Moto GP – Indonesian GP – Race
As a very warm sunny day enlightens the Pertamina Mandalika Circuit, riders align on the grid for the Indonesian GP, as the last quarter of the calendar begins, with 2 riders fighting for the big prize.
Lights were off and the 15th round was underway, with championship leader Jorge Martin with a spectacular start, as the Pramac went for the inside and went from 6th to the lead, as Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quatararo closed the top 3 on the first lap, with Marini, Binder, Bagnaia and Aleix on the mix. With the KTM and Mooney Ducati having a contact and having Marini meeting the gravel.
Big moments on the standings, as Bagnaia was quickly climbing spots and saw himself at 3rd, after overtaking Quatararo, meanwhile both Viñales and Martin were starting to separate from the big chasing group. With a 1.7 second gap already formed between Viñales at 2nd and Bagnaia in 3rd. Race direction announced that Brad Binder had to take a long lap, after the incident with Luca Marini, as the Italian also had to take a long lap, because of an incident in the previous race in India.
With racing laps passing by, the distance between the top 3 riders were clearly marked between them, as Jorge Martin was flying on track, being 2.1 seconds ahead of Maverick Viñales, who was 1.3 seconds ahead of Francesco Bagnaia; As the Ducati rider was in constant pressure of Aleix Espargaro’s Aprilia, fighting for the last podium spot. Some incidents were occurring on track, as Marc Marquez went to the gravel, like yesterday’s sprint and Binder having his second contact, this time with Miguel Oliveira’s Aprilia.
As the Aprilia bikes were starting to struggle, a shocker happened, Jorge Martin lost the grip on the bike and went to the gravel, a huge mistake that saw the Spaniard rider retiring from the race and having Francesco Bagnaia regaining the provisional championship lead. As Maverick Viñales became the race leader, with a fast Bagnaia quickly closing the gap on the Spaniard.
It was definitely a hard race for the riders, as almost one third of the grid had retired from the race, with 10 laps yet to be completed. Meanwhile at the front, Francesco Bagnaia was in striking distance to snatch the racing lead from Maverick Viñales, as the Spaniard attempted to defend, it was a big difference between the pace of the 2 bikes. With Viñales now having to face Fabio Quatararo, as the Yamaha was finally showing some competitive pace on track.
As laps were fading quickly, Bagnaia decided to take no more unnecessary risks and was administrating the bike pace and tyre, although that was not an option for Viñales, as Quatararo kept the pressure on the Aprilia rider, it was looking like the Yamaha was going to grab 2nd on the last remaining laps, but a great effort from Viñales negated the several approaches from the French rider. There were no major changes at the top 3, as Bagnaia wins, Viñales on 2nd and Quatararo returns to the podium, with a solid 3rd place.
1. Enea Bastianini /// 2. Maverick Viñales /// 3. Fabio Quatararo
4. Fabio Di Giannantoino /// 5. Marco Bezzecchi /// 6. Brad Binder
7. Jack Miller /// 8. Enea Bastianini /// 9. Alex Rins
10. Aleix Espargaro /// 11. Takaaki Nakagami /// 12. Miguel Oliveira
13. Raul Fernandez/// 14. Franco Morbidelli
DNF: Johann Zarco, Jorge Martin, Joan Mir, Augusto Fernandez, Luca Marini, Augusto Fernandez, Pol Espargaro
Big comeback from Francesco Bagnaia, who regains the lead of the championship and creates a gap of 18 points with Jorge Martin, as the Pramac rider seeks to bounce back from the big mistake on next week’s race weekend at Phillip Island, Australia. With only 5 rounds left, every point matters.