Francesco Bagnaia fights off Marco Bezzecchi to claim victory at Assen

Francesco Bagnaia makes it back-to-back Grand Prix wins at Assen after beating Marco Bezzecchi at the Dutch MotoGP. 
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP sprint race, Dutch MotoGP, 24 June
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP sprint race, Dutch MotoGP, 24 June

Like the sprint race, Bezzecchi made a good start but one that wasn’t good enough to see him keep the lead.

Bagnaia came through as he did on Saturday, however, the race lead went the way of Binder after the KTM rider made a stunning lunge into turn one.

Keen to join his teammate at the front of the field, Jack Miller made a quick move on Vinales for seventh before the Aprilia rider responded immediately. 


Miller, who was overtaken at turn one, then crashed out after losing the front of his RC16.

That began a flurry of falls as compatriots Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco made contact at turn seven.

Quartararo, who suffered a dreadful start after dropping from fourth to P12, was seen lying in the gravel before Zarco checked on the Yamaha rider.

The quickest rider on circuit after setting back-to-back fastest laps, Vinales’s charge ended in the gravel as he went down at turn eight. 

In the midst of all the drama, there was a change for the race lead as Bagnaia reasserted himself at the front. However, Binder and Bezzecchi were staying close to the world champion.

A mistake on lap eight saw Bezzecchi drop to nearly a second behind Binder, before the Sprint winner set a new fastest lap in order to close back in straight away. 

Keeping the front three honest at the front, Aleix Espargaro, who had a broken winglet and a damaged front brake guard. was struggling to make a real impact as he remained a second behind Bezzecchi. 

Pushing on the pace in second, Binder began to open up a small advantage over Bezzecchi with 12 laps gone, which in-turn saw him close in on Bagnaia. 

However, a mistake one lap later at the final chicane saw Binder give Bagnaia a lead of over eight tenths. 

After a pair of quick laps, Bezzecchi then made his move on Binder for second, but in doing so it allowed Bagnaia to edge further clear.

A lead of 1.3 seconds started to shrink quite considerably as Bezzecchi went four tenths quicker on lap 20.

But Bezzecchi’s challenge soon ended as Bagnaia appeared to be controlling the gap. The Italian got his lead back up to 1.3 seconds with four laps remaining. 

In the battle for third, Espargaro gave everything to challenge Binder but the South African had appeared to manage the last few laps to perfection, before suffering a second track limits penalty on the final lap, which cost him the podium for the second time this weekend. 

Read More