After having to wait three years for his maiden MotoGP victory, Francesco Bagnaia bagged his second consecutive race win after holding off a late charge from championship leader Fabio Quartararo who came in second, ahead of Ducati’s Enea Bastianini who stepped on the podium for the first time in his MotoGP career. Let’s have a look at the men who shined and the men who left us wanting more from the San Marino Grand Prix.
MEN WHO SHINED
It was a bright start of the race for Pecco Bagnaia as he started on the pole and created breathing space between himself and Jack Miller in P2, on the very first lap, from there on we knew that it was going to be Pecco’s day. Fabio Quartararo had a couple of interesting battles on his way up to P2, especially the one with Spaniard Jorge Martin on lap 8 of the race. Enea Bastinini picked up his first-ever podium finish in MotoGP after flying past Jack Miller in the final half of the race. Miller did everything he could to stop the young Italian but just couldn’t hold him off and in the end, it cost the Australian two places as Marc Marquez made a late move to secure P4. Defending champion Joan Mir who started eleventh on the grid made slick moves right at the start of the race to gain a couple of positions and then took on the Espargaro brothers to cross the chequered flag after Jack Miller. In the battle of the siblings, Pol edged out Aleix to P7, while Brad Binder once again showcased his skills on a Sunday to finish P9 after starting 17th on the grid, followed by LCR Honda Idemitsu’s Takaaki Nakagami who rounded up the top 10 from the Grand Prix of San Marino.
MEN WHO LEFT US WANTING MORE
Jorge Martin was looking promising as ever on race day as he started his race from the front row and put some real pressure on Quartararo. For a moment in the race, it looked as if it was going to be an all Ducati podium with Martin, Miller, and Bagnaia but on lap 10 after Martin had made his move on Quartararo, the rookie fell off his bike and had to retire. With 15 laps remaining in the race, KTM’s Iker Lecuona joined Martin on the retirement list. Alex Rins, who started the race in P9 made up a couple of places early in the race only to go out in a silly way with just ten laps remaining in the race. Since the Dutch Grand Prix, things have turned south for Miguel Oliviera as he finds himself in one of the worst runs of his career. In the last five races of the championship, the Portuguese rider has had two retirements, and three finishes outside the points.
A late charge from Fabio Quartararo helped him maintain a 48 point lead in the Championship. Back-to-back wins for Pecco Bagnaia means that he has now bagged a total of 50 points in his last two races and it looks as if the Italian could be the man to catch Quartaro if he keeps going like this. A P6 finish for Joan Mir took the defending champion to 167 points, 26 behind Johann Zarco who hasn’t been at his best in recent races. Jack Miller could have had a podium this weekend but had to settle for P5 which means he gets his total up to 140 points. Behind him, is KTM’s Brad Binder with 124 points who remains in 6th position, followed by Aleix Espargaro with 104 points. After getting suspended and leaving Yamaha, Maverick Vinales earned his first-ever point as an Aprilia rider and finds himself just six points behind his new teammate. A P4 finish for Marquez saw him inching ahead on the leaderboard with 92 points, just five ahead of Miguel Oliviera to wrap up the top ten riders of the Championship as of now.
Another race win for Pecco saw Ducati hold their advantage at the top of the constructor’s championship with 275 points, 13 points ahead of their rivals Yamaha on 262 points. It wasn’t the best weekend for Suzuki but they still find themselves six points ahead of KTM who hardly bagged any points this weekend. A decent finish for all the Honda riders saw their team close the gap to KTM to just thirty points and at last, we have Aprilia who has finally managed to cross the 100 point mark.
With just four races remaining in the 2021 MotoGP season, the battle for the rider’s and constructors’ titles intensifies with the MotoGP caravan heading to Austin in two weeks’ time for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.
[All Images Credit: MotoGP]