Il Canto degli Italiani Pecco Bagnaia: Italian pride smiles at Mugello
Pecco Bagnaia achieved at Mugello the feat of being Italian, of winning at Mugello with an Italian team and motorcycle, to the delight of the millions of compatriots in the stands.
Di Giannantonio led the way into the first corner, with Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi taking first and second respectively on the opening lap. Bezzecchi, Marini, ‘Diggia’, Aleix Espargaro and Fabio Quartararo were the top five.
Further on, Pecco Bagnaia came in sixth and was chasing Quartararo. The French passed ‘Diggia’ shortly after and Bagnaia did the same a few seconds later. Enea Bastianini is tenth, one position ahead of Miguel Oliveira on lap three.
After four laps, Bagnaia was the fastest on the track, battling for fourth place with Di Giannantonio. Further on, Quartararo came second and set off in pursuit of Bezzecchi. Marini fought back on the straight but the Frenchman returned the maneuver under braking in the first corner.
Pol Espargaro suffered a crash at turn 9, when Bagnaia at the front took advantage of the speed of his Desmosedici to pass second on the straight. At 18 laps from the finish, the top 5 was made up of: Bezzecchi, Bagnaia, Quartararo, Marini and Diggia. Marc Marquez finished 10th, between Brad Binder, ninth, and Miguel Oliveira, 11th. Here is Bagnaia’s move for second place:
Joan Mir was the next gentleman in the gravel on lap eight as he crashed into the first corner. Diggia and Bastianini were battling for seventh place, as Bagnaia passed his VR46 Academy colleague Bezzecchi and took the lead. There were 15 laps to go and Quartararo, third, was already more than eight tenths of a second behind the leader.
Pole sitter ‘Diggia’ was losing more and more ground and by lap 11 he was tenth behind the official KTM duo. Meanwhile, the leaders of the second group, Johann Zarco and Enea Bastianini, sixth and seventh respectively, tried to shorten the distances with the group of leaders.
With twelve laps to go, Quartararo moved up to second, leaving the Mooney VR46 Racing Team duo behind. A lap later, Bagnaia was already 1.2 seconds ahead of second and seemed to have victory in hand. It was the same for the top 10 with 10 laps to go:
On the same lap, at turn four, Bastianini crashed and was forced to retire. Aleix Espargaro, meanwhile, overtook Marini and followed Bezzecchi, “sniffing” the podium less than four tenths of a second. Here is the fall of ‘Bestia’:
Seven laps from the finish, Aleix successfully launched the attack towards third place. Bezzecchi, who had led so many laps in this Grand Prix, is now fourth, ahead of Zarco and Marini. At the same time, Quartararo tried to put pressure on Bagnaia but the gap between them was over a second. Bagnaia recovered two tenths on the straight and the Welshman recovered that gap in the early sectors.
1.7 seconds behind was Aleix Espargaro in an isolated third place. The first three appeared, I believe, to be delivered.
On the final lap, there would be no surprises in the battle for victory, with Italian Bagnaia winning in Italy on an Italian bike and an Italian team. Quartararo tried hard but couldn’t put pressure on Bagnaia and finished second. Aleix Espargaró rode safely for another consecutive podium.
Here’s how the race went: