lowes(Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) right on his rear wheel, and Alonso Lopez (MB Conveyors SpeedUp) shooting up into third. There was a big crash at Turn 1 just behind involving Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors SpeedUp), Jeremy Alcoba(QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™), and Darryn Binder (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP), that ruling the trio out of the Grand Prix but riders all ok.

There was even more drama on Lap 1 as Lopez shoved his Boscocuro machine up the inside of Lowes, making contact with the Brit and sending him into the Mugello gravel. Lowes wasn’t best pleased and Lopez was immediately handed a Long Lap penalty just as he was glued to the rear wheel of Acosta. So two laps in it was Acosta leading from Lopez, who still had his penalty to serve, and at 0.7s back Arbolino had fought his way into P3 past Canet.

One lap later and the time came for Lopez to take his penalty, but the Spaniard was far from perfecting the loop as he found himself riding through the gravel on the outside of the Long Lap, dropping him to P13. As the Spaniard failed to correctly serve the penalty, that meant he was still due a trip through the long lap loop.

That left a two-second lead for Acosta, with Championship leader Arbolino sat in P2. Meanwhile Filip Salač (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™) had found his way to the front as he slotted into P3, pushing Canet back to P4. Whilst that race settled at the front, Lopez successfully retook his penalty on take two, rejoining the race in P10.

Back at the front, Salač had broken away from Canet, leaving the Spaniard heading into the clutches of Dixon as the Czech rider flew his way onto the rear wheel of Arbolino up ahead. Arbolino then put the hammer down though and stretched out some breathing space, keeping himself in a lonely but valuable second place with Acosta 2.5s up the road.

Salač himself then began to drop back, first fading back to Canet and then behind Dixon, who demoted the Czech rider to P5 with five laps remaining. Dixon didn’t want to stop at P4, however, as he edged closer and closer to Canet. As Acosta took that impressive win and Arbolino followed him home, Dixon struck against Canet on the final lap at Turn 1, getting the job done and stayed ahead to get back on the podium.

Canet took fourth and Celestino Vietti (Fantic Racing) sliced up to fifth, with Lopez putting in an impressive recovery to move through to sixth following his early transgressions.

Salač ultimately crossed the line in seventh, ahead of Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp), Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and rookie Sergio Garcia (Pons Wegwow Los40).

The Championship story continues to run its rollercoaster course in the 2023 Moto2™ season. There are still plenty of points available as the attention now turns to the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland in just one week’s time.


Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) has done it again! The Championship leader came out on top in an intense five-rider fight at Mugello, just defeating polesitter and pacesetter Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) at the line. Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) completed the podium, fighting off rookie David Alonso (Valresa GASGAS Aspar) and veteran Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing).

Öncü took the holeshot from pole, with Holgado slotting into second and Sasaki third as all made good starts. A key mover was Masia as he got up into fourth by the end of Lap 1, on the chase behind the leading trio, and soon enough it was a leading quartet. Alonso was also able to join the party, and the five then started to pull away from the chasing pack.

With positions chopping and changing as the long main straight brought slipstream into effect, it was a serious showdown all the way to the flag. There had even been a conduct warning for every rider in the front five, but no harm done despite a couple of moments.

Heading into San Donato for the last time, Sasaki was ahead and just kept it, but Holgado then pounced and Öncü was next past the Husqvarna. The Turk then struck for the lead and set about pushing to the limit to try and make a gap, conscious of the slipstream on the way to the line… and he needed to be.

Öncü exited ahead but it just wasn’t quite enough as Holgado kept it pinned to the line and just pipped the Turkish rider, taking the victory and extending his lead once again. öncü was able to just stay ahead of Sasaki, however, as the Japanese rider was forced to settle for third. Alonso likewise kept Masia at bay.

A massive group battle for sixth saw rookie Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) come out on top, just pipping Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI). But the Brazilian should be satisfied enough with his comeback ride from the back of the grid and a Long Lap penalty, putting in some excellent damage limitation. Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) took eighth, with Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team) next up, the latter also from the back and via a Long Lap. Kaito Toba (SIC58 Squadra Corse) pipped another with a penalty, Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team), to the final place in the top ten.

Now it’s off to the very different Sachsenring, and Holgado has a whopping 35 points in hand over Masia at the top.


Source: motogp.com


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