Aragon (Spain), Sep 13 (IANS): After three second place finishes in 2021, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) finally a MotoGP race, emerging victorious from an enthralling Gran Premio de Aragon battle with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). The duo were in a league of their own on Sunday as the 25-point haul fight goes down to the wire; reigning World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki) claimed the final podium spot by finishing third.
Morning fog delayed warm up on Sunday in Aragon, but that was quickly burn away as the hottest day of the weekend settled in. When the MotoGP field rolled onto the grid, the track temperature was already closing in on 50°C and the scene was set for what would turn out to be a titanic clash, the hot conditions matching the action on track.
From the second row of the grid, Marquez shot forward and immediately made his presence known in the podium battle with Bagnaia just ahead. These two would remain locked together for the entirety of the race, matching each other's lap times and eventually opening up a sizable advantage over the battle for third.
Marquez spent much of the race behind the Ducati rider, studying and looking for areas of weakness where he could pass later in the race. As the final five laps began, the #93 upped his pace and began to increase the pressure on Bagnaia before exploding into a full assault with two laps remaining.
In the final three laps, the lead changed a total of 14 times as Marquez and Bagnaia battled. In true Marquez-style, the eight-time World Champion refused to give up until the very last moment on the final lap. Rolling out of an ambitious move into Turn 12, Marquez ultimately took a well-earned second place and his second podium finish of the season. This is his fifth consecutive podium at the MotorLand Aragon circuit, and his second since returning from injury in 2021. Marquez now holds 79 points and is tenth overall in the MotoGP World Championship standings.