Moto GP – Dutch GP – Race
A cloud and electrifying atmosphere saw the riders take part on the grid for the 11th time on this season, as the Dutch GP was about to start on the TT Assen, The cathedral of bike racing.
Ligths were off and the race started with Francesco Bagnaia with a head start, as the Italian rider seek to bounce back after consecutive DNF on the last two races, a Aleix Espargaro jumped ahead of Quartararo and was 2nd at the end of the lap.
With the first laps of the race being completed, the race standings were looking quite calm, as Bagnaia lead, chased by Aleix Espargaro, and Quartararo was facing the pressure of Bezzechi and Martin. The first important event happened with Jack Miller, who needed to serve a long-lap penalty after an infrigment on yesterday´s qualifying session. Eventually a massive event happened on track.
A championship incident happened between Aleix Espargaro and Fabio Quartarato, with the last one mentioned finding the gravel, and the Aprillia rider being demoted to 15th after being forced to ride on the gravel, in order to avoid a direct contact with Quartararo. On what could be the first big mistake of the Frenchman on this season.
With the race going to its half, the standings in fron looked quite calm, as the lead of Bagnaia was close to a 1 second, but the runner up Marco Bezzechi could make a statement on the later laps, meanwhile as the championship contenders had to develop a late comeback in order to rescue some points, with Aleix Espargaro climbing up to 11th, as Fabio Quartararo had it harder, as the Yamaha bike was pushing to its limit, the Frenchman had a big moment and went flying of his bike, was able to get up on his own foot, but it looked that the rider was leaping with a considerable pain on his leg.
On the later laps, it was a busy evening with the race control members, as there were constant track limits warnings, long-lap penalties and incident investigations on several riders on the standings. Meanwhile a big battle for 3rd was forming ahead, as Viñales had to battle the pressure of Brad Binder, Jorge Martin and a charging Jack Miller, who returned strong after the early long-lap penalty on the race. On the back, the comeback was getting bigger from Aleix Espargaro, as the Spaniard climbed to 7th, with an important opportunity to climb more positions on track.
The battle for 3rd ended between 2 riders, as Viñales was doing the maximun posible to keep Miller behind, as the Aussie was constantly attacking the Aprillia bike. Eventually, the Ducati had a late breaking and now it was his turn to defend from both Brad Binder and Aleix Espargaro. The top 3 places were secured, with Francesco Bagnaia bouncing back and returning to the top spot of the race, Marco Bezzechi closes a consistent and clean race with a first career MotoGP podium and Viñales returns to a podium after a almost 2-year absence. Meanwhile a storming last lap move from Aleix Espargaro put the Aprillia in 4th on a spectacular performance for the Spaniard rider.
1. Francesco Bagnaia /// 2. Marco Bezzechi /// 3. Maverick Viñales
4. Aleix Espargaro /// 5. Brad Binder /// 6. Jack Miller
7. Jorge Martin /// 8. Joan Mir /// 9. Miguel Oliveira
10. Alex Rins /// 11. Enea Bastianini /// 12. Takaaki Nakagami
13. Johann Zarco /// 14. Fabio Di Giannantonio /// 15. Alex Marquez
16. Andrea Dovizioso /// 17. Luca Marini ///18. Stefan Bardl
19. Remy Gardner /// 20. Lorenzo Savadori
DNF: Raul Fernandez, Fabio Quartararo, Darryl Binder, Franco Morbidelli
A quite chaotic race that closes the gap on the championship standings and increases the speculation on the 2nd part of the calendar that would eventually come on the next month. An important inflexion point could develop for both Bagnaia after a return to form and for Aleix Espargaro, with possibly his best ride on his career.