Maverick Vinales made a timely return to the top step of the MotoGP podium in Misano after capitalising on Pecco Bagnaia’s cruel misfortune by crashing out of the lead with seven laps remaining.

Following his maiden trip to the MotoGP podium in Italy last weekend, Bagnaia went into the Emiliana Romagna MotoGP at the same circuit looking to go one better, with the Pramac Racing rider duly proving as frisky in race trim today as he was seven days earlier.

Making the most of various skirmishes around him in the initial laps, Bagnaia was up to third by the end of the first revolution before picking off Pol Espargaro for second on lap two and nosing into the lead at the expense of Vinales on lap six.

From here Bagnaia controlled the pace to look well on course to complete a landmark victory for both himself and the satellite Pramac Racing. However, it was not to be, Bagnaia low-siding out of contention in the latter stages to scupper his chances of becoming a fifth different first-time race winner in 2020.

Gifting the lead of the race to the close following, if not threatening Vinales, the Spaniard took full advantage of his fortune - something he hasn’t had much of recently - to bring it home for a much needed boost of a win.

Though it isn’t Vinales’ first visit to the top of the podium, victory does make him the sixth different race winner in seven races now as an already meandering season took in a few more twists and turns.

A race of attrition with only 13 riders reaching the chequered flag, last weekend’s winner Franco Morbidelli was the first big victim on lap one when he was wiped out by Aleix Espargaro’s low-siding Aprilia. The Italian did remount, however, to recover ninth.

Shortly afterwards Valentino Rossi made an uncharacteristic mistake to crash out on lap two at Turn 4, with Brad Binder coming down just moments later while running third at Turn 5.

With Bagnaia and Vinales putting air between themselves and third position, the attention of the race was once again trained on the third place fight, until Bagnaia promoted it to a battle over second.

For the second weekend in succession though Joan Mir prevailed with a perfectly executed rush of overtakes within the final three laps to earn himself second position and elevate his and Suzuki’s burgeoning title aspirations.

That left Fabio Quartararo and Pol Espargaro back to disputing third, with the Frenchman getting past on the penultimate lap, only to be docked three seconds for track limit abuses, handing the spot back to Espargaro.

Miguel Oliveira bounced back from a poor qualifying to score a return to the top five, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami, who had team-mate Alex Marquez for unusual company in the upper half of the order, the Spaniard enjoying comfortably his best race of his rookie season.

Andrea Dovizioso crossed the line in eighth to complete a low key pair of races that keep him in the lead of the standings, but now just a single point ahead of Quartararo and the impressive Mir.

Danilo Petrucci completed the top ten behind the recovering Morbidelli, followed by Johann Zarco, Alex Rins and Bradley Smith as the last remaining finishers

Other retirees included Jack Miller, who slipped back after a strong start before pulling in, while Iker Lecuona let slip a top six finish with a late tumble.
 

 

Comments

Loading Comments...