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MotoGP Dutch GP: Bezzecchi defeats Bagnaia in Assen sprint, Quartararo third

Marco Bezzecchi beat MotoGP championship leader and fellow Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia into second place in the Dutch Grand Prix sprint, with Fabio Quartararo taking a surprise podium for Yamaha.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Although VR46 rider Bezzecchi briefly lost the lead from pole position, the man who had dominated the entire weekend was soon back past Bagnaia's factory machine. The world champion, who had started second, had no answer.

The result consolidates Bezzecchi's hold on third in the standings, with Bagnaia still leading Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin. Bagnaia's advantage has been stretched to 21 points following the sprint race, with Martin only able to finish sixth.

All the front runners opted for a combination of hard front tyre and soft rear. When the lights turned green, Bezzecchi lost out not only to Bagnaia at the first corner, but also to a fast-starting Brad Binder (KTM).

But it was only a lap later that the Italian was past Binder, with Bezzecchi then free to go after his countryman and Ducati rival Bagnaia. He promptly set the fastest lap of the race on lap three.

The battle had barely got going before it was over. Bagnaia ran wide on the fourth lap and almost lost the lead into Turn 5. He held on, but Bezzecchi simply blasted past him on the exit.

The lead remained a narrow one for the rest of the race, and hovered mostly just beneath the one-second mark, but Bezzecchi was able to control it from there to the flag.

Bagnaia was eventually able to shake off Binder, Quartararo and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, though his margin to the chasers was hardly comfortable either.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The scrap between Binder, Quartaro and Espargaro never really ignited in the last lap, and the trio crossed the line in that order.

But Binder was issued a three-second penalty for exceeding track limits, promoting Quartararo to a podium position that gave some much-needed joy to the Yamaha camp. 

It also meant fourth place for Espargaro, with Binder classified fifth following the time penalty, issued in lieu of a long lap penalty.

Martin spent some time battling with Binder, Quartararo and Espargaro, but dropped back almost three seconds behind them by the flag, with Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales less than a second further back.

Bezzecchi's team-mate Luca Marini had a bad start from third on the grid, dropping to fifth at the first corner. He then fell further down the field to an eventual 10th position after being handed a 0.5s penalty for taking a shortcut.

Johann Zarco ran as high as seventh early doors on his Pramac Ducati, but struggled for speed with his medium front tyre and trailed home 13th. Miguel Oliveira (Aprilia) was right with the Frenchman early on, but got shoved aside in a lap-one scrap. He eventually finished 19th.

Honda’s Marc Marquez took the flag in his starting position of 17th, after electing to start on soft tyres both front and rear.

MotoGP Dutch GP - Sprint race results (13 laps):

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 72 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati -  
2 1 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1.294 1.294
3 20 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1.872 1.872
4 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 2.245 2.245
5 33 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 4.582 4.582
6 89 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 5.036 5.036
7 12 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 5.876 5.876
8 23 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 10.102 10.102
9 73 Spain Alex Marquez Ducati 10.525 10.525
10 10 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 10.556 10.556
11 43 Australia Jack Miller KTM 11.191 11.191
12 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 11.473 11.473
13 5 France Johann Zarco Ducati 15.439 15.439
14 37 Spain Augusto Fernandez KTM 17.754 17.754
15 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 19.508 19.508
16 32 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 19.664 19.664
17 93 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 19.916 19.916
18 25 Spain Raúl Fernández Aprilia 20.583 20.583
19 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira Aprilia 24.269 24.269
20 27 Spain Iker Lecuona Honda 24.727 24.727
21 94 Germany Jonas Folger KTM 32.056 32.056
22 6 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 35.372 35.372
  49 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati    

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