2022 Mugello MotoGP Race Result: Inevitable But Still Impressive

An overcast Mugello with more modest attendance that we’re used to did not deter the fleet of Italians and Ducatis crowding the first rows of the grid and it was Pecco Bagnaia who got to enjoy a dream race on home soil, recovering from a subdued start to take a first victory in Mugello and second of the season. Fabio Quartararo continues to magically repel the power of (most) Ducatis and the world champion kept within a second of victory contention for the entire race before settling for second. Equally impressive was Aleix Espargaro, who snatched a home podium for Aprilia from the clutches of three feisty Bologna bullets.

Although he faded somewhat throughout the race, Fabio Di Giannantonio made a good start from pole, but soon allowed Luca Marini to get some time in the limelight on the opening lap. Quartararo and Espargaro also had a great launch off the line, getting ahead of some of the Ducatis, demoting Johann Zarco to sixth position and Bagnaia to ninth, with a fast-starting Brad Binder and Takaaki Nakagami separating the two. After a good start – the last for quite a while – Marc Marquez dropped to the bottom of the top 10, holding off Miguel Oliveira and Enea Bastianini in the early stages. Meanwhile, the Suzukis were knocking on the doors of the top 15, Alex Rins more successful than Joan Mir, despite starting further back on the grid.

Back at the front, Bezzecchi took his turn in the spotlight by breezing past his teammate into San Donato at the start of lap two, while the poleman was under attack from the reigning world champion – the two trading places several times over the next couple of laps, but the rookie and his superior top speed not making it easy for Quartararo. Meanwhile, Bagnaia was recovering ground and was up to fifth, demoting Espargaro, Zarco and Binder, while Marquez was keeping Bastianini at arm’s length.

Bezzecchi kept top spot warm in the early stages, but trouble started brewing when he lost wingman Marini to an overtake from Quartararo on lap four. The trio briefly managed to extend a half second gap while Di Giannantonio proved to be a bit of a handful for Bagnaia, but the factory Ducati man settled that battle by lap five, promptly caught up with the leaders and breezed past both Marini and Quartararo into turn one. Espargaro tried to keep up with the Ducatis surrounding him and although a wide take at turn one dropped him to seventh position, he was quick to recover, getting past Zarco and Di Giannantonio within a couple of laps.

By lap seven, Bezzecchi, Bagnaia, Quartararo and Marini had stretched an advantage of almost one second, the Yamaha intruder admirably keeping up with the Ducatis while Aleix Espargaro was pushing to join that elite group. Bagnaia inevitably took the lead at turn one with 15 laps remaining, just as Espargaro made it a five-man leading group, with Zarco heading the pursuit 1.5 seconds back, in a group including Bastianini and Binder, but with Di Giannantonio, Oliveira, Marquez and Nakagami not too far back. Meanwhile, both Suzukis abandoned the fight on lap eight, crashing out in quick succession from outside the top 10.

Presumably afraid of Bagnaia attempting a breakaway, Quartararo attacked Bezzecchi a couple laps later, but the rookie’s rapid retaliation dropped them one second behind the leader at the halfway point of the race. Quartararo eventually got a bit of a breather as the Mooney VR46 teammates engaged in battle, with Espargaro unable to get involved just yet but with a new threat coming from behind, where a resurgent Bastianini was brining himself and Zarco back into contention. Despite the Italian’s pace promising fireworks, Bastianini’s race ended in the gravel at turn four with 10 laps remaining.

Back at the front, Bagnaia was still juggling a one-second advantage over Quartararo, who kept that gap steady but was not really closing in. The gap briefly ticked under the one second mark as the race entered the final six laps but the Italian’s advantage on the straight quickly remedied that and it looked like the podium was pretty much decided, with Espargaro getting past Bezzecchi & Co and steadily shaking off the gaggle of Ducatis over the final handful of laps.

Bagnaia started the final lap with a second’s advantage over Quartararo and managed that gap to the chequered flag, while Espargaro crossed the finish line another second later to score a fourth consecutive podium. Zarco attacked Bezzecchi heading into the final lap to take 4th, while Binder sniffed around Marini over the last couple of laps, but it was too late to try a move and the South African settled for a solid seventh. Nakagami was the top Honda in eighth place, coming under some late pressure from Miguel Oliveira, while Marc Marquez bids goodbye to the 2022 season (for now) with a top 10 result. A video finish awarded Di Giannantonio the best result of his rookie season yet with 11th position, one thousandth of a second keeping him ahead of Maverick Viñales.

Quartararo’s spirited fight on enemy territory extends his advantage in the world championship to eight points over Espargaro, while Bastianini drops to a 28-point deficit and Bagnaia climbs three positions to trail the Frenchman by 41 points.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 41:18.9230
2 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 0.635
3 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1.983
4 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 2.590
5 72 Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 3.067
6 10 Luca Marini Ducati 3.875
7 33 Brad Binder KTM 4.067
8 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 10.944
9 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 11.256
10 93 Marc Marquez Honda 11.800
11 49 Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 12.916
12 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia 12.917
13 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 17.240
14 73 Alex Marquez Honda 17.568
15 43 Jack Miller Ducati 17.687
16 40 Darryn Binder Yamaha 20.265
17 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 20.296
18 51 Michele Pirro Ducati 21.305
19 87 Remy Gardner KTM 30.548
20 4 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 31.011
21 25 Raul Fernandez KTM 42.723
22 32 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 0.000
Not Classified
  23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 23:24.0940
  36 Joan Mir Suzuki 12:44.7980
  42 Alex Rins Suzuki 12:41.6070
  44 Pol Espargaro Honda 07:21.0900
Round Number: 
8
2022
Tweet Button: 

Back to top

Comments

"..while Marc Marquez bids goodbye to the 2022 season (for now) with a top 10 result." I hope those who won the arguments against those who said #93 should wait until his injury was 100% healed before coming back are realizing how stupid those decisions are/were. Lesson learned? Sadly, I doubt it.

Too many Ducati pilots jostling for the big points hall per race. Great ride yet again by Quartararo. Next best Yamaha ... ouch! Then we have the overtaking complaining. Now I have seen at a stop go circuit... Le Mans, and at a super, fast, flowing Mugello a rider go from 18th on the grid to 8th across the line in Le Mans two weeks ago and go from 16th on the grid to 7th across the line 4 seconds off the winner at Mugello today. I hate all the aero and ride height BS as much as most out there, but then some find a way to ride around it in spite of it on race day.. I never thought the day would come that I started looking forward to the Moto 2 race as much as the main event. Yet here we are.

 

I'll make the MSMA a deal. They can keep their Malthusian death tech if starting grid positions are the reverse of a rider's championship position.  

How much longer is Darryn B going to fly under the radar. He looks more and more impressive. Under 3 seconds behind Jack and Alex, some rookie. And on a '21, or is it '20 M1. Maybe Jarvis and co can do a contract swap with him and Morbidelli. 

Frankie seems to have lost  the plot, hope I'm wrong, I like his style and he was so fast previously I thought he'd be up with Fabio after the 1st few races. Another demonstration of just how close the margins are. 

He also had to do a long lap penalty, so lost a further 3 seconds or so early in the race.  Top effort.

indeed. I also think he deserves another year, he's done pretty well for being tossed in at the deep end.

The 3 podium winners were excitedly talking about the track & race while they were waiting for the trophies.

I've seen it several times this year.  It's really nice to see.

I'm trying to remember if I saw it in the last 2-3 years.  I don't remember seeing it before the covid races.