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MotoGP Riders and Team Managers reflect on Aragon GP

MotoGP 2022 – Round 15 – Aragon

Enea Bastianini – P1

“Great victory and definitely not an easy one, because just like in Misano Pecco didn’t make any mistake. I made a move in the same moment: I was close, had margin and made it happen. I need to keep the momentum going in these last five GP’s; I never raced in Japan with a MotoGP bike but I want to do well and try to always be on the podium.”

Enea Bastianini celebrates victory
Francesco Bagnaia – P2

“I’m thrilled with today’s result. Enea and I had a great race! I knew he would be very fast in the final laps, and when he passed me, I preferred not to make any move on him. I tried to win and waited for a safe opportunity to pass him, which in the end wasn’t there. I knew these 20 points were important, and I preferred not to risk it. Now we must stay focused and think about the next race in Japan next week.”

Was a close run to the flag but Bastianini stole the glory from his future team-mate
Aleix Espargaro – P3

“What a race! It was not a simple weekend. Pressure was high before we even arrived here and maybe that had an influence on me. I had to rebuild my confidence lap after lap but in the end, in the race, despite not having the pace to win, I achieved the best possible result.

“In the early laps, I decided not to push too hard and that allowed me to still have something left in the finale to overtake Binder. After what happened to Fabio, the championship is clearly more wide open than ever. There are riders who are faster than me right now but they are in a position where they have to win, whereas for us a good result is already a great satisfaction, so we’ll try our best and have fun all the way to the end!”

Brad Binder managed to hold off Aleix Espargaro for much of the race but the Spaniard made a decisive move late in the race to steal the final podium position
Brad Binder – P4

“All-in-all I’m happy to walk away with 4th today. I gave everything I had in the race and the bike was working the best it had been all weekend again, so hats-off to the team for a fantastic job. I think we had a pretty good weekend here. Unfortunately, the crash in FP3 set me back a bit with my ankle but I was able to put it aside today and fight my way forward.

“I had an amazing start and was in the top three the whole race, so it was a bit disappointing to lose the podium with two laps to go but it wasn’t to be today. We have a little bit of work to do to make that last step and fight for podiums again.”

Binder, Miller, Bastianini, Aleix Espargaro and Jorge Martin
Jack Miller – P5

“It’s small margins in MotoGP these days, and little bits of time or a few seconds can make or break your weekend. Aragon on Sunday was like that – I started second, got back up there after five laps where I got elbowed around a bit, and then lost second, third and fourth in the space of half a lap. And that was that – fifth at the end, and eight-tenths of a second off the podium.

“It’s frustrating to be so close to a podium for 18 straight laps when you can see it right in front of you, but it’s still a decent result for me and helps to make up for what happened in Misano last time when I threw away a good result.

“It wasn’t all bad news, though – I got back past (Johann) Zarco to fifth in the world championship again, and I’ve said all along that matching the fourth I managed last year would be a good way to end up my time at Ducati.

“It’s going to be a challenge, Enea (Bastianini) is 29 points ahead of me after winning again today so I’ll probably need some help from him – but with five races to go still it’s a chance, at least. And Ducati won the constructors’ championship for the third year in a row, so it’s been nice to play my part in that.

“I’d say my race was … reasonable, that’s probably the best word for it. Happy enough, let’s say. It was more or less the race I set out to have, but I did get caught up in the battle there early on with Brad (Binder) and Aleix (Espargaro) and I was the last one in that group of three.

“I tried everything but I couldn’t make any headway – my top speed at the end of the back straight was great, but I kept losing a couple of bike lengths coming off the corners. I’d close back in, they’d get the gap back out – it was a bit frustrating as the same thing happened lap after lap and I was never able to really attack.

“But was happy with the way I rode, I didn’t feel like I was making any mistakes, and I probably just needed them to get into more of a battle ahead of me and hope something happened I could benefit from, but it wasn’t to be.

“This one wasn’t like Misano, because at Misano I had a lot of confidence and was trying to ride away with the victory. Here, it was more trying to save the tyre to have something left at the end to attack those boys but I started to lose the front mid- corner a lot near the end, and that took away my confidence a bit.

“It feels like Aragon is still one of the newer places we visit, but it’s 13 years now and it’s the same asphalt now as it was then when it was built in 2009 – it’s not been resurfaced once. You have to be a bit careful early on in the weekend as the grip is pretty low, and there must have been some more car racing than usual this year because it took a while to clean the circuit up for us bikes, Friday’s grip level was really low so it made sense to not go for too much too early. The places where I felt the grip was lowest is where there’s a lot of car rubber like up at Turn 5 and at the Corkscrew, it was super slippery there.

“I actually surprised myself in qualifying a bit because I was under what was my best time by six-tenths (of a second) – and (Ducati teammate) Pecco (Bagnaia) still beat me for pole! I felt good, felt like I was ready and it was close, but they key thing was to be on the front row – Pecco, me and Enea again, so that shows that Ducati works fantastic at all different sorts of tracks now. We’ve been on pole six races in a row now and won five of those, so I’m optimistic I can get another win before it’s over because of the run we’re on, it’s in my hands to do it.

“That was the first weekend of a pretty full run of weekends for me – five races in six weekends, and the one weekend I’m not racing I’m getting married! So, it’s off to Japan for next Sunday.”

Jack Miller chasing Brad Binder and Aleix Espargaro
Jorge Martín – P6

“It was a weekend where I found positive and negative situations. I had some problems with the front of the bike and I couldn’t unlock the situation to be able to aim for more positions in the race. As soon as we can take a small step forward I am sure we will be much more competitive.”

Luca Marini – P7

“I am super happy with this race and with this very positive result collected in the first of three races in a row. I was fast, I signed the new  lap record in the race and I hit a nice P7. Considering that we are in Aragon, a track that is always a bit difficult for me, I can only be satisfied.

“A pity only for the start, at the beginning in the battle I lost ground, I tried to mend the gap then. I had a good feeling, especially out of the slipstream, while in the group I often lost the front. I am growing as a person and as a rider, with the Team, David, Dani, Idalio and everyone else we have done a great job and I’m sure we will do well in Japan.”

Johann Zarco – P8

“The feeling I had compared to Misano has definitely improved and I’m happy about that, but it’s clearly not enough to be able to aspire to more important positions. I want to take only the positive aspects and arrive in Japan with a positive outlook and a strong desire to do well.”

Alex Rins – P9

“My race sort of ended on the first lap, because after avoiding Fabio I was last. I tried to stay calm, close the gaps, and make some overtakes. In the end I’m disappointed because my rhythm was really good and I could’ve had a nice result, but at the same time I’m quite happy because I know I did my best to get back to ninth and I recovered many positions. I went to visit the crowd at the end of the race and they lifted my spirits too. Racing is unpredictable and today could have been much worse, so let’s keep a positive mindset heading to Motegi.”

Alex Rins had his work cut out for in coming from behind after having to take evasive action early in the race
Marco Bezzecchi – P10

“A good race and another Top 10, I’m happy. I had a good sprint at the start, but right away at Turn 1, I got stuck between two riders and lost a lot of ground. Even in the crashes of Quartararo and Nakagami I was close and I was forced to give up positions in order not to crash. I tried it then, I kept a good pace and I’m happy also in light of the away matches that await us in the coming weeks.”

Miguel Oliveira – P11

“Not the result we wanted because we were fast and competitive all weekend but the wear on the rear tire was unexpected today. I was in trouble at the beginning of the race and cannot find any reason why. I already had a difficult start when another rider lunged at me in Turn 15 and I had to run off the track. So, it was a decent enough weekend but we could not capitalize with the result. We’ll have another go next weekend.” 

Miguel Oliveira
Álex Márquez – P12

“The race was not bad; I gave 100% from the beginning. I want to say thanks to my team as they did a really good job of repairing my bike after I made a mistake during the warm-up and had a really big crash. It was not easy as, one hour before the race, I was still deciding whether I was able to race or not. From the beginning I was trying to improve our position and have fun in front of our fans. It wasn’t a bad race, but we are not where we want to be, so we must keep going as a team.”

Maverick Vinales – P13

“To be honest, we had the pace to battle in the top spots today. Unfortunately, we didn’t work well on Friday and Saturday and we paid the price for that. It’s a pity. We need to think about what happened and get back to the level we know we can maintain. On the other hand, we are back in the battle for the title with Aleix and that is the most important thing. In the upcoming races, being fast will also mean being able to help my teammate.”

Maverick Vinales and Alex Rins
Cal Crutchlow – P14

“First of all, it’s nice to get back into racing and finish the race. I was not expecting much, I knew I was confident in my pace and I could do a good job this weekend. The team are happy and overall I’m happy. I try my best, we know it’s not a great track for Yamaha, I never really had the ammunition to be able to fight but I try to fight. Over the weekend, you change your mindset to be able to see people in front of you and you want to pass them. Overall, we’re happy to come away from this first one after a year of not racing.” 

Pol Espargaro – P15

“It was a really tough race today and we didn’t have the speed we needed to do something more. I haven’t felt comfortable on the bike all weekend and we had a lot of distance to try and recover today. The first lap was very complicated, there was carbon fibre everywhere and I had to stand up to avoid Taka. Tonight I go home and then tomorrow we get on the plane to Japan so we will switch our mind to Japan mode, I’m looking forward to looking seeing all the Japanese fan again.”

Pol Espargaro
Remy Gardner – P16

“I am pretty happy with my race to be honest. I was lucky enough to brake in time and avoid Takaaki Nagakami who crashed in the middle of the track just in front of me, so I am happy that no one was hurt. I kept losing time in the final sector on the last straight which is unfortunate because I was strong on the first three. Pol Espargaro eventually passed me within the final laps so I missed the points, which is a shame. Positive weekend anyway and I look forward to heading to Japan.”

Franco Morbidelli – P17

“For sure, the two accidents on the first lap that I encountered along the way didn’t help. Starting 20th, those things can happen. Apart from that, my pace wasn’t good. It was good enough to recover some positions, but we strived for much more than this. We tried something in the race to make me a bit faster in fast corners, but actually I didn’t notice an improvement. I just focused on giving the maximum I could give. We will sit ourselves behind the PCs and try to find what I need to improve in fast corners, and then we’ll try again in Japan.”

Franco Morbidelli
Darryn Binder – P18

“The first lap was a little crazy with all the crashes, unfortunately Takaaki’s (Nakagami) bike was quite in the track and I got caught up on the wrong side of it and it cost me a little bit of time on the first lap. But after that, I had quite a good couple of laps chasing Pol (Espargaro) and then when the first little drop of the tyre came, I struggled to adapt to it but towards the end of the race I managed to kind of keep the same pace throughout and catch back up with Fabio (di Giannantonio) in the last lap.

“I feel like we’ve made a good step forward compared to Misano, and today I think the things we tried during the test had a little positives. I’m just glad to see the flag and happy with how the race went. I’m looking forward to try and keep improving and hopefully I can be among the points in Motegi.”

Fabio DiGiannantonio – P19

“If yesterday we weren’t lucky enough in Q1, what about today… the crash by another rider during the first lap basically eliminated us from the race. I had a good pace and I surely could have aimed at a good result otherwise. We will try again in Japan.”

Raul Fernandez – P20

“The incidents early in the race complicated today’s plan as I found myself at the back trying to avoid them, especially the crash from Takaaki Nakagami which was pretty scary to be honest. Luckily, we had the best riders of the world on track and they all knew how to manage this situation because it could have been bad. The incidents were a great shame because I felt good on the bike this morning and I was hoping for more. I want to apologise to my team because today I made many mistakes and lost time. If it had not happened, I could have been in the points. We keep positive and I look forward to heading to Asia.”

Raul Fernandez
Fabio Quartararo – DNF

“I have no serious injuries. I have abrasions on my chest, and other than that I‘m quite disappointed. I felt that we had the pace to fight for a great result, but unfortunately I crashed on the first lap. Some riders lost the rear, while others cut the line a little bit, and I just hit Marc from the back. It‘s a big shame. I‘ll try to sleep on my back the next few days, but I will for sure be racing in Japan!”

Marquez and Quartararo
Marc Marquez – DNF 

“I got a really good start to the race and found myself fighting for the top five, instincts took over when the lights went out. But then in Turn 3, I lost the rear a little bit so I closed the gas and the problem was then that Fabio was super close to me. This is normal, it’s racing to be close in the first laps and to try a move in the change of direction, we were just unlucky to have this contact with Fabio.

“Then everything started, in Turn 5 I felt something strange, and I didn’t really know what was going on fully. In Turn 7 Nakagami overtook me and went wide but when I went to engage the rear device, I felt like the rear was locking. Then everything happened at once as the bike was moving to the left with this locking and I found myself touching with Taka.

“After this I retired. I went to apologies to Taka and his team because his race was ended by the situation we had. My apologies to him and Fabio.”

Takaaki Nakagami – DNF

“Unfortunately, I had an unlucky Sunday. I had a good start, but then had an accident on lap one. I had contact with Marc (Márquez) and had a nasty crash, so I’m really disappointed. I’m now going to Barcelona to check the wound on the 4th and 5th fingers on my right hand. I will keep everyone updated and really appreciate all the support from my fans. I will try my best to recover and hopefully we can race at my home GP in Japan.”

Marquez made a stunning start but a slide a few corners in saw Quartararo strike the back of the Honda, hard!

MotoGP Team Managers

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“It was a weekend to forget, and we can‘t wait to leave it behind us. Fabio‘s crash was at high speed. Our main priority is always our riders‘ safety and wellbeing. While he‘s battered and bruised, we‘re relieved that he is relatively ok. It‘s a real shame that his race ended up in this way, knowing the potential we had. Franky never had a good feeling this weekend. In the race he did manage to recover some positions, but for sure we wanted a better result for him than 17th place. In Motegi, we will try again with a fresh slate. Having races back-to-back, like we do now, is the best way to retaliate quickly.”

Luigi Dall’Igna – Ducati Corse General Manager

“We are happy to have gotten our third consecutive Constructors’ World Title, the fourth in Ducati’s history in MotoGP. It is a result that we expected, given the results obtained by our riders this year, including the six victories of Bagnaia and the four wins of Bastianini. I want to thank all our riders and all the Ducati Corse staff, whose commitment and dedication have allowed us to reach this goal again. Now we can focus exclusively on the riders’ title: we are 10 points from the top of the standings, and with five races remaining, the fight in the Championship is open more than ever”.

Ducati secured the Constructors’ crown
Pablo Nieto – Mooney VR46 Racing Team Manager

“A very hard-fought race, especially in the first laps after the start, but overall a very good one for all our riders. Luca got off to a strong start, unfortunately he lost the contact with the very first guys in the battle of the start, but he imposed an excellent pace and finished with the fastest lap of the race. He proves to be in a great momentum and I’m sure he will be among the strongest riders also in Japan. Marco also did very well, penalised by the crashes of the first lap and forced to recover. He managed well the tyre and signs another Top10 on a really challenging track as Aragon.”

Livio Suppo – Suzuki Team Manager

“Alex did a very good job; we knew before the start of the race that he would have the pace to fight for the podium and he proved this to be true. Unfortunately, on the first lap the two accidents caused him to lose a lot of time and pushed him way back. After that he showed how well he could perform, but it was too difficult to reach higher than ninth. We’ll try to keep this form going into Motegi, and we hope for better luck there. We’ll miss Joan in Japan, but meanwhile we will welcome Takuya Tsuda into the squad as his replacement.”

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“Alex was our only rider today due to Joan’s injury, and we had confidence in his ability to bring home a good finish. However, the accident on the first lap really impacted his result; his performance and pace were very strong, but he had to fight from the back. He did really well to avoid the accident and ninth place is still a consistent finish, but it’s disappointing for him not to be up the front after his hard work. Let’s look ahead now to the team’s home race in Motegi next week.”

Francesco Guidotti – Red Bull KTM Team Manager

“Many points to be happy with this weekend. We were competitive, near the top of the sessions and we went to Q2 with both riders on Saturday morning. We missed the podium by 0.2 of a second. We know we still need to fix a couple of small things and allow the riders to be even closer to the podium and to the win. We’ll keep going. Our visit to Aragon was decent and we showed that with a good start we can be right up there and close to the trophies.”

Hervé Poncharal – Tech3 KTM Team Manager

“Another tough weekend for the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing team in Aragon. Just like many other riders, both Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez were unfortunately slowed down by the Quartararo-Marquez incident early in the race, and lost contact with the front.

“There was potential to score points today: Remy held up in P15 for a lot of laps until eventually letting Pol Espargaro have the better of him within the final laps. He had a strong weekend, and his race was good but he kept losing time in sector 4. In the end, he finished sixteenth, just one place from the points.

“Raul found himself far down following the incident but was catching back the other riders. I think that he had potential to be with his teammate, but he made two mistakes which prevented him from finishing in the points.

“I want to see the glass half full and I am happy about Brad Binder’s race. He finished fourth today which shows that we have a competitive package, so let’s keep positive and keep pushing. It is now time to pack and head to Japan with the aim to do better.”

2022 Aragon MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Enea BASTIANINI DUCATI 41m35.462
2 Francesco BAGNAIA DUCATI +0.042
4 Brad BINDER KTM +6.379
5 Jack MILLER DUCATI +6.964
6 Jorge MARTIN DUCATI +12.030
7 Luca MARINI DUCATI +12.474
8 Johann ZARCO DUCATI +12.655
9 Alex RINS SUZUKI +12.702
10 Marco BEZZECCHI DUCATI +16.150
11 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +17.071
12 Alex MARQUEZ HONDA +18.463
13 Maverick VIÑALES APRILIA +18.730
15 Pol ESPARGARO HONDA +27.588
16 Remy GARDNER KTM +28.805
17 Franco MORBIDELLI YAMAHA +30.422
18 Darryn BINDER YAMAHA +31.330
20 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM +36.160

MotoGP Championship Points Standings

Pos Rider Points
1 QUARTARARO Fabio 211
2 BAGNAIA Francesco 201
3 ESPARGARO Aleix 194
5 MILLER Jack 134
6 ZARCO Johann 133
7 BINDER Brad 128
8 RINS Alex 108
9 MARTIN Jorge 104
10 VIÑALES Maverick 104
11 OLIVEIRA Miguel 95
12 MARINI Luca 91
13 MIR Joan 77
14 BEZZECCHI Marco 74
15 MARQUEZ Marc 60
16 NAKAGAMI Takaaki 46
18 MARQUEZ Alex 39
19 MORBIDELLI Franco 26
21 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 15
22 BINDER Darryn 10

2022 MotoGP Calendar

Date Grand Prix Circuit
06 March Qatar Losail International Circuit
20 March Indonesia Mandalika International Street Circuit
03 April Argentina Termas de Rio Hondo
10 April Americas Circuit of The Americas
24 April Portugal Algarve International Circuit
01 May Spain Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
15 May France Le Mans
29 May Italy Autodromo del Mugello
05 June Catalunya Barcelona-Catalunya
19 June Germany Sachsenring
26 June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
07 August Great Britain Silverstone Circuit
21 August Austria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
04 September San Marino Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
18 September Aragón MotorLand Aragón
25 September Japan Twin Ring Motegi
02 October Thailand Chang International Circuit
16 October Australia Phillip Island
23 October Malaysia Sepang International Circuit
06 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo

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