#PortugueseGP: Fourth place for the Ducati Lenovo Team with Bagnaia in Portimão’s Sprint Race and pole position with Bastianini, sixth at the finish line

  • Maiden podium with Ducati for Marc Márquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP), second ahead of Jorge Martín (Pramac Racing)

The second Sprint Race of the 2024 MotoGP season saw both standard bearers of the Ducati Lenovo Team in the top six, with Francesco Bagnaia fourth at the chequered flag and Enea Bastianini sixth at the end of the 12-lap encounter. Pecco started the race from fourth place on the grid, while Enea lined up ahead of the whole MotoGP field courtesy of his second career pole position with Ducati.

Bagnaia had an excellent start to the race and was second at turn one, before moving up to first place at the start of lap three. The rider #1 stayed in the lead until the ninth lap, when he ran wide at the first corner and lost three seconds as well as three positions. He then successfully defended fourth place up to the chequered flag.

A not-perfect start from pole cost Bastianini a few places early on, and the rider #23 struggled a bit in the opening laps before settling into a consistent rhythm, which still did not allow him to enter the battle for the podium. Enea was sixth at the line, 0.229secs away from his teammate.

The 25-lap, Portuguese Grand Prix race will get underway tomorrow at 14:00 local time (GMT +1), following the morning warm up scheduled at 9:40.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 4th
“I was managing the situation well, just as I did in Qatar, both feeling-wise and with regards to the margin on my opponents. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account the drop of fuel level so when I hit the brakes, the rear unloaded a bit more, up to the point that I had no other choice than trying to avoid a crash. I had to run wider and lost ground. From then on, I only thought about keeping my position and make it to the finish line. Tomorrow’s race will be different, with a tyre that I like a lot more, so I don’t believe a similar situation will present itself. Unfortunately, these things happen, but what I know is that we made a big step forward today in terms of feeling and that translated into a good level of performance also in the Sprint Race.”

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 6th
“I made a bit of a silly mistake as I activated the holeshot device before deactivating it again as I thought I hadn’t switched it on before. It’s really a shame because I think I could have done better today. I stressed the front tyre a lot in the early laps while trying to overtake and recover positions so let’s say I didn’t play my cards right and showed my full potential. Things will be different tomorrow and I’ll try to make the most of pole position.”