Bagnaia ends Bezzecchi’s winning streak after Dutch MotoGP victory

Bagnaia ends Bezzecchi's winning streak after Dutch MotoGP victory

Francesco Bagnaia stopped Marco Bezzecchi from winning all Dutch MotoGP rounds as the defending MotoGP world champion won at Assen on Sunday.

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia was able to put an end to Marco Bezzecchi’s flawless Dutch TT weekend form after overcoming the VR46 rider for victory at Assen to increase his lead in the standings,

The factory Ducati rider quickly moved into second place, trailing the early leader Brad Binder, but notably keeping clear of third-place finisher Bezzecchi, who had been pushed to the outside of Turn 1 much like he had been at the start of the Saturday sprint race.

Bezzecchi was unable to get near enough to the Lenovo Ducati rider to try a pass once he moved up to second place after overtaking Brad Binder for the lead, therefore Bagnaia was never challenged after taking the lead.

Aleix Espargaro and Jorge Martin launched a determined attack on Binder as he crossed the finish line in third, but the Red Bull KTM rider was deflated once more when he was docked one position for exceeding the track limits on the final lap. This was the second time this weekend that Binder had been denied a podium finish; the first time was in the Sprint race on Saturday.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez withdrew from the race early on Sunday morning after escalating his injuries from a crash at the last round at the Sachsenring in Germany.

On the second lap, Maverick Viales passed Jack Miller, who then came off the Red Bull KTM at Turn 1. Miller had just passed the Aprilia rider at the last chicane of the first lap.

Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco fell victim in the incident that Fabio Quartararo caused after tucking the front on lap four. Quartararo had started poorly from the second row, dropping to 12th on the first lap.

The Monster Energy Yamaha rider, who finished third in the Sprint race and earned his first podium of the season, appeared severely injured when compatriot Frenchman Zarco and the marshals assisted him in leaving the scene.

Vinales was making good progress and had passed Luca Marini (VR46 Ducati) to get up to fifth, but the Spaniard’s race ended abruptly on lap four when he slid off into the debris.

On the ninth lap, Bagnaia was still in the lead but was unable to pull away from Binder and Bezzecchi, with Aprilia Racing’s Espargaro sitting isolated in fourth. Espargaro had tangled with Marini at the start of the race into the first corner, resulting in damage to the front wing of his factory RS-GP23.

Currently, Bagnaia was making a lot of effort to close the distance between himself and Binder, who was tenaciously holding on. After 11 laps, Bezzecchi, who was in third was losing some time to the leaders but still maintained a lead of 1.4 seconds over Espargaro.

Takaaki Nakagami, who was running seventh was assessed a Long Lap penalty for going over the allowed track limits. The LCR Honda rider rejoined in ninth place and was still on track to post his best season performance.

Binder trailed Bagnaia by 0.8 seconds, but Bezzecchi was able to overtake him by taking second place on the VR46 machine.

However, he dropped a few tenths when overtaking Binder and maintaining his lines to stop the KTM rider from retaliating, allowing Bagnaia to increase his lead to 1.2 seconds on lap 18.

However, Bagnaia was ultimately able to shut the door on Bezzecchi’s assault as he gapped him over the last laps to take the chequered flag 1.2 seconds ahead. A win bid seemed on the horizon for the sophomore racer as he began chasing down his countryman during the closing stages.

Although Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia was closing in quickly despite the wing on the front right corner of his RS-GP hanging free, a fading Binder made a valiant effort to stave off the Spaniard in the race for the final podium slot.

Espargaro attempted to pass Jorge Martin in every way possible, but he eventually had to look behind him and defend himself from the Pramac rider who was recovering after falling as low as 12th on the opening lap.

As a result, Binder was able to cross the finish line third for his second full-length race victory of the season, while Espargaro held onto fourth place by just 0.009s as Martin came dangerously close to undercutting him out of the final chicane. However, Binder’s triumph would soon turn to disappointment as he was demoted to fourth for exceeding track limits on the final lap at the same bend that cost him a victory in the sprint race.

Alex Marquez finished well behind in sixth after receiving a late track boundaries infraction penalty. Luca Marini took advantage of Takaaki Nakagami’s long-lap penalty for LCR Honda to take seventh; nonetheless, eighth was still the Japanese driver’s best finish of the year.

Fabio Quartararo fell out early, leaving Franco Morbidelli to finish ninth on the lone remaining Yamaha. Augusto Fernandez completed the top 10 after edging Lorenzo Savadori and Stefan Bradl towards the end of the race.

The final GasGas rider to cross the finish line in 14th place was Jonas Folger. The German gained a few positions by taking advantage of Iker Lecuona’s late problems with Honda and Fabio Di Gianantonio’s crash.

Enea Bastianini and Maverick Vinales both crashed out while well inside towards the middle of the race, while Miguel Oliveira pulled into the pits after slipping back with a technical issue.

As we enter the summer break, Bagnaia leads Martin by a comfortable 35 points, while Bezzecchi is now just one point behind the Pramac driver thanks to his second-place finish.


1Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)40m 37.64s
2Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+1.223s
3Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+1.925s
4Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.528s
5Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)+1.934s
6Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)+12.437s
7Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+14.174s
8Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+14.616s
9Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+29.335s
10Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*+33.736s
11Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Factory (RS-GP23)+35.084s
12Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+39.622s
13Stefan BradlGERLCR Honda (RC213V)+42.504s
14Jonas FolgerGERTech3 GASGAS (RC16)+45.609s
 Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP22)DNF
 Iker LecuonaSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)DNF
 Miguel OliveiraPORRNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)DNF
 Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo (GP23)DNF
 Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)DNF
 Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)DNF
 Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP23)DNF
 Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)DNF

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