Motorcycle Racing

Bagnaia dominates for Assen double ahead of Martin

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

World champion Francesco Bagnaia swept to his second win of the 2024 MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix after dominating Sunday’s main race ahead of Jorge Martin.

Having eased to victory in the sprint on Saturday, Bagnaia stormed to a third-successive Dutch GP win on Sunday on his factory Ducati having controlled the race from the off.

Starting from pole, Bagnaia grabbed the holeshot off the line and was never headed in the 26-lap race.

Martin recovered early from a three-place grid penalty for irresponsible riding in qualifying, but could go no further than second to see his championship lead shrunk to 10 points going to next weekend’s German GP.

Enea Bastianini advanced from tenth on the grid to complete the podium on the sister factory team Ducati, showing great late-race pace to overhaul Marc Marquez, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Maverick Vinales in the closing stages.

At the start, just as he did in the sprint, Bagnaia got the best launch to hold the lead as Vinales on the Aprilia slotted into second ahead of a fast-starting Martin from fifth.

Martin took second from Vinales into Turn 8 on the opening lap, with Marquez following suit on his Gresini Ducati at Turn 5 on the second tour.

Bagnaia had established a lead of 0.8s over Martin as he started lap three, though the Pramac rider would close this to 0.6s two tours later.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The lead never shrunk below this, however, as Bagnaia had the pace to keep Martin’s advances in check.

At the start of lap six, Bagnaia was a second clear and extended it to 3.676s at the chequered flag to become the first rider since Mick Doohan in 1998 to win three successive grands prix at Assen.

The battle for the final podium spot raged through to the final laps, with Marquez relinquishing third to VR46 Ducati rider Di Giannantonio at Turn 8 on lap eight.

Marquez appeared to point to the gap he wanted Di Giannantonio to come through on him, leading to speculation that a low front tyre pressure was causing concern.

On lap 19, Di Giannantonio checked up slightly at Turn 8 as Marquez was coming up his inside, allowing Aprilia’s Vinales to jump into third ahead of the pair of satellite Ducatis.

But the danger rider in the battle for third was Bastianini, who picked his way past Vinales on lap 22 at Turn 16.

The factory Ducati rider moved 0.795s clear of the group behind, headed by Marquez – who recovered from an off at…

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