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Magic in Mugello! Five key talking points from the Italian Grand Prix

Written by Finn Glover, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Ducati sported a new blue livery for race day in Mugello; Credit: FIM

MotoGP returned to Mugello — a staple on the calendar and one of the most gorgeous, picturesque racetracks in the world. In Ducati’s home race, they truly proved their stature, in what proved to be a weekend of drama, brilliance and scenes to savour forever.

Weekend In Review 

It was a weekend marked by news circulating regarding the driver market for 2025. Pedro Acosta, after a seemingly inevitable announcement, signed with the KTM factory team. 

But, the bigger picture was on the Ducati Lenovo seat. With Bastianini looking out of frame, it seemed a straight shootout between Martin and Marquez, with the prior announcing their shock departure to Aprilia on Monday. 

None of the drama seemed to faze Martin, who claimed pole by a very decent margin. He was followed by Bagnaia, who would claim a three-place penalty for blocking during quali. 

In the sprint, Bagnaia rocketed into the lead, and never looked back. The fierce battles came behind, though, with Quartararo and Oliviera coming a cropper at Scarperia. Then, only a lap later, the battle for the Ducati seat got too personal, as Martin knocked Bastianini off at Turn One, in what was deemed a racing incident. 

Then Marquez battled with Martin, who had seemingly no pace, getting past on lap six. And on lap 8, it all came crashing down for Martin, who lost valuable points in the championship duel with Bagnaia, the Italian going on to dominate the sprint. 

Bastianini was knocked down by Ducati rival Martin!; Credit: MotoGP

The task would be harder in the main race — with Bagnaia starting fifth due to the penalty. But, an absolutely incredible start by Bagnaia left the fans roaring as Ducati Lenovo sat first and third, with Bastianini too having a very decent start. 

It remained a stalemate for a long time- but Marquez hustled his way past Bastianini on lap 18, to the home fans dismay, into turn one. But, on the penultimate lap, Bastianini battled back, a stunning move up the inside of Scarperia, scaring Marquez off the racing line. 

And he continued his charge, as on the final corner of the final lap he ducked under Jorge Martin, claiming an absolutely unbelievable move, to give Ducati Lenovo their first one-two finish since the Spanish Grand Prix in 2021.

The top 10 were as follows:

1- Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo)

2- Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo)

3- Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati)

4- Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing)

5- Pedro Acosta (GASGAS Tech3)

6- Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Ducati)

7- Fabio Di Giannantonio (VR46) 

8- Maverick Vinales (Aprilia)

9- Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing)

10- Brad Binder (KTM Factory)

So, what was there to take away from the weekend?

1- Bastianini proves his worth

In what has been an injury-hampered tenure at the Ducati Factory squad, is Bastianini now finally proving why Ducati dared to sign him at the start of the last season? The move seemed star-aligned, perfect for both sides of the party and the Bastianini-Bagnaia battle would be one to savour for years to come. 

But a series of injuries and setbacks hampered his progress, and only now Bastianini is constantly fighting at the front with the likes of Martin and Marquez. And he truly had his best performance in red this weekend, with stunning late race pace and some absolutely fabulous overtakes to stun his competitors.

So, with the Ducati battle roaring, will it be enough to keep Bastianini his seat? The odds look unlikely, with the Italian seemingly off to GASGAS Tech3 to accompany Jack Miller. But if he keeps consistent, it might make Ducati wonder what they are missing out on. 

2- The Ducati battle- fists are finally thrown

It was all about Ducati in their home race!; Credit: MotoGP

Despite the Italian outfit’s domination, one flaw of the team is their indecisiveness as to who will claim the final seat onboard the red machine for 2025. Going into the weekend it was Martin, before he signed the shock deal with Aprilia. Then it was Marquez, and others such as Bastianini, Aldeguer and co. in the frame. 

But, the battle for the seat is starting to bubble and brew, even coming to blows on many occasions recently. As shown, Bastianini’s aggression and his accident with Martin are prime examples of the passion and determination to stay in the Ducati seat.

Now, it looks likely Marc Marquez will don red for 2025. For the fans, this will be a spectacle to savour- Bagnaia and Marquez in red. If they continue battling and crashing in the manner they have this season, then Davide Tardozzi might have to rethink his decision, as to whether Marquez is the best fit for Ducati.

3- Im(pecco)ble 

Im(pecco)ble! What a weekend for Pecco Bagnaia!; Credit: MotoGP

After what has been a fairly lacklustre start to Bagnaia’s season, he bit back superbly with an excellent weekend at the Italian Grand Prix. Starting in second and fifth for the races, he dominated both, lights to flag, seemingly unfazed by the chaos of the season unfolding behind. 

He closed the gap to Martin ahead by nearly 20 points this weekend, and will look to reignite his championship charge after losing valuable points in the likes of Portugal and all the sprints. And if this battle is anything like last season, with Marquez involved too, we look set for a treat this season. 

Out of the seven races he has claimed four victories, yet his sprint form and qualifying mishaps seem to be dragging him down to the rest of the field points-wise. This weekend, he proved he can overcome that, and if he keeps going, then he can certainly fight like previous seasons for the title. 

4- Italian Imagination- MotoGP is in its best place in years 

Fans flocked to the pilgrimage site of Mugello!; Credit: MotoGP

Since Valentino Rossi left the sport in 2021, there has been a notable absence from the fan favourite Italian Grand Prix. The fans. The hills have been left sparsely populated, and the Italian GP, as well as others like Silverstone, has recorded depleted figures in terms of attendance.

Yet this weekend, the hills were jam-packed with adoring Ducati fans, a sea of red encasing the track, particularly at the start of the race. The roar when Bagnaia took the lead at ‘Lucio’ on Lap 1 is synonymous with the deafening roars of MotoGP’s finest era — the 2015 Rossi vs Marquez vs Lorenzo battle.

And it's not just the Italian Grand Prix, every race weekend this year has recorded an increase on attendance, and every grand prix seems packed to the brim of expectant fans, whose wishes are being met with the finest season in years. If the season continues in this fashion, then the future looks incredible for MotoGP, with interest only getting bigger for the series.

5- Bezzecchi at the back — is the Ducati dream over for Marco?

It was a sorry weekend for Bezzecchi and VR46; Credit: MotoGP

Last year, it was arguable that Marco Bezzecchi was the best option for Ducati to replace Bastianini when the time came. The VR46 rider, who was only in his second season, claimed three brilliant victories and many podiums, seemingly destined to be crowned in red, come 2025, or maybe later. 

But it has been a tale of two fortunes, as Bezzecchi has been absolutely nowhere this season, languishing down in 11th in the standings, the lowest Ducati barring Franco Morbidelli. This weekend, teammate Di Giannantonio had two superb comeback races, finishing seventh in both, whilst Bezzecchi claimed just three points over the course of the weekend.

It has certainly been a start to forget for Marco, and he is way out of the picture for the Ducati seat. With VR46’s Ducati future too on the line due to interest from the likes of Yamaha, is this finally the end of Bezzecchi's long established Ducati dream? Or is there still time to rejuvenate, and try and pull back what has been lost?

The Dutch TT! The Monaco of MotoGP; Credit: Motorsport Tickets

Another weekend ticked off the calendar for MotoGP, as we look forward to the spectacle on the calendar in four weeks time. That;s right, it's the Dutch TT. The tight, twisty, wonderful circuit of Assen welcomes back MotoGP in the midst of a championship battle brewing and bubbling, and seemingly bound to explode. 

But don’t worry. It may be a month till the next race, but the drama is still constant! MotoGP’s fierce ‘silly season’ is in full swing, with seemingly bonkers announcements and rumours coming to fruition everyday. 

Martin has already signed with Aprilia, in the space of 24hrs, and there are plenty of rumours that could be announced before the next race. So stay tuned, and make sure to tune in on June 28th-30th, as we head to the Netherlands!

What? Jorge Martin signs for Aprilia in a shock move!; Credit: Autosport


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