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Pramac Racing's Francesco Bagnaia undoubtedly had plenty of pressure on his shoulders heading into the first-ever Virtual MotoGP™ race. He was the only Italian on the grid, riding the only Ducati on the grid and it was taking place at Mugello of all circuits too. However, the former Moto2™ World Champion certainly didn't disappoint with a second-place finish and as a result finishing on a premier class podium for the first time in his career.
It could've been more of Bagnaia, though, after coming off second best in a fierce fight for the win with Repsol Honda Team's Alex Marquez during the opening laps. Both Bagnaia and Marquez took their turns at leading the race with enthusiastic lunges being thrown in by both riders. In the end, Bagnaia's hopes of joining the likes of Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci by taking victory at Mugello on a Ducati were shattered when he highsided at Arrabbiata 2 whilst tussling with Marquez.
Despite missing out on the win though, the Italian wouldn't let it take the shine off a first podium in the MotoGP™ class: "It’s a different kind of podium but it’s nice," Bagnaia said after the #StayAtHomeGP. "A good fight with Alex but I made a mistake and a crash after touching the kerb through Arrabbiata 2. But we all had fun and I’m happy to finish in second. I just want to know now if I can have these points to start the Championship with!"
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