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MotoGP Austin: Bagnaia bags Moto2 win, misery for Brits

Sky VR46’s Pecco Bagnaia took a surprising victory in today’s Moto2 clash at the Austin MotoGP round, passing Alex Marquez for the lead with six laps left to run and crossing the line with a 2.4s margin over the Spaniard with Miguel Oliveira in third

Bagnaia struggled throughout free practice but his team found a Rossi-esque magic bullet in warm-up as he reeled in Marquez after the EG00 rider opened a one-second gap in the early stages, stalked him, swapped paint before making a decisive move to win and claim 25 points.

But it was disaster for the British contingent as Sam Lowes crashed when he ran wide at turn six and lost the front after only six corners. Danny Kent lasted three laps more before he went down. Lowes did re-mount to finish 24th but it is a tough start to the season for the Isle of Man resident.


As Bagnaia put some space between himself and Marquez, Oliveira’s KTM started to cut his gap and he began to catch Marquez. A mistake saw the time close to eight-tenths but Marquez gathered it all back up and he managed to go away again, ending with a 1.2s advantage.

Reigning Moto3 champion Joan Mir took fourth with a stunning ride after he was tagged by Luca Marini at turn one and re-joined the track in 24th place. At points, he was lapping faster than the leaders and was able to see the rear of Oliveira when the chequered flag was flapped.

Lowes’ Swiss Innovation team-mate Iker Lecuona bagged a brilliant fifth place, passing Brad Binder on the sister works KTM on the final lap. Mattia Pasini opted for the hard rear Dunlop but the gamble didn’t pay off as it didn’t come into its own until four laps left so the Italian could only muster seventh.

Jorge Navarro finished in eighth with Domi Aegerter, who was also caught up in the Marini/Mir interface, taking ninth. Lorenzo Baldassarri completed the top ten.

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