Italian MotoGP: Francesco Bagnaia dominates for victory as Jorge Martin crashes out

Francesco Bagnaia was back to his best at home for a comfortable win in the MotoGP sprint race in Mugello

Bagnaia, sprint win, Mugello, Italian GP, 2024
Bagnaia, sprint win, Mugello, Italian GP, 2024
© Gold & Goose

Francesco Bagnaia showed the pace he was capable of despite missing out on pole as he powered away to win the MotoGP Italian sprint race, his first win at the shorter distance this season.

The timing of the Ducati rider’s qualifying run had masked his race pace. Launching from second the #1 bike wasted no time at lights out, attacking immediately for his first sprint win since Austria 2023.

A changing roster of riders behind tried to give chase with Enea Bastianini and Jorge Martin attempting to apply the pressure from second.

They battled each other hard behind, which let Bagnaia build a lead. It also lead to a collision, with Bastianini running his red Ducati wide, with Martin moving back underneath to take the lead, contact instead saw Bastianini out of the race.

Martin saw an even bigger dent in his title lead when he slipped out at turn one late in the race as the front washed out on his Gresini.

By that point he had already been passed by fellow countryman Marc Marquez, who was giving chase. A cautious few laps, an error and pressure form behind saw the gap down to 0.8 seconds. Bagnaia responded , with the gap Marquez had at the line back up to 1.469s.

It was the sixth combined podium in a row for Marquez across the sprint and feature races.

Rookie Pedro Acosta was struggling with hay fever but back in the sprint race medals as the drama out front moved him up to third for Re Bull GasGas Tech3 breaking up the dominant Ducatis.

Franco Morbidelli continued his strong home weekend, finishing about a second behind for Pramac, the latest rider to pass a labouring Brad Binder.

Binder himself had rallied after a tough weekend to be fourth on the first lap. The Red Bull Factory rider slipped back to sixth.

It was almost seventh with Fabio Di Giannantonio almost catching the South African on the last lap.

Alex Marquez in turn had the Italian in his sights but had to settle for eight on the second Gresini bike.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro and Trackhouse Racing’s Raul Fernandez completed the top ten.

Johann Zarco was the best Honda in 15th for LCR, just ahead of wildcard rider Pol Espargaro in 15th.

There was an early crash with Miguel Oliveira going for a gap that didn’t really exist, resulting in both his Trackhouse Aprilia and Fabio Quartararo’s Yamaha sat in the gravel. Joan Mir also failed to go the distance.

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