SKY Racing Team VR46 rider Franceso Bagnaia produced a fantastic COTA ride on Sunday, battling his way past Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) to take his second victory of the season, putting him ten points clear in the Moto2™ World Championship.
Bagnaia’s weekend started with a huge crash at Turn 3 in FP1, with the bike plummeting into the wall at high speed - ‘Pecco’ luckily escaped any major injuries as he limped away. “It’s been a difficult weekend for us because in the first session I have a big crash and I wasn’t at 100%,” said this Italian in his post-race interview. After his crash though, his weekend went from strength to strength from Saturday onwards, at a track where he’s struggled at in the past.
“This has over the years been very difficult for me, it’s a track that’s isn’t the type for my riding style, but we’re improving, I learnt a new style for this track and I’m very happy with the work done. A second win in three races, this is the important thing, and first in the World Championship – I’m very happy.”
Bagnaia already has an Alma Pramac Racing Ducati ride in his pocket from 2019 onwards, and with his confidence seemingly sky high, it looks like the 21-year-old is going to take some beating in 2018.
There’s no doubt the Italian has some serious challengers this year though. Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) and Marquez are locked together in second and third in the Championship, both on 47 points after a solid start to their campaigns. Marquez won at Jerez last season, whilst Pasini took victory at Mugello in 2017 too, so the two will be itching to get the European season underway.
Meanwhile, the form of Red Bull KTM Ajo riders Miguel Oliveira – who sits fourth in the standings – and Brad Binder has been promising. We haven't yet seen the form that led Oliveira to victory in the last three races of 2017, but both riders carved through the top ten in Texas, showing excellent race pace. As we head to Jerez, a track where Binder took a stunning win from the back of the grid in the Moto3™ class two years ago, will we see a KTM on the top step? The fight for the win promises to be a Spanish spectacular, as this is also where Bagnaia took his first podium on a Moto2™ machine last season.
Will 'Pecco's' streak continue? Catch all the action from the Spanish GP, with the action getting underway on Friday 4th of May.