Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: JULIAN FINNEY / GETTY IMAGES EUROPE / Getty Images via AFP 17:34 p.m., June 25, 2023Francesco Bagnaia took victory at the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday. The Italian finished ahead of compatriot Marco Bezzecchi and Spaniard Alex Espargaro. Frenchmen Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco crashed after a collision on the third lap.
Italian Francesco Bagnaia won the Dutch MotoGP Grand Prix on Sunday in Assen, where Frenchmen Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco crashed after a collision on lap three. Quartararo suffers from a sprained elbow and possibly a fractured foot and "thinks he needs surgery" in the week after this accident that he caused by falling at the exit of a series of turns, dragging with him Zarco, for his part unharmed.
"I pushed a bit hard to make up for my mistake from the start It's my fault, I did anything," admitted Quartararo (Yamaha), who had moved from 4th to 12th position on the first lap. Bagnaia (Ducati), the reigning world champion, signed in the "cathedral" of speed, the oldest circuit on the calendar, his fourth success this season out of eight races after Portugal, Spain and Italy. He edged out compatriot Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati-VR46) and Spaniard Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) and consolidated his position as championship leader ahead of the long summer break. He is now 35 points ahead of Spaniard Jorge Martin (Ducati-Pramac), 5th on Sunday, and 36 points ahead of Bezzecchi. The next Grand Prix will take place on August 6 at Silverstone.
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South African Brad Binder, 3rd at the finish, was downgraded for exceeding the limits of the track at the end of the race. He was eventually ranked 4th behind Espargaro. "It's definitely my most rewarding success because on Friday morning I was very upset. I was fighting with the bike without finding the right set-up," commented Bagnaia. "Yesterday (Saturday) again in the sprint race, I was not comfortable. But we worked and reacted as a team and during the warm-up (Sunday morning) we finally found the right balance to perform well in the race. We've come a long way. I'm very proud of that," he added after his 15th GP victory.
Author of the pole position and winner of the sprint race on Saturday, Bezzechi missed his start, overtaken by Binder and Bagnaia. The latter quickly took a second lead in the lead, forcing Bezzecchi, 3rd in the championship, to a vain chase. "I hit a bike at the first corner and ended up third behind Brad (Binder)," Bezzecchi said. It took me a long time to overtake him, which prevented me from coming back to Pecco fast enough."
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"Complicated" for Marquez
For Zarco (Ducati), the retirement at Assen is a blow after three consecutive podiums in the last Grands Prix. "But I don't lose hope. Even though this weekend was difficult, I don't need much to play for the victory," he said. Marc Marquez also didn't score any points in Assen. And for good reason: the Spaniard had to withdraw following a fracture to a rib contracted a week earlier in Germany.
For the fifth time in eight Grands Prix this season, the six-time world champion was unable to compete in Sunday's race because the pain was too much. "The most complicated period of my career," complained the Honda rider, who hopes to regain condition for Silverstone, after the long summer break.