The Pramac rider took the lead on lap six and quickly established a lead of over a second on the chasing Yamaha of Maverick Vinales.
On lap 21, Bagnaia was 1.3 seconds ahead and controlling the pace when he crashed at Turn 6 left handing Vinales the win. Bagnaia believes something on the track caused the crash because the data shows he was not doing anything different than the previous lap.
“When I crashed, the first thing I wanted was for my bike to come to the pits soon to see what happened because the crash was too weird,” he said. “I was completely in control of my gap to Maverick. I controlled the pace and for sure he was pushing a lot and I was very clever to control the distance.
“The crash was incredible because if you look at the data, the speed was the same, the bank was the same, the throttle was the same, the line was the same. So it looks like I touched something like a tear off or a dirty thing on the track.
“The only thing I can think of is that, because if it’s not like that I’m a little scared for the next races because I crashed so without advice from the lap before [worrying]. “
A tear also caused problems for Bagnaia’s teammate Jack Miller, who revealed on social media that one of Fabio Quartararo’s visor tears was sucked into his Ducati’s air filter on lap two, forcing him to retire.
Bagnaia was denied pole position on Saturday for exceeding the track limits in qualifying and says it was much easier to accept as it was his own fault.
“[It hurts] a lot because for the first time I was very strong in every session,” Bagnaia continued. “Yesterday I lost pole position because I touched the green [runoff].
“And that was normal, because if you touch the green, you lose time. But today I’m not happy because it’s very disappointing to lose the race like that.”