race report, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati, Enea Bastianini, Jorge Martin, Marc Marquez, Jack Miller, Mugello

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Francesco Bagnaia has won the Italian MotoGP Grand Prix for the third consecutive year, with Ducati’s reigning MotoGP World Champion dominating the seventh round of the season in Mugello to reduce his world championship deficit to Jorge Martin to 18 points.

Bagnaia, who won Saturday’s 11-lap sprint race from second on the grid, came into Sunday’s Grand Prix with a three-place grid penalty for impeding Ducati’s Alex Marquez in practice, but made no bones about it starting from fifth on the grid to rise to the top. he led just two corners in Sunday’s 23-lap race and was never challenged by 0.799 seconds on his way to victory.

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Bagnaia’s Ducati teammate Enea Bastianini rode a brilliant final two laps to jump into second place, passing six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez for third with two laps to go before overtaking Martin with a dramatic dive to the inside of the final corner, taking the Spaniard over the line by 0.125 seconds.

Bagnaia passed polesitter Martin two corners into the race and never relinquished the lead. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO/AFP)Source: AFP

It was a largely processional race at Mugello before Bastianini’s late fireworks display. Bagnaia never led Martin by more than a second, but was never challenged by the Pramac Ducati rider, who had crashed out of the sprint race 24 hours earlier.

Martin closed to within 0.3 seconds with three laps to go, but Bagnaia responded immediately on lap 22 to rebuild his margin to eight-tenths of a second, leaving Martin to defend against Bastianini rather than challenge for victory in the final round.

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“It wasn’t easy to start from P5, but then I had this strategy going in [to the first corner] from the outside and it went perfectly,” Bagnaia said.

“Then I started pushing, and it was not easy to control the rear tire because it pushed the front a lot [tyre]. But a win today, after a weekend like this, is fantastic.”

Australian Jack Miller failed to score points for the fourth Grand Prix in a row, with the KTM rider finishing in 16th place.

Miller, who KTM announced on Saturday will be replaced by Spanish star Pedro Acosta for the 2025 season, started from 19th, his worst qualifying performance in seven years.

The 29-year-old stormed forward to 13th on the first lap but then dropped steadily back to finish 28.417 seconds behind Bagnaia and 4.8 seconds behind the final points scorer, Yamaha’s Alex Rins in 15th.

Acosta, who finished third in the sprint on Saturday, was fifth in the Grand Prix, 20 seconds ahead of Miller.

Martin leads the championship with 171 points, 18 points ahead of Bagnaia, while third-place Marc Marquez drops to 35 points behind Martin after his run of three consecutive podium finishes was broken with a fourth-place finish.

With the first Kazakhstan Grand Prix postponed from June 16 to September 22, MotoGP will take a four-week break before the next race, the Dutch TT in Assen on June 30.

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