Maverick Vinales scores first MotoGP win of season after Bagnaia crashes
Maverick Vinales ended a seasonlong winless drought in MotoGP, winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after Francesco Bagnaia crashed while leading with seven laps to go.
Holding off Joan MIr and Pol Espargarao at the Misano circuit, Vinales, 25, won his first race since the Malaysian Grand Prix last year. The Yahama rider is the sixth different winner in eight rounds this season.
With his eighth career victory, the Spaniard moved into a tie for second in the standings with Fabio Quartararo, who finished fourth Sunday after being penalized 3 seconds for violating track limits and losing a spot. There are seven races remaining in the season, which has had no repeat winners since Quartararo opened with consecutive victories in Spain.
“Amazing job this weekend,” Vinales said. "(Bagnaia) was very fast, I was pushing a lot and trying to save a bit of tire for the last 10 laps. Very happy because my mentality ha been competely the same, we just found a better setup.
“I appreciate all the work, because threre had been tough times in my team, but we kept pushing and found better luck, and we have to continue like that.”
Andrea Dovizioso, who finished eighth, leads the championship by a point over Vinales and Quartararo.
Bagnaia, who finished second a week earlier, was on track to become the fifth first-time winner in MotoGP’s premier series this season. But he lost control in Turn 6 while under pressure for the lead from Vinales.