Championship leader forced to retire from second place following Indian MotoGP crash

Bagnaia forced to retire from second place in the GP of India after a crash, Pirro sixteenth.

Ducati 1-2 at the Buddh International Circuit with Marco Bezzecchi first (VR46 Racing Team) and Martin second (Pramac Racing Team)
The first-ever Grand Prix of India at the Buddh International Circuit came to an unfortunate end for the Ducati Lenovo Team rider Francesco Bagnaia after the championship leader was forced to retire from second place on lap 14 following a crash.

Bagnaia, who started third on the grid behind Bezzecchi and Martin, led the race briefly on the opening lap but was soon overtaken by Bezzecchi, who maintained a superior pace to his rivals throughout the 21 laps, pulling away comfortably to the chequered flag.

For the first half of the race, Bagnaia was involved in a great battle for second with Martin, with the Spaniard never able to gain much of an advantage. On lap 13 Pecco outbraked him to move into second place but a few corners later in the next lap he lost grip under braking and slid out of the race. Bagnaia’s points lead has now been cut to 13 over Martin and 44 over Bezzecchi with seven rounds remaining.

Michele Pirro, Bastianini’s stand-in rider, ended a difficult weekend in India in sixteenth place.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – DNF
“First, I want to apologize to the team because objectively I made a mistake, which is unfortunately inevitable when you are at the limit like today. We accepted the risk of going with the harder compound and it was the better choice for my performance because with the medium the other Ducatis were using I was struggling a lot. This is something strange because everybody usually chooses the same tyre. For me this weekend it wasn’t working, I was having a lot of front locking, so we decided to go with the harder and until that moment I was competitive. I was fighting with Jorge, and as soon as I took him, I lost the front. Despite the difficulties we would have finished second today, but Bez was unstoppable. For Japan, we must find a solution, because I want to be back leading and we want to win. The points are for sure very important but for me it is more important to find a solution under braking.”

Michele Pirro (#51 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 16th
“A very difficult weekend for me, I really struggled from a physical point of view but above all my ankle has gotten worse since yesterday, so I found it hard to push. In the race I had to manage my strength, it wasn’t easy at all so in reality I just thought about finishing the race. When I saw Pecco go down, I was really demoralized! Now we go to Motegi, we will try to recover our strength and energy and hope to have a better weekend at a track where we have more data and where we hope to be more competitive. I want to thank the team and I hope to give them more satisfaction in Japan.”

The MotoGP World Championship continues its series of overseas races with the next round, the Grand Prix of Japan, scheduled for one week’s time at the Mobility Resort Motegi circuit.

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