MotoGP Assen: Pecco Bagnaia completes perfect weekend with Grand Prix victory

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Pecco Bagnaia has closed the gap to Jorge Martin in the MotoGP championship standings to just 10 points after leading from start to finish in the Grand Prix race at Assen.

Bagnaia, like he has done all weekend, dominated proceedings as was unchallenged for the entire race. It’s the reigning champion’s third straight Grand Prix victory at Assen, whilst he also moves level with Casey Stoner on 23 wins as a Ducati rider.

Bagnaia’s race time of 40:07.214 was 30.326s quicker than last year’s race, with the number one recording remarkably consistent pace throughout.

Martin, as he did in Saturday’s sprint race, finished in a lonely second. Whilst unable to challenge Bagnaia, Martin’s pace was too strong for the rest of the field.

Enea Bastianini stormed through the pack from 10th on the grid to ensure that both factory Ducati riders were on the podium. The Italian engaged in an entertaining battle with Marc Marquez, Maverick Vinales and Fabio Di Giannantonio.

Marquez finished fourth after squeezing by Vinales on the final lap, but was later handed a 16-second tyre pressure penalty and dropped to 10th as a result. Vinales pipped Di Giannantonio to the line for fifth. However, Vinales was also handed a penalty for exceeding track limits on the final lap, dropping him a position.

Brad Binder inherited sixth on the final lap after Pedro Acosta crashed out of the race, whilst Alex Marquez, Raul Fernandez and Franco Morbidelli completed the top 10.

Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo were 11th and 12th respectively, with Johann Zarco crossing the line as the leading Honda rider in 13th. Whilst scoring points, Zarco was over 18 seconds behind Quartararo when he finished the race.

Augusto Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira claimed the final two points on offer. The latter went off the track whilst attempting to complete a long lap penalty, which then led to another penalty as a result. Takaaki Nakagami and Luca Marini were the final classified riders.

Alex Rins suffered a huge crash on the opening lap and may not compete at this weekend’s German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. Rins sustained a fracture in his right foot and severe bruising to his right wrist, and has now travelled to Madrid for further medical examinations.

Marco Bezzecchi and Joan Mir also failed to finish the race after separate crashes.  

Pecco Bagnaia led from start to finish in the sprint race at Assen to close the gap in the championship to Jorge Martin to just 15 points.

The Italian is on course to complete a full house at the Dutch circuit, having topped all three practice sessions before bagging his first pole of the season. Having previously struggled with the sprint format, the reigning champion has now won back-to-back races.

Jorge Martin, who was handed a three-place grid penalty on Saturday evening after riding slowly on the racing line and disrupting Raul Fernandez’s lap during Q2, remained in second for the entirety of the race, whilst Maverick Vinales completed the podium for Aprilia. Enea Bastianini fought through from 11th on the grid to take an impressive fourth ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio and Brad Binder.

Alex Marquez was next on the circuit but later dropped to eighth after being handed a time equivalent penalty after not completing the long lap penalty given to him for exceeding track limits.

Fabio Quartararo inherited seventh as a result, with Franco Morbidelli and Pedro Acosta completing the top 10 in ninth and 10th respectively. Marco Bezzecchi and Miguel Oliveira crossed the line in 11th and 12th, ahead of Jack Miller and Joan Mir.

Augusto Fernandez was 15th onboard the Tech3 GasGas machine, whilst Johann Zarco, Raul Fernandez, Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Rins were the final classified finishers.

Marc Marquez’s race came to an end on the second lap. The Gresini Racing Ducati man had already made up two places and was challenging for a top four position when he clipped the inside kerb at turn two and went down.

Aleix Espargaro crashed out of sixth on the final lap of the race and has since withdrawn from the weekend after fracturing the fifth metacarpal in his right hand. Aprilia teammate Lorenzo Savadori has also been ruled out after his crash on lap four, which resulted in multiple vertebrae lumbar fractures.

Pecco Bagnaia continued to dominate proceedings at Assen during qualifying as the reigning champion bagged his first pole of the season with a record breaking lap-time.

Bagnaia was relaxing in the garage in the closing stages of Q2 as everybody else tried to beat his best time of 1:30.540. Jorge Martin, who recorded the first-ever 1:30 lap at Assen earlier in the session, came closest with a 1:30.621.

It puts Martin in the best position possible to try and stop Bagnaia this weekend, but that could prove to be a tough challenge. Bagnaia has topped all three practice sessions as well.

Maverick Vinales will join the two title contenders on the front row, whilst Alex Marquez heads row two onboard his Gresini Racing Ducati. Aleix Espargaro qualified fifth on the second factory Aprilia, ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio.

Marc Marquez will start seventh after crashing out of Q2. The six-time premier class champion had just forced his way down the inside of Espargaro when he went down. Franco Morbidelli and Brad Binder ended the session eighth and ninth respectively.

Pedro Acosta came through Q1 and bounced back from a big crash during that session to put his RC16 10th on the grid. Enea Bastianini and Raul Fernandez were the final two qualifiers in Q2.

Fabio Quartararo was the best of the rest in Q1 and will start from 13th on the grid. The Frenchman will be joined on the fifth row by Jack Miller and Marco Bezzecchi, the latter having crashed during the session. The Italian also went down during FP3.

Alex Rins and Miguel Oliviera qualified 16th and 17th respectively ahead of Aprilia wildcard entrant Lorenzo Savadori. Johann Zarco was the fastest Honda rider down in 19th, ahead of Repsol Honda duo Joan Mir and Luca Marini.

Augusto Fernandez and Takaaki Nakagami complete the grid for the Dutch TT at Assen. The sprint race is scheduled to begin at 14:00 (UK Time).

Tune in to coverage of Assen live on TNT Sports 2 this weekend, and watch live MotoGP coverage throughout the season exclusively on TNT Sports and Discovery+.