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MotoGP Catalunya, Sprint: Victory for Espargaro After Another Bagnaia Bottle

Gold and Goose

This weekend's MotoGP Catalunya is the sixth round of 2024. Jorge Martin enters the weekend with a 38-point championship lead after winning the French Grand Prix two weeks ago.


Francesco Bagnaia looked in prime position to take his first MotoGP Sprint victory of 2024 in Catalunya, but he crashed on the last lap and handed it to Aleix Espargaro instead.

Bagnaia had made the holeshot, but eventually got beaten back to fourth by Pedro Acosta, Raul Fernandez, and Brad Binder. He worked his way forwards again, though, as Acosta faded slightly mid-race and after crashes for Fernandez and Binder who were both leading at the time.


Bagnaia was back in the lead on lap seven, and managed a half-second margin over Espargaro until the final lap. Then, into turn five, just as Binder had done on lap seven Bagnaia folded the front. Live timing indicated Bagnaia's lead over Espargaro had grown from 0.7 seconds to 0.9 seconds between turns four and five.

Miguel Oliveira, 2024 MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix. Credit: Gold and Goose.

Espargaro was then left to cruise in a sweet home Sprint win, making it three wins from the last three starts for Espargaro at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. He'd dropped back at the start, but refused to be pushed from the leading five by Jorge Martin, and followed Bagnaia forwards through Acosta and the debris of Binder and Fernandez, putting him in the perfect position to take advantage of Bagnaia's latest blunder.

Behind Espargaro, Marc Marquez put on another last lap charge to beat Pedro Acosta to second place. Somewhat similarly to Espargaro, Marquez had been quiet for most of the race, although that was perhaps enforced by contact with Jack Miller on the first lap at turn two which cost the #93 his right-front wing.

Jorge Martin was also quiet, and missed the Sprint podium for the first time in 13, but his championship lead only reduced by one, and increased over 2023 champion Bagnaia by six points.

Enea Bastianini was fifth, ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio, Jack Miller, Maverick Vinales, Marco Bezzecchi who took the final point in ninth, and Fabio Quartararo who rounded out the top 10.

2024 MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix | Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya | Sprint Result | Rd 6/21
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GPWIN
2Marc MarquezESPGresini RacingDucati GP230.892
3Pedro AcostaESPRed Bull GasGas Tech3KTM RC161.169
4Jorge MartinESPPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP242.147
5Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP242.980
6Fabio Di GiannantonioITAPertamina Enduro VR46Ducati GP234.623
7Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC168.084
8Maverick VinalesESPAprilia RacingAprila RS-GP8.245
9Marco BezzecchiITAPertamina Enduro VR46Ducati GP238.643
10Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha YZR-M19.241
11Franco MorbidelliITAPramac RacingDucati GP249.537
12Alex RinsESPMonster Energy YamahaYamaha YZR-M113.045
13Takaaki NakagamiJAPIdemitsu Honda LCRHonda RC213V13.199
14Alex MarquezESPGresini RacingDucati GP2313.378
15Joan MirESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V16.438
16Luca MariniITARepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V18.000
17Augusto FernandezESPRed Bull GasGas Tech3KTM RC1625.262
18Stefan BradlGERTeam HRCHonda RC213V33.751
DNFFrancesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP24DNF
DNFBrad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC16DNF
DNFRaul FernandezESPTrackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GPDNF
DNFMiguel OliveiraPORTrackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GPDNF
DNFJohann ZarcoFRACastrol Honda LCRHonda RC213VDNF


Aleix Espargaro took pole position for his home race, the Catalan Grand Prix, by setting a new lap record.

As always, Q2 was preceded by Q1, which saw Fabio Di Giannantonio set what was at the time a new lap record. Raul Fernandez followed him through to Q2 at the cost of Marc Marquez, who will start 14th after being beaten by his Gresini teammate Alex Marquez, too.

Fabio Di Giannantonio, 2024 MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix. Credit: Gold and Goose.

Di Giannantonio's lap record in Q1 was a 1:38.208, and he himself was almost two-tenths slower than that in Q2. Francesco Bagnaia was the first rider to beat it, at a 1:38.128, but his time was deleted for yellow flags at turn two. Next up was Aleix Espargaro, and with nothing to deny him he set a 1:38.190, slower than Bagnaia but crucially legal, while Bagnaia's was not.

Espargaro described the lap as one of the best of his life in parc ferme, and he will start from pole position for his final home race.


Alongside Espargaro will be Bagnaia, who managed a 1:38.221 on his first run that kept him in second place by the end. Brad Binder completes the front row.

Pedro Acosta will start fourth, alongside Di Giannantonio and Jorge Martin, whose late turn two crash brough out the yellow flags that denied Bagnaia.

Raul Fernandez had a strong qualifying in seventh, and was fastest of everyone in the final sector. Alex Rins used the new Yamaha aerodynamics to qualify eighth - his best for the Iwata brands - and Jack Miller completes row three.

Franco Morbidelli crashed his Pramac Ducati within seconds of Martin crashing his, and the two landed in the same gravel trap. Morbidelli ended 10th, ahead of Enea Bastianini and Maverick Vinales.

2024 MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix | Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya | Qualifying Result | Rd 6/21
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1:38.190
2Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP241:38.221
3Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161:38.334
4Pedro AcostaESPRed Bull GasGas Tech3KTM RC161:38.369
5Fabio Di GiannantonioITAPertamina Enduro VR46Ducati GP231:38.400
6Jorge MartinESPPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP241:38.401
7Raul FernandezESPTrackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1:38.591
8Alex RinsESPMonster Energy YamahaYamaha YZR-M11:38.692
9Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161:38.763
10Franco MorbidelliITAPramac RacingDucati GP241:38.778
11Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP241:38.860
12Maverick VinalesESPAprilia RacingAprila RS-GP1:38.972
13Alex MarquezESPGresini RacingDucati GP231:38.530
14Marc MarquezESPGresini RacingDucati GP231:38.536
15Miguel OliveiraPORTrackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1:38.551
16Marco BezzecchiITAPertamina Enduro VR46Ducati GP231:38.662
17Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha YZR-M11:38.705
18Johann ZarcoFRACastrol Honda LCRHonda RC213V1:38.978
19Augusto FernandezESPRed Bull GasGas Tech3KTM RC161:39.120
20Takaaki NakagamiJAPIdemitsu Honda LCRHonda RC213V1:39.156
21Joan MirESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1:39.524
22Luca MariniITARepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1:39.621
23Stefan BradlGERTeam HRCHonda RC213V1:40.276


Aleix Espargaro set the fastest time in MotoGP Practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and a new lap record with it.

The Spaniard was closely followed by the KTM pair of Brad Binder - who crashed twice at turn two early in the session - and Pedro Acosta in second and third, respectively.

Pedro Acosta, 2024 MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix. Credit: Gold and Goose.

Francesco Bagnaia was the best Ducati in fourth place, while Jack Miller was the third KTM in the top five.

All of the Ducati riders that made the top 10 in Practice were on GP24s, with Jorge Martin, Enea Bastianini, and Franco Morbidelli sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

Alex Rins was perhaps the biggest surprise of Practice, taking ninth place with Yamaha's new aerodynamics, while Maverick Vinales completed the top 10.

Alex Marquez was the best GP23 rider in 11th, while Gresini teammate Marc Marquez was only 12th.

Honda's fastest rider was Johann Zarco in 19th place, and all the RC213Vs filled the bottom positions. There are five in Catalunya this weekend, but test rider Stefan Bradl didn't take part in Practice due to illness.

2024 MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix | Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya | PR Result | Rd 6/21
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1:38.562
2Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161:38.634
3Pedro AcostaESPRed Bull GasGas Tech3KTM RC161:38.665
4Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP241:38.695
5Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161:38.702
6Jorge MartinESPPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP241:38.793
7Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP241:38.814
8Franco MorbidelliITAPramac RacingDucati GP241:38.831
9Alex RinsESPMonster Energy YamahaYamaha YZR-M11:39.043
10Maverick VinalesESPAprilia RacingAprila RS-GP1:39.058
11Alex MarquezESPGresini RacingDucati GP231:39.113
12Marc MarquezESPGresini RacingDucati GP231:39.153
13Miguel OliveiraPORTrackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1:39.350
14Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha YZR-M11:39.352
15Marco BezzecchiITAPertamina Enduro VR46Ducati GP231:39.382
16Raul FernandezESPTrackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1:39.420
17Fabio Di GiannantonioITAPertamina Enduro VR46Ducati GP231:39.479
18Augusto FernandezESPRed Bull GasGas Tech3KTM RC161:39.504
19Johann ZarcoFRACastrol Honda LCRHonda RC213V1:39.558
20Takaaki NakagamiJAPIdemitsu Honda LCRHonda RC213V1:40.028
21Joan MirESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1:40.256
22Luca MariniITARepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1:40.318
23Stefan BradlGERTeam HRCHonda RC213VNo Time Set


Jorge Martin continued his impressive recent form in FP1 at Barcelona, finishing fastest by almost 0.3 seconds.

Marc Marquez, 2024 MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix. Credit: Gold and Goose.

Martin was one of few riders to take a fresh soft rear tyre at the end of the session. In comparison, Marc Marquez stayed with the same soft-compound front tyre and medium-compound rear tyre for the entire session, but was second to Martin.

Only two other riders were in the 1:39s: Brad Binder and Pedro Acosta, both going with fresh medium-compound rears at the end.

Aleix Espargaro, off the back of his retirement announcement, finished FP1 in fifth, ahead of Alex Marquez, reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia, Augusto Fernandez, Jack Miller, and Raul Fernandez who completed the top 10.

Full MotoGP results from FP1 in Barcelona are below.

2024 MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix | Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya | FP1 Result | Rd 6/21
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Jorge MartinESPPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP241:39.579
2Marc MarquezESPGresini RacingDucati GP231:39.871
3Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161:39.958
4Pedro AcostaESPRed Bull GasGas Tech3KTM RC161:39.966
5Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1:40.051
6Alex MarquezESPGresini RacingDucati GP231:40.287
7Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP241:40.303
8Augusto FernandezESPRed Bull GasGas Tech3KTM RC161:40.338
9Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161:40.361
10Raul FernandezESPTrackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1:40.368
11Maverick VinalesESPAprilia RacingAprila RS-GP1:40.380
12Miguel OliveiraPORTrackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1:40.397
13Johann ZarcoFRACastrol Honda LCRHonda RC213V1:40.422
14Fabio Di GiannantonioITAPertamina Enduro VR46Ducati GP231:40.493
15Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha YZR-M11:40.493
16Alex RinsESPMonster Energy YamahaYamaha YZR-M11:40.553
17Luca MariniITARepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1:40.628
18Joan MirESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1:40.672
19Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP241:40.689
20Takaaki NakagamiJAPIdemitsu Honda LCRHonda RC213V1:40.692
21Franco MorbidelliITAPramac RacingDucati GP241:40.783
22Marco BezzecchiITAPertamina Enduro VR46Ducati GP231:40.794
23Stefan BradlGERTeam HRCHonda RC213V1:41.423

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