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Race report
MotoGP Americas GP

MotoGP Americas GP: Bagnaia dominates sprint as Quartararo crashes

Reigning MotoGP world champion Francesco Bagnaia dominated the Americas Grand Prix sprint race from pole as Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo crashed.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Taking the inaugural sprint victory in Portugal last month, Bagnaia had to fend off a hard-charging Alex Rins on the LCR Honda on the opening lap to hold onto his pole position.

Once he’d successfully retaken the lead from Rins at Turn 12 on the first lap, Bagnaia steadily built up an unassailable advantage to take the chequered flag 2.545 seconds clear of Rins.

Behind, a crash for 2021 world champion Quartararo has further hindered his title aspirations as he overrode his Yamaha fighting for the top five.

Second for Rins marked his first podium of any kind as a Honda rider, while an unwell Jorge Martin on the Pramac Ducati salvaged third after capitalising on a late error for Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro.

Rins got the holeshot into Turn 1 off the line at the start of the 10-lap sprint contest, but allowed Bagnaia back through when he ran into the opening corner deep.

Espargaro leaped up to third as team-mate Maverick Vinales dropped to 18th, while Quartararo put his Yamaha fourth from eighth on the grid.

Rins made a bold move for the lead on the inside of Bagnaia at the Turn 7 left-hander, though could do nothing to stop the Ducati powering past into Turn 12 moments later.

Alex Rins, Team LCR Honda

Alex Rins, Team LCR Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia didn’t immediately escape, but was thrown a brief bit of breathing space when Rins ran wide as he outbraked himself at the Turn 12 hairpin on lap two.

This released Espargaro into second, while Quartararo dropped into the clutches of Martin as he failed to capitalise on Rins’ error – the pair making slight contact at Turn 13 as the LCR Honda rider tried to recover from his mistake.

Bagnaia led Espargaro by just under six tenths as he crossed the line to start the third lap, extending this to over seven tenths two tours later.

Martin eased past Quartararo on lap three for fourth, before the Frenchman ran off trying to keep the Gresini Ducati of Alex Marquez at bay on the fourth lap.

Quartararo’s race would last just a handful of corners more as he crashed under braking for Turn 1 at the start of lap five.

As Bagnaia swelled his lead to over a second, Rins had regrouped from his earlier mistake to try to retake second from Espargaro on lap six.

Rins was unable to stop his Honda to get to the apex for Turn 11 and allowed Espargaro to maintain second, but was succumb on lap seven at Turn 7.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Espargaro would lose another sport when he ran wide at Turn 12 moments later, the Aprilia rider appearing to be sucked into the error by Rins making a similar mistake.

Rins could do nothing to chase down Bagnaia, who registered his second sprint win of the season, while Martin fended off a last-lap penultimate corner lunge from Espargaro to keep third.

Brad Binder completed the top five on his KTM from Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini, the VR46 pair suffering terrible first laps and forcing themselves into recovery rides.

Bezzecchi holds a one-point lead in the championship over Bagnaia after the sprint.

RNF Aprilia’s Miguel Oliveira and KTM’s Jack Miller took the final sprint points, with Vinales 10th at the chequered flag ahead of Johann Zarco and Honda’s Joan Mir.

Alex Marquez crashed out of lap seven while running in fifth, while Quartararo re-joined to finish 19th.

Enea Bastianini’s Ducati stand-in Michele Pirro joined Marquez as an early retirement after a tumble on lap five.

Full MotoGP Americas GP Sprint results:

Cla Rider Bike Gap Interval
1 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati
2 Spain Alex Rins
Honda 2.545 2.545
3 Spain Jorge Martin
Ducati 4.706 2.161
4 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 5.052 0.346
5 South Africa Brad Binder
KTM 8.175 3.123
6 Italy Marco Bezzecchi
Ducati 8.877 0.702
7 Italy Luca Marini
Ducati 9.453 0.576
8 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
Aprilia 10.768 1.315
9 Australia Jack Miller
KTM 12.448 1.680
10 Spain Maverick Viñales
Aprilia 12.739 0.291
11 France Johann Zarco
Ducati 14.251 1.512
12 Spain Joan Mir
Honda 14.988 0.737
13 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 15.592 0.604
14 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 16.534 0.942
15 Spain Raúl Fernández
Aprilia 19.290 2.756
16 Spain Augusto Fernandez
KTM 23.128 3.838
17 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio
Ducati 25.626 2.498
18 Germany Stefan Bradl
Honda 25.787 0.161
19 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 27.169 1.382
20 Germany Jonas Folger
KTM 46.973 19.804
Spain Alex Marquez
Ducati
Italy Michele Pirro
Ducati

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