Clash of the titans: Bagnaia defeats Marquez in all-time classic at Jerez

The Italian makes a huge statement at Jerez after locking horns with Marquez in an instant classic with the Championship gap beginning to close

It was yet another dramatic Spanish GP after a near fairy tale story for Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), who was denied a first race win in 917 days by Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team). The Italian showed why he is #1, defending from #93 all the way to the line - after a Grand Prix where they pushed each other to the limits with tactics, contact, and too many overtakes to count, all in 25 laps of yet another Jerez classic.

It was a packed Spanish GP, with some fans flooding to the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto before 7 am. Those fans were treated to an absolute blockbuster on Sunday afternoon after a dramatic Grand Prix, which will be spoken about for a long time.

Behind the reigning World Champion after a race-long duel was Marc Marquez, who was forced to settle for second and celebrated in style with the Spanish crowd – finishing just 0.372s adrift. Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) was third and was only able to watch the battle for the lead – a further 3.531s behind as the duel at the head of the race pulled clear. So where was Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing)? The Championship leader crashed out of the lead of the race, only able to watch from the sidelines.

25 riders roared to the first corner, with pole-sitter Marc Marquez leading the field, to the delight of the Spanish fans. However, it was Martin who pounced to second before Bagnaia pulled off an unbelievable move around the outside to snatch second from the Spaniard. The battle was officially on.

Bagnaia’s aggressive start allowed the #1 to steal first place at the end of the first lap, dropping Marquez to third. The Italian soon made a mistake at the end of lap two, undoing all his hard work and allowing Martin to have a clear track ahead. It was the battle of Martin and Bagnaia for a handful of laps, with Bezzecchi soon getting the better of Marc Marquez.

Further down the order, it was a bad start for Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3), who had crashed in Warm Up and had now dropped to 17th in the race. Meanwhile Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) had a start that was too good to be true – receiving a double LLP and then a ride-through penalty for not serving the original penalty.

However, with 15 laps remaining, everything unfolded for Martin, who lost the front in the race lead – destroying hopes of a victory. This left Bagnaia at the front, who led from Marquez after the #93 was able to charge through at the turn six to overtake Bezzecchi – sending the Spanish fans to their feet.

The last five laps were incredible, as two Champions were locked together on track – fighting for the same piece of tarmac. Everything was on the line, shown by Marc Marquez, who tried to make a heroic pass at turn nine, with Bagnaia able to fight back instantly. Marc Marquez was on a mission and tried again one lap later before Bagnaia responded to smash the race lap record. Bagnaia continued to respond, however, riding the lap of his life, and fending off Marc Marquez to win by 0.372s after pinpoint precision on the last lap.

Behind the front trio was Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), who, after incredible pace, finished a mere 0.048s ahead of Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team), adding to the celebrations in both camps on Sunday. Brad Binder brought the sole remaining Red Bull KTM Factory Racing RC16 to sixth place. The South African walks away from the Spanish GP in seventh position in the standings after finishing over two seconds ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) and Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse Racing) in seventh and eighth. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) was unable to repeat the same success as Texas, finishing in ninth ahead of rookie Acosta, who claimed his worst finish since joining the premier class – crossing the line in 10th.

Daniel Pedrosa (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was the first rider to crash, losing the front at turn 8. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) crashed on lap 10, making contact with Johann Zarco (CASTROL Honda LCR). Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing) and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) were the next riders to go down, as their hopes of scoring good Championship points came crashing down.

The MotoGP™ now heads to yet another historic venue at Le Mans, a battleground where many battles have been won and lost on the last lap, with weather also an unknown. Make sure you don’t miss the next chapter and keep up to date with all the action on!

Top 10:

1 Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team)   
2 Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) +0.372
3 Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing) +3.903
4 Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) +07.205
5 Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) +7.253
6 Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +7.801
7 Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing) +10.063
8 Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse Racing) +10.979
9 Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) +11.217
10 Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) +20.762




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