2021 Aragon MotoGP Race Result: All Guns Blazing

The timesheets throughout practice predicted a race that was even hotter than the theatrical desert of Aragon and there was palpable tension in the air as the enthusiastic crowd cheered riders lining up on the grid. Despite the sunny skies, a storm was brewing over 20 laps, with poleman Pecco Bagnaia defending a maiden victory in the premier class from a Marquez onslaught over the final three laps. After a flawless race, the Italian became the 8th different winner of the season, while Marc Marquez put in a proper show on his first race in front of the home crowd since his return. Joan Mir’s third place almost became an afterthought in the final few laps, but the reigning world champion made put up a great fight from 7th on the grid to profit from a strange afternoon for the championship leader.

Bagnaia was unchallenged at the start, the poleman leading the way into turn 1, while Marquez made some quick moves to get ahead of Jack Miller, with Aleix Espargaro and Jorge Martin also in the mix early on. Having started from the front row, Fabio Quartararo looked under pressure straight away, down to 7th after a feisty first lap and closely stalked by Brad Binder. Alex Rins made a good start from 20th on the grid to join the top 15 early on but his progress eventually stopped once he got to 12th place.

Bagnaia pushed at the front and took Marquez with him, leaving Miller a half second behind and closely followed by Aleix Espargaro, Mir and Martin, with Quartararo trying to bridge a half second gap but coming under attack from Binder and Lecuona. Although Bagnaia and Marquez were not really running away, Miller pushed to rejoin that leading group by lap 4 but the Spanish trio of Espargaro, Mir and Martin were not too far off from making it a 6-way battle, while Quartararo’s gap had increased to almost a second.

If riders were worried about tyre wear early on, the timesheets did not really show it, Bagnaia stringing together low 1:48s, the rest of the leading group not too far off either. However, Bagnaia and Marquez seemed a bit more keen to burn some rubber, the duo once again stretching a gap of seven tenths over Miller by lap 7. Aleix Espargaro also looked like he was losing a bit of ground while fending off Mir, while also dropping Martin almost a second back. Quartararo was really not enjoying his time in Aragon at this stage, dropping behind Iker Lecuona and Binder in the fight for 7th place, four seconds off the lead and also having to contend with Enea Bastianini and Takaaki Nakagami.

While all eyes were on Quartararo’s strange regress, Marquez seemed to be biding his time for an attack on Bagnaia and the leading duo increased their gap over Miller to a second and a half by lap 10. If Miller had any intentions to bridge that gap, his mission was complicated by Espargaro and Mir breathing down his neck. The Spaniards eventually got ahead at the end of lap 11, helped by a mistake at the final turn by the Australian, leaving Miller with quite a bit of work to do to catch up with the fight for third.

Meanwhile, the two leaders extended their advantage to over four seconds and Mir hoped that tyre trouble would be kinder to him than the men ahead over the second half of the race. While that slow-burner chase was underway, only the battle for 9th place provided any entertainment, where Quartararo defended attacks right and left from Bastianini and Nakagami. The fight for 6th was also showing signs of life, with Martin under attack from Lecuona and Binder with 10 laps remaining.

Back ahead, Bagnaia and Marquez continued to be the fastest men on track but entering the predicted tyre drop zone post lap 15. The Honda man was glued to the back of the Ducati but was yet to show a wheel to Bagnaia, while Aleix Espargaro was also biding his time for a podium worthy overtake on Mir. Miller had settled for a lonely ride in fifth, while Binder demoted Martin for 6th and a big mistake at turn 8 from Lecuona dropped him into the Quartararo group, the Frenchman still having the upper hand down there.

With Mir making no impression on the gap to the leaders going into the final 5 laps, it looked like a straight fight between Bagnaia and Marquez for victory – a tense fight, with the Italian’s pit board consistently showing a nerve-wracking +0. The Spaniard looked like setting up a move at turn 3 on a few occasions but the power of the Ducati halted his progress. The battle eventually started with three laps to go and it was all out war, with Marquez attacking at turns 3 and 15 but Bagnaia cutting straight back. The same scenario was repeated on the penultimate lap, Bagnaia entering the final lap back in control of proceedings.

The final lap meant the final opportunity for Marquez to extend his excellent run in Aragon and the Honda man gave it a good go, attacking at turn 1, turn 5 and finally turn 12, but inevitably ran wide and the gap was too big to recover once the Ducati galloped down the back straight. Marquez put in a spirited fight but had to admit defeat to the stronger man, with Mir claiming the final podium spot three seconds later, after dropping Aleix Espargaro for the final couple of laps. Miller secured fifth place, with Bastianini’s impressive late charge on worn rubber bringing him a well-deserved 6th place ahead of Binder, while Quartararo took the chequered flag down in 8th place, ahead of Martin and Nakagami.

While Quartararo’s advantage in the title standings is still pretty cushy, Bagnaia recovered some ground to become the second favourite, with a 53-point deficit, while Mir drops to third on minus 57.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 41'44.422
2 93 Marc Marquez Honda +0.673
3 36 Joan Mir Suzuki +3.911
4 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia +9.269
5 43 Jack Miller Ducati +11.928
6 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati +13.757
7 33 Brad Binder KTM +14.064
8 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha +16.575
9 89 Jorge Martin Ducati +16.615
10 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda +16.904
11 27 Iker Lecuona KTM +17.124
12 42 Alex Rins Suzuki +17.710
13 44 Pol Espargaro Honda +19.680
14 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM +22.703
15 9 Danilo Petrucci KTM +25.723
16 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha +26.413
17 5 Johann Zarco Ducati +26.620
18 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia +27.128
19 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +32.517
20 10 Luca Marini Ducati +39.073
Not Classified
  96 Jake Dixon Yamaha 22 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
  73 Alex Marquez Honda 0 Lap
Round Number: 
13
2021
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Comments

Can't wait to find out to whom Mir refused to refer directly. He said, "I thought I could fight with that guy" as he gestured toward FB and MM in parc ferme. In my mind it was Marc. I get the feeling Mir has contempt for the 8-time champion. Would he not even say his name? Hmm

Pecco impeccable! Holy cutbacks, Bag-man. I may be starting to come around on FB63. Consistency, please.

Fabio smart this year - take 8 and move on to friendlier venues...iow, all of them. That's a pretty good grasp he has on the trophy but we'll see. That's why they line up

Expected more from 89. Also 5. Sheesh.

Rins I had pegged for 9th. Disappointed me again. He must be getting no sleep what with realizing how he's let me down.

Great last 3 laps...much thrill

 

A great ride by Pecco. He parried and resisted every move Marc made in the final stages of the race. A very well deserved win against a brilliant Marc assault. It was sort of like watching Dovi vs Marc at Catalunya some time back. A thoroughly enthraling race it was. I remember Pecco in Moto 3 on a Mahindra. I bet he will reflect on those days during the week to come. Six manufacturer's in the top seven. Good to see.  On the other hand we have the tyres, those black sticky rubber hoops on the wheels. I for one do believe Michelin have major quality control, consistency issues. I can say this because riders and manufacturers are generally obliged to keep their mouth's shut and adapt to the rubber. The race results today after a very consistent track and weather weekend exposed Michelin inconsistency issues. Tyres need a major revisitation for the 2022 season along with suspension of the engine freeze. I'm pretty sure Quattararo, Miller, Nakagami, Martin, Oliveira, Rins, Marini and a few others would have plenty to say about tyres behind soundproofed doors.                                                                                                             

 

 

 

Great show by Pecco, MM kept it clean, and kudos to Lecuona for vying for top KTM for a while. Interesting results. 

Cloverleaf___504___1._Jack Miller___129___2._Francesco Bagnaia___161___3._Fabio Quartararo___214___ #2 correct

 

Motoshrink___450___1._Marc Marquez___79___2._Fabio Quartararo___214___3._Joan Mir___157___ #3 correct

 

Rholcomb___446___1._Maverick Viñales___95___2._Johann Zarco___137___3._Fabio Quartararo___214___

 

TZnRDracer___446___1._Fabio Quartararo___214___2._Johann Zarco___137___3._Maverick Viñales___95___ #1 correct

 

D999___422___1._Marc Marquez___79___2._Jack Miller___129___3._Fabio Quartararo___214___

 

Lilyvani___422___1._Marc Marquez___79___2._Fabio Quartararo___214___3._Jack Miller___129___

 

Iannis_Z___411___1._Joan Mir___157___2._Franco Morbidelli___40___3._Fabio Quartararo___214___

 

St Stephen___377___1._Fabio Quartararo___214___2._Alex Rins___68___3._Maverick Viñales___95___ #1 correct

 

Richtea___373___1._Johann Zarco___137___2._Marc Marquez___79___3._Joan Mir___157___ #3 correct

 

SP_won___345___1._Johann Zarco___137___2._Marc Marquez___79___3._Jack Miller___129___

 

Buccatini___338___1._Johann Zarco___137___2._Francesco Bagnaia___161___3._Franco Morbidelli___40___ #2 correct

 

Mr.X___311___1._Johann Zarco___137___2._Maverick Viñales___95___3._Marc Marquez___79___

 

WaveyD1974___311___1._Marc Marquez___79___2._Francesco Bagnaia___161___3._Jorge Martin___71___ #2 correct

 

Apical___284___1._Marc Marquez___79___2._Alex Rins___68___3._Johann Zarco___137___

 

Brian___284___1._Marc Marquez___79___2._Alex Rins___68___3._Johann Zarco___137___

 

Daddyrat___284___1._Johann Zarco___137___2._Marc Marquez___79___3._Alex Rins___68___

 

stumo___284___1._Marc Marquez___79___2._Alex Rins___68___3._Johann Zarco___137___

 

Peterday___276___1._Franco Morbidelli___40___2._Joan Mir___157___3._Marc Marquez___79___

 

Pool Pirate___248___1._Johann Zarco___137___2._Franco Morbidelli___40___3._Jorge Martin___71___

 

Ivanhoe___187___1._Alex Rins___68___2._Franco Morbidelli___40___3._Marc Marquez___79___

^ Grazi Ivanhoe, deeply appreciated and enjoying our connecting here. Looks great! You might swap Rholcomb and TZnRD/MrX and WaveyD spots since the 2nd one has a more accurate tip? That means Daddyrat up too. Or no if you see something else. :) I am happy to see my riders putting themselves in P2. I think it is where I will finish, and damn pleased. Hats off to Cloverleaf. Fun stuff! ^ Brian, glad you enjoyed the race too! I had some unease in breathing for a few periods. Use care personalizing the Mir comment, it is common long time practice to leave names off of media comments to avoid out of context quote poaching and headline drama. 

Aragon brings it:

Ducati starts today, WOW can that bike get off the line or what? The whole middle pack these days is a beserker melee throughout early race corners. Today it was a bloody bayonet battlefield. Binder came through, again. KTM has caught the Suzuki one lap pace limp. Binder 7th, ahead of Quarty is solid finish, but reiterates a tepid 2021 Orange narrative. Again, 2022 F tire may change their game?

Rins got up to 12th, good Sunday Hamatsu business. MIR PODIUM is a great show, keeping he and Bagnaia in the hunt at a crucial time. Classic Mir strength. Quartararo 8th was damage limitation, noting next Blue bikes were 16th and 19th...if a "disaster" Sunday is 8th he is solid. We fans get a treat via this race's points for the 2021 Cup. No shame in MV12's day, he was here to a necessary level. Aprilia this weekend is sincerely looking at adaptation, Team integration, a happy rider, deep thorough feedback, and a first sorting. More was possible perhaps, but not expected. Waiting on the bench is a shape shifter, may be good for half a second. We all are about to see what Vinales can do on the brakes for a change, deeper and harder. Then riding the torque drive. Misano one week, fair first look. 

As the circus heads to Italy perhaps this is the moment to appreciate as Valentino's actual career finale and bow. He has more on tap we can enjoy, both on track at Misano, in retrospection as a true Agostini-like historical great, and just now arising as a post riding Alien announcing his own Italian Racing Team in all 3 classes. Rossi today re next yr, "Sincerely I don’t know very well the situation with the Prince" but we will be here next yr and have been working hard on it. Careful not to take some news bits at face value. The Saudi regime has endemic particular manipulation of the public sphere (take Saturday's 9/11 tragedy anniversary and narrative course for prime timely ugly example). One contact person a sham to take the fall? To easy. More like an abusive oil cash and religious extremist totalitarian fully expected that Valentino could should and WOULD ride the Saudi bikes next year. Ever wonder what has taken the wind out of Vale's sails this year? Not just one thing, but don't discount the over reach of jangling shackles being diametrically opposed to all things Rossi as well as good in the community. 

Bastianini's job interview for the top kit has just gone exceedingly well. Ducati's new bike under Ranch Hand Pecco solidly pitched. For now the top bike is pledged to Marini, unfortunate. Eagerly awaiting the announcement after or at Misano. Side note, post Yamaha the livery being blue and or black is needed around here like a bruise. Yellow bikes now please! Nastro Azurro 0.0 and don't skimp on the kit - let them wheel Pecco's current bike over, but crack fresh crate on a Factory bike for Bezzecchi. You folks have plenty to be appreciative and proud of right now. 

Special shout out saved for last to a certain Black Horse #41 Aleix Espargaro aboard an insurgent Aprilia. Brilliant ride, again, and a well deserved 4th. 

Bagnaia Marquez late race battle was so over the top it resembled a training exercise on passing and defending lines. A bit like the old battles with Dovi. A full FIVE last laps of stabs and cuts. Bagnaia held his own beautifully. Marc withheld his bowling balls today. That he can be there up front when recovering fitness is a solid answer to doubters. But first win for Bagnaia and a top notch Duc is of course the story of the day. Surgically precise and clean whilst fiercely limit-surfing around Marc's stabs. The rather defensive sounding phrase "block pass" does not do justice to it's true bloodthirst.

Great race!

a block pass.  I have no idea why the commentators kept screaming the phrase "block pass", again and again.  In order to execute a block pass you need to pass and then block your opponent - usually by parking your bike in their line.  To his credit MM did not do the latter as it may well have ended badly for both, instead we had a very very exciting finish.

Failed block passes. If he could have held the tighter line on exit, to prevent the undercut, he would have, and it would be a successful block pass.

so the commentator should have been screaming "failed block pass" again and again.  Now that woudl have actually been quite funny :-)

Yes will fix the sorting, must have messed up some of my earlier versions...

I'm not sure what harm I did by quoting Mir. He said that on international TV to Simon Crafar. He didn't seem to be worried someone might hear it.

Congratulations to Francesco Bagnaia great result. Excellent responses to Marc Marquez's many moves. Seven times was it not? Davide Tardozzi seemed a lot more excited to see Pecco win compared with Jack's wins earlier this season.

Well done Marc Marquez, another great ride, good clean passes. No contact that I noticed. Them arms are working fine.

M1R didn't do anything wrong, gathered some good points, didn't look like last years champion. Much.

Celebrations for Aleix and Aprilia! Fourth is very good. Excellent follow up after the podium at Silverspoon.

Miller made a minor mistake, ran wide once & lost 2 places. Adios podium. J.M.43 did get closer to Zarco in the fight for second best Ducati in the championship.

Bastianini!! The reigning Moto2 champ takes BY FAR his best result in MotoGp! Go Ducati!

Brad Binder lucky 7th still finished ahead of Fabio Quartararo!

Fabulous Q continues to lead the chip by over 50 points. That is going to be a big hill to climb.

Good rides further down the field and all.

Pecco could do well at the Misano races, FQ20 probably will do as well. MM93 good at COTA.

We'll see

I wasn't aware there was that story. Just realised, French tyres French rider. I stand by what i already said. I think Fabio is suffering the same issues as every other rider. This year, he's just handling them better than the rest.

No penalty for MM exceeding track limits on the last lap? I think it'd be idiotic myself, but the rules say ... Even Binder got whacked a penalty when he ran wide in his epic win in Austria.

Binder already had a warning few laps before, so, even though message on the screen suggested penalty for last lap exceed, it was more likely to be for the 5th trip to the green, that just happend to be on the last lap.

At the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon and following consultation with the Safety Commission, it has been decided to update the protocol for track limit infractions that occur on the last lap of a race.

From now on, an infraction on the last lap that has affected a race result must indicate that the rider in question was disadvantaged by exceeding track limits. If the Stewards deem there is no clear disadvantage, the rider will be penalised with a change of position or a time penalty. This is to ensure that any rider exceeding track limits on the final lap must be in a worse position than the rider or riders with whom they are directly competing for a finish position.

"Therefore the change of position penalty only applies to riders who were close enough to have a reasonable chance of making a pass, and half-a-second or more back would normally not be considered a reasonable attacking position."

"There is not a hard-and-fast time difference applied as circumstances are different depending on the track and corner. As with most steward’s decisions it’s a judgement call."

Assorted Webb and Motogp

Imaginary scenario. Last lap, Bangnaia 1st, Marquez 2nd, Mir 3rd (2 seconds back). Bangnaia never exceeds limits the entire lap. Marquez does exceed track limits but loses a second in doing so. Bangnaia makes a mistake in the last turn without exceeding track limits and loses a second. Drag race to the line Marquez wins. Result....no penalty...Marquez wins, Bangnaia 2nd, Mir 3rd.

The problem I have with the whole thing is that originally it was more or less a judgement call ... "Did he gain an advantage or not?" If so, penalty. If not, no penalty. Then everybody whined about second-guessing the judgement call -- "he didn't really gain an advantage, yes he did" -- so RD went very strict, including whatever sensors they're using now to detect tiny transgressions. Then everybody started whining that it was too strict, that if there was no advantage, why a penalty? Now it seems like they're making it up out of the blue at every race, which is the worst of all situations.
 
Can't win. Lose the painted concrete and replace it with astroturf that's kept wet from an underground sprinkler system. That'll sort things out immediately!

Exactly Larry. People still complaining. All that complaining (and i think a lot from teams) about judgements brought us less fair rules. Rider touches the green and there is absolutely no advantage whatsoever but now he has to have a definite disadvantage so...loses race. Nice. I think judgements were best. At the very least they did away with the marginal infractions. I'm not sure what would make people happy about judgements. Maybe there could be a phone app and the whole world could vote like some pop star contest. Problem then is that it would follow 'fan' lines and the votes would be skewed by people not taking the matter seriously. What would be good is group of impartial, unhindered, unmolested individuals with a solid history in the sport who could make a judgement based around some basic objective criteria. We could call them stewards.

I tend to think, forget astro turf, forget it all. Grass and dirt, no track limits, go for it. Then I see a race like Austria and think about how many riders would have crashed in those laps. A broken leg or two maybe ? There is a genuine question as to whether the riders would push as hard as they do if they didn't have the green. However, Austria was a good example of riders really trying to be super extra careful and still running off.

I find it best to just forget about the rules, enjoy the race. When the wrong rider wins because the 'rules' overpower the 'spirit of the rules'...then it sucks.

Got fed up with seeing no-one but FB and MM on camera as though no others bikes racing. I suppose the director has no interest/knowledge in the whole championship.

When they were racing they got airtime. When they were merely circulating, the coverage went to the two guys at the front trading lap times and actually racing. In the final laps it was the only race worth watching.

I would whole heartedly agree if we were seeing Marquez senior instead of the bikes, but unlike the usual production they actually kept the majority of crew and family reactions up in the top corner wedged amongst the time sheet. Thats a breath of fresh air.

The TV director has no idea what motorcycle racing is. Obviously.

He's Marc Marquez, if he (unsurprisingly) didn't receive a penalty for the Silverstone incident he sure as hell wasn't going to receive one for this. I've nothing against him but his reckless berm-riding this year has almost been back to his marauding Moto 2 days. To me it's clear at the very outer limits of his performance, which really is still alien-like, that his body isn't quite obeying his mind's will and the margins at that level are infinitesimal. That said, he was either running wide apres pass due to fatigue or not able to cut back and block due to the same, the reason(s) most likely being his comparable fitness to his pre-crash days. Still, we get extended highlights of his Dad staring at a screen so what's not to like...🙄

...was one of the most enjoyable I have ever had the pleasure of watching and hearing.

Pecco just glowed with positive emotions, not in an over-the-top Espargaro way, but just beaming. He was thoughtful, eloquent, and totally aware, and was in total control of the stage, just as he was in total control of his Ducati during the final laps of the race.

Mir was a spectator like the rest of us.

I have never liked Marc, never will, although I respect his obvious and incredible talent. But in my memory this was the most honest, revealing, and expansive interview I have ever seen from him. As I have said in previous comments, I believe that peak Marc is now in the rear view mirror (with the caveat that even 90% of peak Marc is almost unbeatable on the right day), and I think I saw a hint of that realization in his eyes during the press conference.

Creo lo que creo.

It goes both ways.

In Spanish "crear" means "to create" and "creer" means "to believe." "Yo creo" means both "I create" and "I believe." Yo creo lo que creo can mean "I believe what I create" or "I create what I believe." So...does experience create belief or belief create experience? Or both? The leopard and its spots conundrum.

Bagnaia got his first win at Aragon. Now he knows from experience he can win. This gives him the confidence through experience that he can do it again. Marquez is on the other side. He is trying to believe that he can return to his previous form. He is believing he can create something that is so far unproven through experience. And he is trying his darndest. That is what was on display in the post-race presser.

He said he struggled with the front tire feeling when he was behind Bastianini's Ducati. but not Quartararo's Yamaha. I wonder if the blast from the upper/lower exhaust has anything to do with that? David, any insight into exhaust configuration and follower's front tire temperature/performance?

 

It may be less that angle, and more the vastly different lines and experience on the brakes behind each. He has to do qualitatively different riding on the brakes and getting that F tire into a corner w the Duc. Or, if going directly for heat exposure, w the Duc they are on the same lines, more exposure? I still think it is more the former. Rider experience to technical interpretations are colorful! 

I'd guess it's probably the aero package of the Ducati that will make the most difference.

That was cool, Jorge Lorenzo picked the winner Peco in a pre race interview on the Motogp.com live feed