The inverse Marquez trait that helped Bagnaia’s Assen MotoGP domination


Francesco Bagnaia’s double victory on the Italian Grand Prix topped the MotoGP information cycle for all of about 12 hours earlier than Ducati enacted rider market insanity. From the second Autosport first reported Marc Marquez had been given the nod for the manufacturing unit crew, all dialogue has been across the dynamics inside the Italian producer surrounding a choice that was at all times going to rankle the Bagnaia camp.

Bagnaia put up a great entrance throughout the Assen spherical as he brushed away questions asking for his ideas on this and the way his domination of each races will need to have been a pleasant ego enhance given the previous discourse over his incoming team-mate. Clearly, although, the 2024 Dutch Grand Prix was an announcement from the reigning double world champion.

For the primary time in his MotoGP profession, Bagnaia topped the opening follow of a weekend. Often underneath the radar on Fridays, he set his stall out early, earlier than within the second session setting a brand new lap document.

He topped ultimate follow on Saturday morning, earlier than taking pole with one other new lap document of 1m30.540s – a lap he was so assured in that he bailed into his pits with a number of minutes left within the Q2 session. He led each lap of the 13-tour dash to beat Jorge Martin by 2.355s and did the identical within the 26-lap grand prix to beat the championship chief by 3.676s.

At no level was Bagnaia something however spectacular at Assen. He took quickest lap within the dash and set the most effective lap of the grand prix six occasions – the latter, a 1m31.866s, coming 12 laps in. It was with the setting of this lap that Bagnaia introduced his lead over Martin to over a second for the primary time and it could by no means once more shrink beneath this.

The one ‘blot’ on his copybook got here within the 10-minute warm-up session, topped by Fabio Di Giannantonio. However that mattered little as he romped to a third-successive Dutch GP victory – turning into the primary rider to take action since Mick Doohan within the late Nineties.

Bagnaia completely dominated the Dutch GP weekend and was solely headed within the inconsequential warm-up

Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“It’s a extremely nice second,” Bagnaia mentioned when requested if he feared errors on a weekend wherein he was being pegged because the rider to beat. “But additionally in 2021, final a part of the season, 2022 in the course of the season, final yr at the beginning.

“Many occasions it occurred to me that I used to be feeling implausible with the bike. Any second I feel I do know completely our potential, I do know if we work properly, we are able to struggle each time for a win and we are able to have some race weekends like this.

“That is giving me a whole lot of motivation. Whenever you begin a race that everybody says it’s important to win, for the tempo, for what you probably did all of the weekend, a second place is already a loss. By way of stress, it’s extra, however I didn’t care and I simply loved all the pieces. I really like this monitor; I really like going quick and with this sort of feeling on this monitor, it wasn’t an issue. I simply loved all the pieces.”

Being quick by proper corners is an inverse trait of Marquez’s, whose anti-clockwise energy is famed and can seemingly put him within the image for victory on the German GP this weekend on the quirky left-leaning Sachsenring

Clearly, Assen is a circuit that fits Bagnaia and the Ducati. However the query as to why Baganaia was so sturdy was posed to various riders throughout the weekend. Marquez – who crashed out of the dash and was demoted to tenth within the GP resulting from a tyre stress penalty – famous that the world champion was notably sturdy by the quick right-handers.

“He’s flying all of the monitor,” the eight-time world champion mentioned. “I imply, he’s super-fast right here. I already see final yr and two years in the past that he was super-fast, however particularly on these quick proper corners he’s extremely quick.”

Being quick by proper corners is an inverse trait of Marquez’s, whose anti-clockwise energy is famed and can seemingly put him within the image for victory on the German GP this weekend on the quirky left-leaning Sachsenring. the most effective sector occasions in Q2, you’ll be able to see the energy Marquez is speaking about.

Sector 1 (Begin/end – exit T5)

1. Martin – 29.828s
2. Bagnaia – 29.871s
3. Vinales – 29.909s

Bagnaia's prowess through fast right-handers was identified by Marquez as one of his biggest strengths, which the sector times support

Bagnaia’s prowess by quick right-handers was recognized by Marquez as considered one of his greatest strengths, which the sector occasions help

Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Sector 2 (Strategy to T6 – entry T8)

1. Bagnaia – 13.335s
2. Martin – 13.436s
3. Binder – 13.444s

Sector 3 (T8 – entry T12)

1. Martin – 26.492s
2. Bagnaia – 26.540s
3. A Marquez – 26.540s

Sector 4 (T12 – end)

1. Bagnaia – 20.794s
2. Martin – 20.885s
3. Vinales – 20.886s

Most of sector one is gradual and medium-speed rights, earlier than flicking left by the Flip 5 hairpin. The quick sector two is characterised by the ultra-fast quick method to the Flip 6 proper, which sees riders creep over 300km/h (186mph) in sixth gear earlier than rolling off and knocking again a gear, taking the apex at round 250km/h (155.3mph) then flicking it left into Flip 7.

Sector 4 options two flicks proper at full pelt, earlier than heading left after which right into a proper/left/proper chicane to finish the lap. Notably, in sectors two and 4, Bagnaia led the best way.

An element that saved Pramac’s Martin, he famous, from combating Bagnaia for victory in each races was his lack of pace by the quick rights of Flip 6 and Flip 12. How the Ducati works Michelin’s 2024 tyres additionally seems to be one thing that gave Bagnaia an edge at Assen.

Bagnaia’s domination at Assen has put him simply 10 factors behind Martin heading to this week’s ninth spherical of the marketing campaign in Germany. And now looks as if the time the place the momentum has shifted within the Italian’s favour.

Martin has been the leading man for much of the year so far, but now has Bagnaia closing in

Martin has been the main man for a lot of the yr thus far, however now has Bagnaia closing in

Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Profitable 5 of the eight grands prix run thus far, Bagnaia wasn’t knocked off the highest perch of the rostrum all through June’s 4 races at Mugello and Assen. Of the 284 race laps held in 2024, Bagnaia has led 154 of them; Martin has headed 95, whereas the following highest is Vinales on 22.

Martin’s points-per-round common sits at 25 after eight rounds, however Bagnaia is now on 24. Since Barcelona, Bagnaia’s common has been 12 PPR with Martin sitting on 9. Since crashing out of the lead of the Barcelona dash, Bagnaia has bounced again emphatically and has now matched Casey Stoner’s profession tally of 23 Ducati grand prix wins.

With all of the speak pre-Assen surrounding Bagnaia’s future team-mate, the 2024 Dutch GP was a well timed reminder why Ducati locked him down by to the top of 2026 earlier than the season started and why he gained’t be so simply pushed over when Marquez arrives within the field.

Recent form suggests it cannot be guaranteed that Marquez will blow Baganaia away when he joins the factory Ducati team in 2025

Current kind suggests it can’t be assured that Marquez will blow Baganaia away when he joins the manufacturing unit Ducati crew in 2025

Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

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