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Aleix Espargaro Honors Crash Victim Francesco Bagnaia with Catalunya MotoGP Victory

<p>Aleix Espargaro said “this one’s for Pecco” after triumphing in the Catalunya MotoGP at Montmelo on Sunday, a race that was overshadowed by Francesco Bagnaia’s terrible collision and the loss of the world championship.</p>
<p>Maverick Vinales, another Aprilia teammate of Espargaro, finished in second, while Jorge Martin completed the podium.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-160092″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/theindiaprint.com-stock-market-updates-psu-banks-and-metals-are-up-while-the-sensex-is-up-200-points-750×437.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com stock market updates psu banks and metals are up while the sensex is up 200 points” width=”1479″ height=”862″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/theindiaprint.com-stock-market-updates-psu-banks-and-metals-are-up-while-the-sensex-is-up-200-points-750×437.jpg 750w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/theindiaprint.com-stock-market-updates-psu-banks-and-metals-are-up-while-the-sensex-is-up-200-points-768×447.jpg 768w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/theindiaprint.com-stock-market-updates-psu-banks-and-metals-are-up-while-the-sensex-is-up-200-points-150×87.jpg 150w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/theindiaprint.com-stock-market-updates-psu-banks-and-metals-are-up-while-the-sensex-is-up-200-points.jpg 1000w” sizes=”(max-width: 1479px) 100vw, 1479px” title=”Aleix Espargaro Honors Crash Victim Francesco Bagnaia with Catalunya MotoGP Victory 6″></p>
<p>Bagnaia was being treated in a nearby hospital as Espargaro celebrated a dream double at his home event after also winning the sprint on Saturday.</p>
<p>The Ducati rider from Italy had started from the front. At the first bend, he escaped a multi-bike collision that Enea Bastianini had started, but he lost control at the next turn.</p>
<p>After a ‘highside’ in front of the pursuing group, Bagnaia was severely pushed over the handlebars of his Ducati and into the air.</p>
<p>The 26-year-old’s leg was then crushed by Brad Binder’s KTM.</p>
<p>The audience applauded as the series leader was carried in an ambulance to the track’s medical facility while still awake.</p>
<p>Later, he was taken to a nearby hospital where, in the words of his team, “tests revealed he had sustained multiple contusions, but no fractures.”</p>
<p>The team will take him back to Italy this evening, according to Ducati.</p>
<p>In the first lap chaos, Bastianini, a teammate of Bagnaia, also sustained injuries.</p>
<p>When he caused a chain reaction accident involving Italian trio Fabio Di Giannantonio (Ducati-Gresini) and Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati-VR46) and Alex Marquez (Ducati-Gresini), he fractured his left ankle and hand.</p>
<p>‘I’m speechless,’</p>
<p>In the next days, “He needs an operation on his ankle and to hasten his recovery also on his hand,” Ducati stated.</p>
<p>Espargaro was thinking about the injured world champion.</p>
<p>Fortunately, we just learned it’s nothing severe, so this triumph is for Pecco, he added.</p>
<p>Regarding his best MotoGP weekend, he said, “I’m dumbfounded.</p>
<p>Thank goodness, on the first lap, nothing bad occurred to us.</p>
<p>“With the wind, it was challenging. I was certain I wouldn’t catch Vinales, but I waited and succeeded.</p>
<p>Espargaro’s weekend was one of personal atonement after his humiliating gaffe from the previous year, when he celebrated hitting the podium one lap too soon and ultimately finished fifth.</p>
<p>He donned a helmet with the words “One more lap” printed on it on Saturday to serve as a reminder of the howler.</p>
<p>After Aprilia’s maiden victory in the fast lane of motorcycle racing, Vinales was ecstatic.</p>
<p>“First and second Aprilia — I’m so happy,” he said.</p>
<p>23 of the 24 circuits of the race were resumed with Bagnaia absent and the track free of debris and oil.</p>
<p>Martin and Espargaro, who were born a few kilometers away from the circuit, followed Vinales early on in the race.</p>
<p>With Miguel Oliveira racing third on a satellite Aprilia, Espargaro quickly moved into second place and was pursuing his factory Aprilia colleague.</p>
<p>The South African went to the hospital center to see how Bagnaia was doing after Binder had to withdraw due to tyre problems.</p>
<p>Vinales had opened a gap between himself and Espargaro at the halfway point while Martin replaced Oliveira in third place.</p>
<p>Espargaro made a full-court press on the leader, setting up an exciting finish to the 11th race of the year.</p>
<p>Espargaro passed his teammate and fellow Catalan with four laps left to complete the race, earning a well-deserved victory for the 70,000 home spectators.</p>
<p>Prior to next weekend’s San Marino MotoGP, where Bagnaia will be trying to make a swift comeback to continue his pursuit of back-to-back championships, Martin reduced his points gap to Bagnaia in the overall standings to 50 points.</p>

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