Bagnaia wins San Marino MotoGP for fourth straight victory

MISANO ADRIATICO, Italy: Italy's Francesco Bagnaia won the San Marino MotoGP on Sunday to claim his fourth straight premier class triumph and close in on championship leader Fabio Quartararo.

Ducati rider Bagnaia pipped Enea Bastianini in a thrilling win at Misano Adriatico which moved him to within 30 points of reigning world champion Quartararo, who finished fifth.

He moves into second spot in the championship standings ahead of Aleix Espargaro after the Spaniard finished a place behind Yamaha rider Quartararo.

Aprilia rider Espargaro is 33 points behind Quartararo after being overtaken by the Frenchman who had started on the grid in eighth.

Bagnaia's victory was all the more impressive for him being forced to start from fifth after a three-place grid penalty imposed during practice on Friday.

After taking the lead on lap three Bagnaia held off first Maverick Vinales and then Bastianini – his teammate next season – to claim his sixth win from the 14 GPs raced so far this season.

Bagnaia's teammate Jack Miller had started on pole for the second time in his MotoGP career but was one of five riders to crash in a chaotic opening to the race.

Johann Zarco, Michele Pirro and Pol Espargaro all crashed out on the very first corner, while Miller and Marco Bezzechi went down a lap later.

Andrea Dovizioso finished his final MotoGP race in 12th place.--AFP

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