With a spectacular final lap overtake by Francesco Bagnaia, Enea Bastianini won the Aragon MotoGP Grand Prix and broke Bagnaia’s winning streak for four consecutive races. It was Bastianini’s fourth win of the season.
“I won on [Bagnaia] on the last lap, and this time it was possible to attack,” Bastianini told NBC Sports. “I was able to win this race and now we are going to Japan.”
Bastianini pursued Bagnaia throughout the race. On the final lap, Bagnaia was forced to balance his need for the 20 championship points that came from second place with his desire to become the third rider in MotoGP history to win five consecutive wins. . The need for points was even more important because championship leader Fabio Quartararo crashed on the first lap and couldn’t earn any at all.
Bagnaia entered the race, dropping Quartararo’s lead by 61 points in the final four rounds. He scored another 20 points at the Aragon Grand Prix and is now 10 points behind with five rounds remaining.
“It was great,” Bagnaia said. “I did my best and on the last lap it seemed like there was more grip. Enea did an incredible job all weekend. It was already known that he and Fabio were the fastest, and Fabio had an accident on the first lap.
“Anyway, I did my best and on the last lap I didn’t feel like I could overtake Enea because I already took too many risks on the previous lap so 20 points was important and that’s okay.”
Extremely expensive Sunday for @FabioQ20hopes for the World Cup! 💥
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) September 18, 2022
The battle for the championship took a dramatic turn on the first lap. Returning to MotoGP after several hand surgeries, Marc Marquez was determined to play a decisive role.
In the first two corners of the race, Márquez overtook seven riders to take the lead. In turn three, his rear wheel slipped and Quartararo had nowhere to go. Quartararo clipped Márquez’s bike and he flew out of his Yamaha to finish last and score no points.
“It was really unfortunate,” Marquez told NBC Sports. “In turn three I had a moment where I lost the back and Fabio was very close as usual on the first lap and then I got contact.”
Marquez suffered significant injuries and was also forced to retire.
Ahead of the pack, Bagnaya was chasing the book of records.
Leading early, he momentarily lost the lead to Bastianini until that rider went into the corner too hard and pushed him. Bagnaia lashed out and reclaimed first place, but failed to sway the rider who would become his teammate in 2023 at Ducati. Bastianini followed Banaya for most of the race, but he knew the pass had to be flawless. Coming out of the corner halfway through the last lap, he completed the pass.
The two leaders crossed under the checkers with a difference of 0.042 seconds when Bagnaya drove up to the winner’s rear wheel.
Taking 1st-2nd places, Bastianini and Bagnaia won the manufacturer’s championship for Ducati.
The battle for the last podium was also decided late in the race when Alex Espargaro made an equally dramatic pass to Brad Binder with two to go. Jack Miller rounded out the top five as the three riders were separated by about eight tenths of a second.
With a broken finger, Espargaro has reduced the gap to 17 points and is also in contention for the title.
In Moto2, rookie Pedro Acosta takes second win of the season over Aaron Kane and points leader Augusto Fernandez.
Fernandez has a marginal seven-point lead over fourth-placed Ai Ogura.
Americans Joe Roberts and Cameron Beaubier finished ninth and 11th respectively.
Superman goes where he’s needed, and with his cap flying behind him in the 18th run of the Knoxville Late Models, Jonathan Davenport scored a $50,000 win over Iowa’s Tyler Bruening at the Knoxville, Iowa, half-mile track.
It was Lucas Oil Late Model’s ninth win of the season in his 29th start, a statistic that included six notable wins in a row from July 24 to August 26. Davenport also has four World of Outlaws Late Model wins and half a dozen other major series wins this season, for a total of 21.
Even with all this success, it was a wish list win for a man named Superman. This is his first race at Knoxville, a circuit famous for spring car racing that is also becoming a staple for the latest models.
Davenport had taken the lead on lap 50 earlier, but fell behind Bobby Pierce on lap 9 as the field turned green again after a warning. Two laps later, Brüning took first place and held it for the next 37 laps.
In the final laps, Brüning extended his lead to two seconds until Davenport found the lead. On lap 45, Davenport closed the gap and by lap 47 he was on Brüning’s rear bumper. Davenport dove into the bottom groove in Turn 1, pulled alongside and took the lead on the next lap, depriving Brüning of the first late-model Lucas Oil. career victory.
— Knoxville Speedway (@knoxvilleraces) September 18, 2022
“I wish I could say I planned it” Davenport said in a press release. “I was too tight there. I didn’t have the best racing car. At first I made a mistake in the roundabout, I thought that I could be rolled out and I would let Bobby [Pierce] around me, so I chose the bottom and let Tyler surround me.
“I tried to compete with Earl. [Pearson Jr.] as clean as I could get there, but I knew I had to get past it. One day I ran into Tyler. I could blow it up, but I knew it might be his first jewel in the crown, so I didn’t want to take it away from him like that.”
Read more: Mike Marlar wins 2021 Knoxville Late Model Nationals
For Brüning, the disappointment was bitter. In 40 combined starts this season with the Outlaws and Lucas Oil, he has earned seven top 10 spots, but the closest he came to winning was a pair of fourths at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota and Boone Speedway in his hometown. Iowa.
“I think I needed two fewer laps to keep him,” Bruning said. “I don’t know. When you’re ahead for all those laps, it’s pretty hard to get out of your trajectory, which worked the whole race.
“I didn’t know how close he was until it was too late to get out of four. I didn’t know how high I could climb if I had enough of this journey. It was fun to run ahead. We’ve just been beaten by the best in the world.”
Brandon Sheppard finished 25th in the top five of the season and rounded out the podium.