Francesco Bagnaia fights off seven passes from Marc Marquez to claim his first MotoGP win in the 2021 Aragon MotoGP.

Bagnaia converted pole into the early lead, but with Marquez passing the other factory Ducati of Jack Miller for second at turn one.

The pair then broke clear with Marquez - seeking his fifth Aragon win in a row (after missing 2020 through injury) at one of his favourite anti-clockwise tracks - shadowing Bagnaia for lap-after-lap before launching an attack at Turn 5 with 3 laps to go.

Bagnaia calmly cut inside Marquez on the exit to reclaim the advantage, with the Repsol Honda rider then throwing in a block pass at the chicane onto the back straight - and again Bagnaia repassed.

Attempt number three came in the form of another lunge at Turn 5, and again Bagnaia sliced past him on the exit. Marquez tried at the chicane once again, and again was rebuffed by Bagnaia, setting up a last lap showdown.

The #93 outbraked Bagnaia into Turn 1 but yet again ran wide on the exit, and history repeated itself yet again when Marquez launched overtake number six into Turn 5.

Turn 12 was the scene of Marquez's seventh and final attempt, but Marquez ran off on the exit and the victory was finally Bagnaia's!

Nonetheless, Marquez was satisfied with only his second podium appearance of the season, after his Sachsenring win.

Miller had gradually faded back from the leading duo before a mistake at mid-distance allowed both Aleix Espargaro and Joan Mir ahead. Mir then passed the Aprilia rider, but couldn't close trouble Marquez and Bagnaia ahead and had to settle for the final podium place.

World championship leader Fabio Quartararo, starting alongside Bagnaia and Miller on the front row, lost ground to seventh on the opening lap.

Riding at what he considers to be his 'worst' track, the Frenchman struggled to stay in touch with the group ahead and lost further places to the KTMs of Iker Lecuona (set to announce a switch to WorldSBK next season) and Brad Binder, then rookie Enea Bastianini, before taking a place back for eighth.

All of which meant Mir, who began today's race 65 points behind Quartararo, reduced the gap to 57 points but has now lost second in the standings to Bagnaia (-53 points).

Starting just 20th, Mir's Suzuki team-mate and last year's race winner Alex Rins salvaged 12th.

After splitting from Yamaha following Austria and missing Silverstone, Maverick Vinales returned to MotoGP action with Aprilia, where he has signed to race until the end of 2022.

The Spaniard spent much of his first race on the RS-GP battling over 19th with former Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi and the Italian's broher Luca Marini for 18th.

Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow was replacing Vinales at the Factory Yamaha team for the second event in a row, with Jake Dixon likewise staying at Petronas Yamaha on the injured Franco Morbidelli's 2019 A-spec bike.

Crutchlow finished 16th while Dixon crashed out early in their final MotoGP appearances of the season, Crutchlow now returning to testing duties and Dixon to Moto2.

Despite hot conditons, all of the grid chose the soft rear tyre, in the knowledge there could be a significant drop of performance in the closing stages. All riders except Johann Zarco (medium) picked the hard front.

The first of this year's Misano rounds will take place next weekend, when Morbidelli is set to make a return from knee surgery for his debut at Monster Yamaha as Vinales' full-time replacement.

Taking over Morbidelli's ex-Petronas bike from Misano onwards will be triple MotoGP title runner-up Andrea Dovizioso, the former Ducati star also remaining at what will be a restructured satellite Yamaha team for 2022.

Aragon MotoGP, MotorLand - Race Results
1Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)41m 44.422s
2Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.673s
3Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+3.911s
4Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)+9.269s
5Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+11.928s
6Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*+13.757s
7Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+14.064s
8Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+16.575s
9Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)*+16.615s
10Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+16.904s
11Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+17.124s
12Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+17.710s
13Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+19.680s
14Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+22.703s
15Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+25.723s
16Cal CrutchlowGBRMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+26.413s
17Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)+26.620s
18Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)+27.128s
19Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+32.517s
20Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+39.073s
 Jake DixonGBRPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)DNF
 Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)DNF

* Rookie

By Peter McLaren