Vinales wins for Bagnaia after a late fall

Vinales struggled from pole position in last week’s Misano race due to incorrect tire selection, but a change in setup approach in practice meant he was much stronger from the start on Sunday.

The Yamaha rider took the lead from Jack Miller’s fast-starting Pramac Ducati at Turn 4 on the first lap, building a half-second lead.

Miller’s podium hopes quickly faded and he retired on lap eight with an engine problem.

Bagnaia on the sister Pramac bike was the rider leading the pursuit of Vinales on lap two, with the Italian finding a way on lap six at Turn 4 when the Yamaha rider went too far.

Harnessing the power of the Ducati and the grip of its soft rear tire, Bagnaia immediately extended a lead of over seven tenths, which grew to over a second a few laps later.

Behind them, chaos ensued in the early laps when KTM’s Brad Binder crashed in the Carro hairpin at Turn 14 of Tour Two, having just finished on the podiums.

Moments earlier, Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha slipped out of the top eight at Turn 4 and eventually retired.

At the front, Bagnaia’s gap remained stable between 1.4s and 1.6s, with Vinales comfortably closing the gap to pursuers Pol Espargaro on the KTM and Fabio Quartararo of Petronas SRT.

Despite the gap dropping to 1.1s at the start of lap 21, Bagnaia still looked like he was in control but suffered a cruel heartbreak when he crashed on Turn 6 left.

This put Vinales in a commanding lead he would not give up until the checkered flag to become the sixth different winner in 2020 and jump right back into the championship fight.

The battle for second place raged on the final laps as Espargaro’s soft rear tire began to fade, chasing Quartararo home.

Suzuki’s Joan Mir caught up with the pair after starting from 11 place and smashed through Quartararo in third at Turn 1 on Lap 23 before stealing second from Espargaro at Turn 4 on the following lap.

Quartararo followed him through Turn 4 but was penalized on the last lap for exceeding the track limits too many times.

The SRT driver missed the penalty loop and was handed a three-second time penalty at the checkered flag, dropping him to fourth place and propelling Espargaro to the podium.

Coming through from 15th on his Tech3 KTM, Miguel Oliveira completed the top five ahead of LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Marquez, who achieved his best result of the year in seventh on the factory Honda.

Andrea Dovizioso has a slender one point lead over Quartararo in the standings after falling back in eighth, with just four points remaining between Ducati rider Quartararo, Vinales and Mir.

San Marino winner Franco Morbidelli recovered from early contact after Aleix Espargaro crashed into him and finished ninth, with Danilo Petrucci (Ducati), Avintias Johann Zarco, Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Aprilias Bradley Smith finishing last scored points.

Tech3’s Iker Lecuona crashed in the final stages in sixth place, Avintia’s Tito Rabat also crashed, joining Rossi, Bagnaia, Miller, Binder and Aleix Espargaro on the sidelines.

Emilia Romagna MotoGP Results – 27 Laps

position driver team gap
1 outsider Vinales Jamaica 41m55.846s
2 Joan Mir Suzuki 2.425s
3 Pol Espargaro KTM 4,528s
4 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha 6.419s
5 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM 7.368s
6 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 11.139s
7 Alex Marquez Honda 11,929s
8th Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 13.113s
9 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha 15,880s
10 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 17,682s
11 Johann Zarco Ducati adventure 23.144s
12 Alex Rins Suzuki 24,962s
13 BradleySmith Aprilia 30.008s
Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM retirement
Francesco Bagnaja Pramac Ducati retirement
Valentino Rossi Jamaica retirement
Tito Rabat Ducati adventure retirement
Jack Miller Pramac Ducati retirement
Brad Binder KTM retirement
Stefan Bradl Honda Withdrawn
Alex Espargaro Aprilia retirement