Exciting Ducati battle for podium finish win at Le Mans

Podium for Bagnaia and the Ducati Lenovo Team at Le Mans. Fourth place for resurgent Bastianini.

• Four Ducati in the top four: a spectacular three-way battle for the win sees Jorge Martín (Pramac Racing) edging out Marc Márquez (Gresini Racing) and Bagnaia

The Ducati Lenovo Team scored a podium finish at Le Mans with Francesco Bagnaia, third at the line and among the protagonists of an exciting battle for the win with other Ducati riders Martín and Márquez. Enea Bastianini put together a superb comeback in the latter stages of the race as he was fourth at the finish line despite having to serve a long-lap penalty at halfway point in the encounter.

Bagnaia enjoyed a perfect start from second place on the grid as he moved up to first position at the exit of the first chicane. The reigning world champion stayed in the lead until eight laps left, as he tried to break the group behind him. As the race entered its final stages, Martín and Bagnaia were joined by Márquez in the battle for the win, with the latter eventually able to edge out Pecco for second place on the last lap.

From tenth place on the grid, Bastianini managed to make up four positions at the start and stayed with the leading group in the first half of the encounter. The rider #23 then had to serve a long-lap penalty following an overtaking manoeuvre on Espargaró, which cost him three positions. Enea reacted in an excellent way, setting the new race lap record (1:31.107) and making his way back to fourth at the chequered flag.

As the French GP draws to a close, Bagnaia is currently second in the championship standings, 38 points in arrears of leader Martín, while Bastianini sits fourth – two points shy of his teammate. The Ducati Lenovo Team leads the team standings with 180 points, with Ducati on top of the manufacturers’ standings (170 points).

The Ducati Lenovo Team will be back in action in a fortnight’s time at the “Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya”.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 3rd
“You can never be fully satisfied if you don’t win, but it was a good race. I managed to recover the feeling from yesterday, but I didn’t feel as competitive as the other two, as they clearly had something extra today. We surely have to keep working, but generally speaking the weekend went well – sprint race aside – as we have always been competitive and fast. It was important to finish the race here at Le Mans after the results of the last two seasons here, so I’m happy about this. In the final stages, I tried to stay as close as I could to Martín in order to try and pass him at turn 13, but Marc was really strong in the third sector, and he used his speed to his advantage in order to have the better of me.”

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 4th
“Obviously I cannot be fully happy with today as I could have done a lot more, so I’m a little disappointed. We had the speed this weekend, but something didn’t go our way and surely that long-lap penalty did penalise us a lot. It all happened because I was in a rush to pass Aleix as I saw the others at the front were starting to push a bit harder. I didn’t make any calculation, I simply saw the chance and tried to take it. Problem is, as it happened on other occasions, I struggle to get the bike stopped when upright, so I ended up wide. I was ready to give the position back, but then I saw him off track and that made it impossible. In any case, I wasn’t expecting a long-lap penalty.”

 

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