Catalunya MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro wins the sprint after three riders crash from the lead

Aleix Espargaro wins the Catalunya MotoGP sprint after Raul Fernandez, Brad Binder and Francesco Bagnaia all crashed from the lead.

Aleix Espargaro Catalunya
Aleix Espargaro Catalunya

Reigning MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia made a brilliant start from the middle of the front row as he took the lead ahead of Pedro Acosta and Brad Binder.

Polesitter Aleix Espargaro was moved down to fifth, while Marc Marquez made big progress from 14th on the grid.

An all-action lap three saw Bagnaia demoted from first to fourth in just a few corners.

Acosta was first to come through on the two-time MotoGP champion at turn one, before Raul Fernandez forced his way through, allowing Brad Binder to capitalise.

Fernandez then wasted no time in taking the lead away from Acosta before immediately gapping the rookie, who began battling against fellow KTM rider Binder.

But Fernandez then threw away a potential first-ever sprint MotoGP win when he crashed at turn ten.

That promoted Acosta back into the lead, however, Binder quickly came through before also crashing out of the lead on lap seven.

That allowed Bagnaia, who forced his way through on Acosta, to inherit the lead before Espargaro gained second position off Acosta.

The GASGAS rider began to struggle as Marc Marquez, who lost part of his aero early on, was applying pressure for P3.

With a lead of six tenths, Bagnaia was controlling his lead over Espargaro, while Trackhouse Racing’s day went from bad to worse as Miguel Oliveira crashed out on lap ten.

The drama was not over though as Bagnaia, who was leading by over seven tenths, made one of his biggest mistakes of 2024.

The factory Ducati rider crashed out of a comfortable lead on the final lap as he lost the front-end of his GP24 at turn five.

That gave Espargaro the lead and win, while Marquez claimed another stunning P2 after overtaking Acosta on the final lap.

Read More