(Motorsport-Total.com) – In the penultimate race of the 2023 MotoGP season, Fabio Di Giannanantonio causes a sensation: the Gresini rider without a contract for 2024 celebrates his first victory in the premier class! In an exciting final duel he beat Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), who extended his lead in the championship to 21 points.
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Fabio Di Giannantonio can now call himself MotoGP race winner
Because his rival for the title, Jorge Martín (Pramac-Ducati), experienced a Grand Prix to forget. After a failed start, he finished in tenth position throughout the race.
Thus Bagnaia was able to recover from the lost victory: “I am very happy with the result. Although I saw it coming yesterday, I am very happy. I managed to get a big advantage in points over Jorge. It means that I can travel to Valencia, this is very important.”
Two drivers were injured after a racing accident
22 laps were scheduled for the long MotoGP race under the lights. Miguel Oliveira (RNF-Aprilia) will not start due to injury after his fall in yesterday’s sprint. His teammate Aleix Espargaró was also injured, but was declared fit for the race.
However, he had to serve a grid penalty of six starting positions due to a crash against Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) in training on Saturday, so he started from 16th position.
Ducati customer riders Luca Marini, Di Giannantonio and Alex Márquez started the race from the front row. World champion Bagnaia was fourth on the grid, right next to his title rival Martin, who won the sprint on Saturday.
As for tires, the vast majority of drivers opted for Michelin’s hard rubber compound. Only four riders chose the soft tire at the front: Marini, Iker Lecuona (LCR-Honda) and the Yamaha duo Fabio Quartararo and Morbidelli.
Bagnaia just ahead in the first corner.
Marini didn’t have a bad start, but he was already caught by Bagnaia in the first corner. Behind them were Gresini riders Marc Márquez (Honda) and Brad Binder (KTM). Martin wasted his start and fell to eighth place. He was trapped behind his Pramac teammate, Johann Zarco.
Everything went according to plan in Bagnaia in the first kilometers. He was able to separate himself a little from Marini right away. Overall, the field was still pretty close together.
After a mistake by Zarco, Martín inherited seventh place. This meant that he had ahead of Marc Márquez, who had already lost some ground to the top 5. With Ducati power, Martin quickly found a way to overtake and gained another position.
Martin loses touch from the beginning
There was a tough fight behind Bagnaia. The two Gresini and also Binder took Marini to fifth place in a very short time. Di Giannantonio took over the chase from Bagnaias, who was almost half a second ahead. But “Diggia” was increasingly able to close the gap and the pressure increased.
Meanwhile, Martin, who was in sixth position, had to move towards the front. On lap ten the difference with Marini was already two and a half seconds and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia) was talking from behind. He had overtaken Marc Márquez and was now waiting for the right moment to attack Martín.
Once finished, things only got worse for Martín: he lost more positions to Marc Márquez and Quartararo. The Pramac rider clearly had trouble keeping his line, so Jack Miller (KTM) also passed without much trouble.
Diggia doesn’t give a damn about supposedly stable orders
At the top there were signs of a winning duel between Bagnaia and Di Giannantonio. Only he could follow the world champion. The next pursuer was a few seconds behind.
“Diggia” was designated by the box to occupy the position. With four laps to go, he still attacked Bagnaia and took the lead. A lap later, Bagnaia tried to counterattack at Turn 1, but went off the line and lost a lot of time. In one fell swoop he was left two and a half seconds behind.
With that, Diggia was out of reach. Luckily for Bagnaia, there was enough room for improvement, so he only had to secure second place and 20 important points.
“My start was perfect and I was alone in front. I wanted to take the lead, but ‘Diggia’ was incredible today,” explains the World Championship leader. “I wanted to do everything right, but unfortunately when I braked I was sucked into his wake and had to take a very wide spot.”
Di Giannantonio with an announcement to critics
So the way was clear for the victory of “Diggias” as prime minister. “Man, what can I say? It was an incredible weekend with just incredible racing!” he rejoices.
“When I was driving behind ‘Pecco’, I felt like I could go a little faster. Towards the middle of the race I had some problems with the front tire. But then I saw that he also had some small mistakes. That’s when I thought I thought that Today maybe could be my chance. And we took advantage of it.”
“I’m speechless. This is really a relief for me. At the same time, it’s revenge against everyone who doubted me. Take that, people! We managed to win a MotoGP race!” says the Gresini rider proudly. .
In the fight for the last place on the podium, Marini narrowly beat Viñales. Only eight hundredths separated the two. Almost three seconds behind, Binder came fifth, followed by Alex Márquez and Quartararo. Enea Bastianini (Ducati) left Miller and Martin behind in the final phase and took eighth place.
In the end, it was enough for Martín to reach the top 10. At least he was able to leave Marc Márquez behind. In the end, the World Cup chaser pointed to his rear wheel.
The remaining points positions went to Zarco (12th), Marco Bezzecchi (VR46-Ducati/13th), Joan Mir (Honda/14th) and Augusto Fernández (Tech-3-GasGas/15th). Two drivers did not see the checkered flag: Lecuona had to park his Honda due to a technical problem. Aleix Espargaró left early due to injury.