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MotoGP Dutch GP: Bagnaia dominates for Assen double ahead of Martin

World champion Francesco Bagnaia swept to his second win of the 2024 MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix weekend after dominating Sunday’s main race ahead of Jorge Martin.

Having eased to victory in the sprint on Saturday, Bagnaia stormed to a third-successive Dutch GP win of his career on Sunday on his factory Ducati having controlled the race from the off.

Starting from pole, Bagnaia grabbed the holeshot off the line and was never headed in the 26-lap race.

Martin recovered early from a three-place grid penalty for irresponsible riding in qualifying, but could go no further than second to see his championship lead shrink to 10 points going to next weekend’s German GP.

Enea Bastianini completed the podium on the second factory team Ducati having come from 10th on the grid, showing great late-race pace to overhaul Marc Marquez, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Maverick Vinales in the closing stages. 

At the start, just as he did in the sprint, Bagnaia got the best launch to hold the lead as Vinales on the Aprilia slotted into second ahead of a fast-starting Martin from fifth.

Martin took second from Vinales into Turn 8 on the opening lap, with Marquez following suit on his Gresini Ducati at Turn 5 on the second tour.

Bagnaia had established a lead of 0.8s over Martin as he started lap three, though the Pramac rider would close this to 0.6s two tours later.

The lead would never shrink below this mark, however, as Bagnaia had the pace to keep Martin’s advances in check.

At the start of lap six, Bagnaia was a second clear and would grow this to 3.676s through to the chequered flag to become the first rider since Mick Doohan in 1998 to win three successive grands prix at Assen.

The battle for the final podium spot raged through to the final laps, with Marquez relinquishing third to VR46 Ducati rider Di Giannantonio at Turn 8 on lap eight.

Marquez appeared to point to the gap he wanted Di Giannantonio to come through on him, leading to speculation that a low front tyre pressure was causing concern.

On lap 19, Di Giannantonio checked up slightly at Turn 8 as Marquez was coming up his inside, allowing Aprilia’s Vinales to jump into third ahead of the pair of satellite Ducatis.

But the danger rider in the battle for third was Bastianini, who picked his way up from 10th on the grid to overhaul Vinales at Turn 16 on lap 22.

The factory Ducati rider moved 0.795s clear of the group behind, headed by Marquez – who recovered from an off at Turn 1 on lap 21 after being nudged wide by Bastianini to claim fourth – and Vinales initially.

But Vinales – who ran wide at Turn 15 on the last lap, ceding fourth – was demoted a spot to sixth after exceeding track limits at the last corner defending fifth from Di Giannantonio.

Brad Binder was top KTM in seventh after Tech3 rookie Pedro Acosta crashed out of that position on the last lap.

Alex Marquez faded from the front row to eighth on the second Gresini Ducati, while Trackhouse Racing’s Raul Fernandez was ninth on his 2023-spec Aprilia ahead of Pramac’s Franco Morbidelli.

Fabio Quartararo was the sole Yamaha at the chequered flag in 12th after team-mate Alex Rins crashed out at Turn 1 on the opening lap.

Johann Zarco was the top Honda in 13th on his LCR-run bike, with Joan Mir crashing out.

VR46 rider Marco Bezzecchi also fell out of contention, while Aprilia duo Aleix Espargaro and wildcard Lorenzo Savadori did not take the start due to injury sustained in a crash in Saturday’s sprint.

MotoGP Dutch GP Race Results:

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