MotoGP™ recap: Aragon – roles reversed

by | Jan 11, 2023 | Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, KTM, motoGP News, Yamaha

MotoGP™ recap: Aragon – roles reversed

The next instalment of the Bagnaia and Bastianini rivalry took centre stage as Marquez and Quartararo collided on Lap 1

Ahead of the Asian leg of the 2022 MotoGP™ World Championship season, the grid were making their penultimate European appearance at the Aragon GP for Round 15. It certainly proved an entertaining affair, and one that had huge title implications from the very first lap.






REWIND: Chapter 15 - Friendly Fire

Before lights out, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) made his return to the track for the first time since the Italian GP, and Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) welcomed the return of the eight-time World Champion as he hoped he could help him disrupt Ducati’s dominance. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, the opposite happened.

 

In the most dramatic opening lap of the season, Quartararo smashed into the rear of Marquez’ RC213V to crash out before the Spaniard then went on to collide with LCR Honda counterpart Takaaki Nakagami with none of the three making it around for Lap 2. It was a sensational start and got pulses racing immediately, and the drama was far from over.

Out front, and just like in Misano, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) led Gresini’s Enea Bastianini, while Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) were duking it out for third. A brilliant start from South African Binder pushed him into the podium battle, but he couldn’t hang on for a surprise result as with two laps to go, Espargaro made his move. Onto the last lap and Bagnaia was still the race leader, but coming under intense pressure from ‘The Beast’.

 






FREE: The sensational last lap from the Aragon GP

 It was a carbon copy of the battle that came just a couple of weeks beforehand, but unlike in San Marino, Bastianini found a move to take the lead, sneaking up the inside at Turn 7 and holding on to take his fourth win of the year. A Ducati one-two also saw the Bologna bullets seal the 2022 Constructors’ Championship for the third year running.  

A DNF for the Championship leader and podiums for his rivals meant that just 17 points separated the three contenders as they jet off for a first Japanese Grand Prix in three years one week later.

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