The Gran Premio Nolan del Made in Italy e dell'Emilia-Romagna was won by Marc Márquez, ahead of his Repsol Honda Team team-mate Pol Espargaro and Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama). Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completed Round 16 of the MotoGPTM World Championship at Misano, Italy, in fourth place to make sure of the 2021 Riders’ crown, Michelin’s 32nd in motorcycle racing’s premier series since 1973.
Francesco Bagnaia (Lenovo Ducati Team) – who was still in contention for the title prior to Sunday’s thriller – started from pole position and led for the first 22 laps. On Lap 16, he clocked the afternoon’s fastest lap (1m 32.171s) on hard and medium MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear but then dramatically threw away his handsome gap over the chasing Márquez – as well as his remaining championship chances – with a fall five laps from home.
The mishap enabled the Spaniard to cruise to his third victory of the season, the first at a clockwise venue.
Espargaro came second to score his best MotoGP
Despite qualifying a lowly 15
His compatriot Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) was fifth.
The weather proved fickle all weekend, with a mix of rain and drying conditions for free practice and the warm-up session, and a clear track but chilly temperatures for qualifying and the grand prix itself. All the available MICHELIN Power Rain specs were employed over the three days, while four of the MICHELIN Power Slick options were chosen for the race, with the majority of the field opting for the medium front and soft rear.
In addition to helping Bagnaia to post the fastest race lap, the French tire’s potential provided Márquez with the grip he needed to stay on the Italian’s tail and take advantage of the latter’s misfortune before going on to take the win by a margin of practically five seconds.
With the title now settled in Quartararo’s favor with a tally of 267 points, Bagnaia (202) is still on target for the year’s silver medal, ahead of Team SUZUKI ECSTA’s Joan Mir (175).
Next round: Grande Prémio do Algarve, Portimao, Portugal (November 5-7).