Italian MotoGP RACE | Quartararo crashes Ducati party as Bagnaia crashes out

Fabio Quartararo capitalises on Pecco Bagnaia's early exit from the Italian MotoGP to dismiss the remaining Ducati threat for a pivotal win in Mugello

Fabio Quartararo - Yamaha MotoGP 2021.jpg

Fabio Quartararo has established the first significant advantage at the head of  the 2021 MotoGP World Championship standings after cruising to an exemplary Italian MotoGP win.

Expected to be a battle between Quartararo and Pecco Bagnaia, the disparate strengths of their respective Yamaha (handling) and Ducati (power) machines promised to create an interesting too-and-fro.

However, when this was denied by an early crash for Bagnaia while leading, the way was paved for the ultra consistent Quartararo to multiply his advantage to the chequered flag.

Top 10 Best Sportsbikes of 2021 |

With his other close rivals - Johann Zarco and Jack Miller - also suffered trying days, Quartararo has opened up a 24 point lead in the standings.

A race already overshadowed by the news Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier has passed away as a result of injuries sustained in an accident during qualifying on Saturday, there was already drama before the lights had gone out when Enea Bastianini struck the back of Johann Zarco’s Ducati on the run to the grid.

With Zarco appearing grabbing the brakes to warm them up, a seemingly unawares Bastianini was caught by surprise, his emergency stop prompting the rear of the Avintia Ducati tro come up and over him, sending him into a somersault. 

Fortunately, Bastianini was able to pick himself up without injury, while Zarco raced on with seemingly no damage.

The race was priming to be an almighty tussle between Quartararo and Pecco Bagnaia, the two fastest riders of the weekend and the top two in the overall standings

Bagnaia got the hole-shot into Turn 1 but his dreams of a maiden win on home soil ended abruptly on lap two when he lost the front of the Ducati on the entry to Arrabiata 2.

His costly exit released Quartararo into the lead from Zarco, but while the Pramac Ducati rider rallied by using the GP21’s superior top speed to twice breeze past down the home straight, it was an opportunity for his countryman to demonstrate some exceptional overtaking in the ensuing bends.

By lap five Quartararo had broken the tow to Zarco, giving him the breathing room to manage his pace and protect his tyres to the chequered flag.

Crossing the line to win by three seconds, Quartararo was clearly overcome with emotion in what will likely be a critical win for his title aspirations but also in reaction to the fallen Depasquier, with the Frenchman taking the Swiss flag in parc ferme as a tribute to 19-year old.

With Quartararo escaping into the distance, attention turned to the fight for second with Zarco resisting the slowly advancing threat of Miguel Oliveira, the Portuguese rider making a great start from seventh to run in third on a KTM that has been transformed with a chassis upgrade this weekend.

Though he took his time, Oliveira eventually got the pass made on lap 16, coinciding with the arrival of both Joan Mir and Alex Rins on the Suzukis. They too soon dispatched of Zarco, though Rins’ miserable season continued soon after when he fell at the final corner with four laps to go, marking his fourth crash in six races.

Mir set off in chase of Oliveira but while he couldn’t get the better of his rival on the road, a post-flag track limits violation would swap them over with Mir scoring his best result of his title defending year. Then soon after it transpired Mir had committed the same offence, swapping the positions back around with Oliveira second for his third career MotoGP podium, with Mir third

Zarco and Miller followed in fourth and sixth as the Ducati top speed advantage failed to help it in the way it did in Qatar earlier this season, the pair split by Brad Binder in fifth as he completed one of KTM’s best ever MotoGP results.

Bidding to better Aprilia’s best ever MotoGP finish of sixth after qualifying fourth, a poor start hamperted Aleix Espargaro to leave him seventh, from Maverick Vinales - who didn’t make much of a dent on the race from 13th on the grid.

The winner last time MotoGP visited Mugello in 2019, Danilo Petrucci made it three KTMs inside the top ten in ninth, ahead of Valentino Rossi, who was tenth for what could be his final ever Italian MotoGP.

Elsewhere, Marc Marquez's Italian MotoGP lasted only two laps when he fell after getting tangled up with Binder, an incident that also sent Franco Morbidelli off course in avoidance of the falling Honda. A dismal race all round for the Japanese manufacturer, Takaaki Nakagami was another to take a tumble

2021 Italian MotoGP | Race Results | Mugello

2021 Italian MotoGP RACE Results | Mugello | Round 6 / 19
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M122 Laps
2Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC16+2.592
3Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR+3.000
4Johann ZarcoFRAPramac RacingDucati GP21+3.535
5Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC16+4.903
6Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP21+6.233
7Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GP+8.030
8Maverick VinalesESPMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M1+17.239
9Danilo PetrucciITATech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC16+23.296
10Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M1+25.146
11Iker LecuonaESPTech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC16+25.152
12Pol EspargaroESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V+26.059
13Michele PirroESPPramac RacingDucati GP21+26.182
14Alex MarquezESPLCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V+29.400
15Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GP+32.378
16Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M1+37.906
17Luca MariniITASky VR46 EsponsoramaDucati GP19+50.306
DNFTakaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda IdemitsuHonda RC213VCrash
DNFAlex RinsESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RRCrash
DNFFrancesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP21Crash
DNFMarc MarquezESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213VCrash
DNFEnea BastianiniITAAvintia EsponsoramaDucati GP19Crash