Although he led most of the race, Italy’s Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia ended the GP in runner-up position after a great duel with fellow Ducati star and fellow Italian Enea “The Beast” Bastianini.
For Bastianini (pictured here) it was his fourth win of the season with the Desmosedici GP of team Gresini Racing Ducati and it helped the bike brand secure the MotoGP Constructors’ World title for the third consecutive year.
And, with six individual victories in 2022, there is no doubt Ducati Lenovo Team rider Bagnaia also contributed greatly to this.
Starting from pole position, Bagnaia got off to a good start at the Spanish GP, immediately taking the lead.
After an initial exchange of positions with Bastianini, Bagnaia remained in the lead right up until the final lap, when the fellow Ducati rider overtook him just a couple of corners from the end, to secure the victory by just 42 thousandths of a second.
Thanks to his second placing, along with the first-lap crash by 2022 series leader Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), Bagnaia has therefore reduced his gap to the French rider to just 10 points.
“I’m thrilled with today’s result. Enea and I had a great race!” said Bagnaia afterwards.
“I knew he would be very fast in the final laps, and when he passed me, I preferred not to make any move on him. I tried to win and waited for a safe opportunity to pass him, which in the end wasn’t there.
“I knew these 20 points were important, and I preferred not to risk it. Now we must stay focused and think about the next race in Japan next week.”
The MotoGP riders will be back on track in less than a week for the Japanese GP, scheduled for this weekend, September 23-25, at the Motegi circuit.
Photo courtesy Ducati
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World standings after round 15 of 20:
|1||Fabio Quartararo Monster Yamaha (M1 Factory)||3||211.00|
|2||Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||6||201.00|
|3||Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||1||194.00|
|4||Enea Bastianini Gresini Ducati (GP21)||4||163.00|
|5||Johann Zarco Pramac Ducati (GP22)||133.00|
|6||Brad Binder Red Bull KTM (RC16)||128.00|
|7||Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||123.00|
|8||Alex Rins Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||108.00|
|9||Jorge Martin Pramac Ducati (GP22)||104.00|
|10||Maverick Vinales Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||104.00|
|11||Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM (RC16)||1||95.00|
|12||Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||91.00|
|13||Joan Mir Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||77.00|
|14||Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)||74.00|
|15||Marc Marquez Repsol Honda (RC213V)||60.00|
|16||Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Idemitsu (RC213V)||46.00|
|17||Pol Espargaro Repsol Honda (RC213V)||43.00|
|18||Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol (RC213V)||39.00|
|19||Franco Morbidelli Monster Yamaha (M1 Factory)||26.00|
|20||Fabio di Giannantonio Gresini Ducati (GP21)||23.00|
|21||Andrea Dovizioso WithU RNF Yamaha (M1 Factory)||15.00|
|22||Darryn Binder WithU RNF Yamaha (M1 A-Spec)||10.00|
|23||Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM (RC16)||9.00|
|24||Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM (RC16)||8.00|
|25||Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda (RC213V)||2.00|
|26||Cal Crutchlow WithU RNF Yamaha (M1 Factory)||2.00|