Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) collected his fourth straight win of the 2022 MotoGP™ World Championship at Misano...
Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP) clinched a dramatic win on the last lap of the Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragón, Round 15 of the 2022 MotoGPTM World Championship. Second and third were his future team-mate Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro. In spite of the Spanish venue’s reputation for being tough on tires, the front-runners converted their confidence in their MICHELIN Power Slicks to establish new track-lap, race-lap, top-speed and race-duration records for Motorland Aragon.
Bastianini got away to a cautious start from third on the grid and figured in fourth position early on. Four laps into the 23-lap race, however, and aided by the fast warm-up performance of his MICHELIN Power Slicks, he bettered the circuit’s previous lap record to close the gap to the provisional leader, pole-sitter Bagnaia.
Despite his pace and a mistake by Bastianini, the latter failed to pull out a real gap and his Gresini rival was able to take advantage of his tires’ durability to pass on the final lap and collect his fourth win of the season, by just 42 thousandths of a second!
Having beaten the former top-speed benchmark for the circuit in qualifying, the Italian also shaved almost nine seconds off the previous shortest race-duration record.
Aleix Espargaro’s solid run was rewarded with third at the flag, ahead of Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) who rounded out the day’s top five.
No fewer than five riders beat the existing race-lap record for Motorland Aragon, with Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) ending up with the new time to beat (1m47.795s). Bagnaia improved on his own outright track record by 0.3s the previous day on his way to qualifying on pole. Two other riders lapped faster than the previous best which was clocked in 2021.
The combination of Motorland Aragon’s specific layout and hot weather led all the riders to fit Michelin’s hard front and medium rear for Sunday’s grand prix.
Despite falling on Lap 1 following a clash with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) at Turn 3, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) continues to top the provisional championship order, but Bagnaia and Aleix Espargaro have closed to within 10 and 17 points respectively. With five races remaining, Ducati has made sure of claiming this year’s Manufacturers’ title.
Next up for the MotoGPTM fraternity is a trip to Japan for the second of three races in as many weekends.
Next round: Motul Grand Prix of Japan, Motegi (September 23-25).