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Bagnaia makes it three in a row, Quartararo extends overall lead

3. Motor
Monster Energy Yamaha’s French rider Fabio Quartararo (center left) and Ducati Lenovo’s Italian rider Francesco Bagnaia (center right) celebrate after the MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix race at the Red Bull Ring racetrack in Spielberg on August 21, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

SPIELBERG, Austria — Italy’s Francesco Bagnaia maintained his magnificent run of form winning the Austrian MotoGP on Sunday for his third successive victory although series leader Fabio Quartararo limited the damage.اضافة اعلان

Bagnaia led from start to finish on his Ducati — their sixth win in the seven MotoGPs since the race returned to the program — but world champion Quartararo battled gamely on a circuit that does not favor Yamaha to finish second.

The Frenchman extended his lead over second-placed Aleix Espargaro — who rode with a broken heel — to 32 points with Bagnaia 44 adrift with seven races remaining.

“It was a very very long race, very tough,” said 25-year-old Bagnaia, who was winning his fifth race of the campaign.

“However, I am very happy it was tough at the end for the last two laps I tried to be as calm as possible so I did not make an error.

“My tyres were almost totally worn out and Fabio was gaining on me all the time.

“However, I am delighted with the end result as we have gained another five points.”

Bagnaia, though, said he hoped he would further eat into the lead in the San Marino MotoGP in Misano in a fortnight.

“Fabio is not my focus it is gaining more points to eat into the deficit.”  

Quartararo never let up constantly harassing Bagnaia’s team-mate Jack Miller in second and finally bore fruit with four laps remaining.

“That was one of my best races,” said the 23-year-old.

“It was so difficult out there and I could have fallen several times.

“I am though super happy.”

‘Fantastic run’

Quartararo’s consistency this term has kept him ahead of the pack in the world title race.

He has just three victories but has also finished on the podium four times in 13 races and only failed to finish in one race whereas Bagnaia has four retirements to his name.

“Consistency is important and we have done well here,” said Quartararo.

“We stayed strong and have secured a very good result.”

Miller held on for third helped when Jorge Martin (who soldiered on to finish 10th) came off his bike on the penultimate lap.

“That was lucky, though, not for Jorge!” said Miller.

“It was a fantastic run but I had run out of everything by the end of the race,” the Australian added with a grin.

Bagnaia’s compatriot Enea Bastianini’s miserable run of form since winning his third race of the season in mid May continued.

Having secured his first ever pole position he saw Bagnaia pass him and although still in contention he rode off into the gravel with 23 laps remaining.

The race had been overshadowed over concerns for young French rider Amaury Mizera.

He remained in a hospital in Graz — around 80km from the circuit — after being taken there on Saturday evening following a collision on a lap of honor with Hungary’s Soma Gorbe following the Red Bull Rookies Cup.

The 15-year-old’s condition was not known but comes less than a month after eight-year-old French rider Mathis Bellon died during a race in Italy.

Gorbe was treated on site.

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