Lusail International Circuit - MotoGP 2022 - Race Results
Enea Bastianini has won his first MotoGP race after surprising long-time leader Pol Espargaro in the latter stages of the 2022 Qatar season-opener.
The bright young Italian gave the new-look Gresini Ducati squad, which lost team principal Fausto Gresini a year ago, its first premier-class victory since Toni Elias in 2006! Brad Binder took advantage of a mistake by Espargaro, who was suffering for grip in the closing circuits, to take second for KTM - and almost catch Bastianini!
Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro of the Repsol Honda squad blasted to the top of the field at the start, with Binder taking third from front-row qualifier Bastianini.Espargaro took the lead after a braking mistake by Marquez, while Binder moved into second after a similar mistake by Marquez. Bastianini used Ducati (GP21) power to pull third away by lap 7 of 22 to extend Marquez's Turn 1 agony.
Espargaro, who finished on the podium once last season, extended his lead to 1.5 seconds in the middle stages, but after finding his way around Binder, Bastianini began rapidly closing up on the Spaniard, taking the lead with five laps remaining.
Bastianini, who finished second on two occasions with Avintia during his rookie MotoGP season, is the second satellite Ducati rider to win a MotoGP race after Jorge Martin of Pramac, but the first to do it on a year-old bike.After holding off the Suzukis of Joan Mir and Alex Rins, Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia exploited his medium rear tyre to pass Marc Marquez in the closing laps. Then he turned his attention to his younger brother, Pol, and the podium.
Following exceptional pace and peak speed in practice, Mir and Rins finished eighth and tenth in qualifying, just ahead of Yamaha's reigning world champion and 2021 Qatar winner Fabio Quartararo.
Early on, Mir and Quartararo advanced to sixth and seventh, respectively, but the Frenchman couldn't keep up with Mir, who carved his way to fourth on the more powerful GSX-RR. Mir's rapid rise came to a halt, and he and Rins were dropped to sixth and seventh, respectively.
Mir and Quartararo made early advances to sixth and seventh, but the Frenchman couldn't keep up with Mir, who carved his way to fourth on the more powerful GSX-RR. Mir's meteoric climb stalled, and he and Rins were relegated to sixth and seventh place, respectively. Quartararo's concerns about the Yamaha's performance were realised as he dropped to ninth position.