Francesco Bagnaia masters Mugello to lead Ducati one-two at home Italian GP

Bagnaia celebrates his win
Bagnaia celebrates his winReuters
Reigning MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia (27) won the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday at the Mugello Circuit, while his teammate Enea Bastianini overtook Pramac Racing's Jorge Martin on the final lap to take second place.

Ditching Ducati's traditional red livery for the Italian 'Azzurri' blue on their home circuit, Bagnaia was a man on a mission to seal the sprint and race double at Mugello as he closed the gap on championship leader Martin.

The world champion -- now 18 points behind Martin -- celebrated his victory by strumming an imaginary guitar before he was handed an electric guitar by the fans to go with his helmet and racing suit inspired by the rock band KISS.

A sprint winner on Saturday, Bagnaia had been demoted to the second row due to a three-place grid penalty from Friday's practice which allowed Marc Marquez -- fourth-fastest in qualifying -- to start on the front row.

But Bagnaia could not have dreamed of a better start as he overtook four riders and raced into the lead on the opening lap, drawing a huge roar from the Ducati fans in the stands as Bastianini also slotted into third place.

"It wasn't easy starting from P5 but I had a strategy to go on the outside," Bagnaia said. "To win today after a week like this is fantastic."

Marquez found overtaking Bastianini difficult while the Spaniard also had to look over his shoulder with Tech3's Pedro Acosta hot on his heels and waiting for the six-times MotoGP champion to make a mistake.

There was less than a second's gap in each battle for the top four spots but overtaking attempts were difficult to come by for the riders on the fast circuit until the final stages of the race.

Battle for Podium

Marquez finally saw an opening with six laps to go when Bastianini went slightly wide at the San Donato bend and the Spaniard duly capitalised, using the slipstream and cutting inside to move up to third place.

But with two laps left, Bastianini rediscovered his pace and with Marquez struggling, he nudged the Gresini rider out of the way to reclaim third place while Martin looked set to challenge Bagnaia for top spot.

Bastianini, who is in danger of losing his seat on the factory team at the end of the season, then stole second place from Martin on the last sector of the final lap to spark wild celebrations in the stands and the Ducati pit garage.

"It feels incredible. Something was wrong but we resolved the problem and today we pushed really hard," Bastianini said.

"After Marc overtook me I realised I had to push. In the last lap I saw Jorge and thought it was possible to take second place and I overtook him in the last corner."


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