Bagnaia wins Dutch MotoGP, narrows championship gap to rival Martin

The reigning double world champion led from start to finish at the Assen circuit to win the Dutch Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Rider holds trophy on podium.
Ducati Lenovo Team's Francesco Bagnaia celebrates on the podium after winning the Dutch MotoGP. The victory caps off a perfect weekend for the Italian, who also won Saturday's sprint race [Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters]

Francesco Bagnaia claimed his third consecutive Dutch MotoGP ahead of championship leader Jorge Martin to narrow the gap to 10 points in his quest for a third straight world title.

Bagnaia’s factory Ducati teammate, Enea Bastianini, completed the podium at Assen on Sunday.

Polesitter Bagnaia led from the start to ride a flawless race, capping a memorable weekend after he also claimed victory in Saturday’s sprint race.

After giving a riding masterclass, the rider from Turin said “It’s incredible.

“I had to push from the start and suffering a bit from the rear tyre. But lap-by-lap I improved.”

“We were very fast, very precise… I am very satisfied,” added Bagnaia, who twice broke the Assen track record over the weekend.

The weekend’s win in Assen again also highlighted Ducati’s dominance in the manufacturer’s championship standings, delivering the fifth full Ducati podium in a row.

Bagnaia’s race never looked in doubt as both he and Martin opened a sizable gap over the rest of the field in the opening laps of the race.

Throughout the race, Martin stayed within five seconds of the leader around the 4.5km (2.8-mile) track. He made a final push to reel in the Bagnaia, but was unable to get close enough to challenge, eventually trailing the Italian over the finish line by 3.68 seconds.

“At the end of the race I had nothing left. I tried my absolute best to catch him,” Martin said.

Riders on circuit.
Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia (1) leads championship rival Jorge Martin (89) during the Dutch MotoGP [Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters]

The real battle was for third place, which turned into a titanic struggle between Bastianini, Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales, Marc Marquez on a Gresini Ducati and Fabio Di Giannantonio on a VR46 Ducati.

After rounds of racing ping-pong, Bastianini passed Vinales with four laps to go and held the third spot to the chequered flag ahead of the Spaniard.

The riders now gear up for next week’s German MotoGP at Sachsenring.

Martin now leads the 2024 MotoGP World Championship standings with 200 points after eight of 21 rounds. Bagnaia is next best on 190 points, followed by Marquez on 149.

Source: News Agencies