Bagnaia prevails in an Aragon epic vs Marc Marquez
After a trio of second place finishes in 2021, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) is finally a MotoGP™ winner after emerging victorious from an enthralling Gran Premio TISSOT de Aragon battle with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). The duo were in a league of their own on Sunday afternoon as the 25-point haul fight goes down to the wire; reigning World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) claims the final podium spot in P3.
Pecco vs Marc Marquez – a battle for the ages
As the lights went out for the main event in Aragon, polesitter Bagnaia got away well and held P1 into Turn 1, with Jack Miller going in a bit deep up the inside. This allowed Marc Marquez to grab P2 from fourth on the grid, Aleix Espargaro was up to P4 with Fabio Quartararo 5th.
Nobody in the early stages was showing their cards, with 2.2s covering the top six. Quartararo was seventh and had the rapid starting Iker Lecuona climbing all over him, and at the end of Lap 6, Lecuona was through. With eight laps gone, Bagnaia and Marc Marquez were now 1.2s clear of Miller. That advantage was soon up to 1.9s with 13 laps to go, as Miller then took the car park route around Turn 16.
Bagnaia and Marquez were exchanging 1:48s lap after lap, with the rest languishing in the 1:49s and below. With six to go, no change. Still both riders were in the 1:48s, and they were again with five to go. With four laps left, Marquez was closer than he was on previous laps. Then, with three laps to go, the first move was made by Marquez. The HRC star lunged into Turn 5, but he was in a little hot and slightly wide.
Two laps left in Aragon. It was an exact copy and paste at Turn 5, Marquez again lunging late, but there was no way through. Then it was time for an epic final lap. Marquez tried his luck at Turn 1 this time, but it didn’t stick. Turn 5 then reared its head and for the third lap in a row, Marquez was up the inside, before Pecco fought back.
That was six overtakes that hadn’t stuck for the eight-time Champion, a seventh attempt then came at Turn 12. Marquez got a great run out of the Marc Marquez Corner and was up the inside at the downhill left-hander. Struggling to get it hooked up to the apex, Marquez was wide and onto the green turf, which allowed Pecco to hold P1. With Marquez as wide as he was, it was battle won for Pecco. Ducati’s star made no mistake and crossed the line to complete a perfect weekend: pole position to maiden MotoGP™ victory, the eighth winner of 2021.
Meanwhile, Aleix Espargaro couldn’t hold onto the reigns of Mir in the closing stages but a P4 is another excellent ride from the Spaniard.
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team)
2. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.673
3. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 3.911
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 9.269
5. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 11.928
6. Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) + 13.757
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 14.064
8. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 16.575
9. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 16.615
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) + 16.904
Surgery to victory: Raul Fernandez takes Aragon by storm
The rookie sensation takes a heroic win just seven days after metacarpal surgery and closes teammate Gardner down in the title race. We’re running out of superlatives to describe Raul Fernandez’ (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2021 campaign. Just seven days after undergoing surgery on a fractured metacarpal, the rookie sensation blitzed his way to Moto2™ victory at the Gran Premio TISSOT de Aragon to beat second place Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) by 5.4s, as Red Bull KTM Ajo claim the 2021 Team title. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) produced a fantastic comeback ride to pick up the final podium spot.
Astonishing Raul Fernandez strikes again
The top three on the grid all got away well and polesitter Sam Lowes was the last of the late brakers to grab the holeshot, as the British rider led from Gardner and Raul Fernandez. Lowes opened up a 0.6s advantage on the opening lap as Raul Fernandez passed title rival Gardner for second at Turn 12, as Ai Ogura grabbed P4 from Hector Garzo.
The battered and bruised Fernandez then decided to take the lead at the beginning of Lap 4, with Gardner exchanging P3 with Ogura just behind. Gardner was having a scrapping opening handful of laps in Aragon, the Aussie was wide at Turn 12 and once again conceded P3 to Ogura.
With 10 laps down, Raul Fernandez was holding Lowes at bay by just over a second. Gardner was over three seconds down on Lowes and had Jorge Navarro and Aron Canet in hot pursuit. After seeing Raul Fernandez stretch his lead to nearly one and a half seconds, a gift was then handed to both Red Bull KTM Ajo riders. Lowes was in the gravel – uninjured – at Turn 7 with nine laps to go, the British rider’s race was over, as Raul Fernandez now held a 6.3s lead over second place Gardner.
In the end, Raul Fernandez was unstoppable. Fighting the pain, the gap to Gardner in the Championship is down to 39 points, as Fernandez becomes the first Moto2™ rookie to take at least five wins since Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Future Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Augusto Fernandez was as low as 15th at one point, but the Spaniard dug deep to claim a fourth podium in five races.
The experienced Simone Corsi rounded out the top 10, the Italian beat Marcel Schrötter, Marcos Ramirez, Joe Roberts, Cameron Beaubier and Celestino Vietti in the remaining point scoring positions.
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 5.408
3. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 6.824
4. Jorge Navarro (+EGO Speed Up) + 7.051
5. Aron Canet (Kipin Energy Aspar Team) + 10.695
6. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 15.160
7. Fermin Aldeguer (+EGO Speed Up) + 16.730
8. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 17.085
9. Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 17.704
10. Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) + 20.121
Foggia capitalises as Acosta and Garcia both crash
Leopard Racing’s Dennis Foggia claimed a third victory of the season in a hugely dramatic Moto3™ encounter at the Gran Premio TISSOT de Aragon. The Italian overtook second place finisher Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) on the final lap to emerge victorious, as Ayumu Sasaki joined teammate Öncü on the rostrum.
Championship drama aplenty
Acosta was battling away inside the top 10, as he and Rodrigo made contact on Lap 3 at Turn 9. Filip Sala? crashed out of the top 10 at Turn 12, rider ok, as we witnessed a very frantic opening few laps. At half race distance, Xavier Artigas took his turn leading, Öncü soon returned to the lead though as we saw an 11-rider lead group form.
Then, with four laps to go, huge drama. At Turn 5, Acosta and Artigas were down and out of the race. Acosta dived up the inside of the Leopard rider and tucked the front, causing the Championship leader to hit Artigas’ rear wheel. Now, all eyes were on Garcia. Garcia was P3 with two laps to go as Foggia passed Öncü at Turn 1, before Garcia climbed to P2 at Turn 8. However, Öncü was straight back up the inside at Turn 12.
Final lap time, Foggia led Öncü, Garcia and Guevara. In an incredibly fierce final lap, Garcia was third but was late on the brakes into Turn 12. It turned out to be too late, as the Spaniard crashed unhurt. This left Öncü leading Foggia for the race win, but on the back straight, Foggia unleashed his Honda power and drafted past the Turkish rider, held it around the final two corners to claim victory. Öncü missed out on a maiden victory by just 0.041s, as Sasaki made it two Tech3 riders on the rostrum with a brilliant P3.
On the other hand, Jaume Masia had a quiet race and eventually claimed P10 on home soil.
1. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing)
2. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.041
3. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.644
4. Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.708
5. Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia VR46 Academy) + 0.878
6. Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 1.180
7. Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 2.133
8. Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) + 2.685
9. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 2.786
10. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 4.714