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Bastianini elated after Gresini land emotional Qatar victory

07/03/22

Gresini "have all cried" after the emotional maiden victory.

An elated Enea Bastianini said Gresini "have all cried" after his emotional maiden MotoGP™ victory at the season-opening race in Qatar.

The 24-year-old took the top step on the podium for the first time in the premier class after passing Pol Espargaro with four laps to go under the lights at the Lusail International Circuit.


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Espargaro led for the majority of the race after storming from sixth to first at the start, but Bastianini capitalised on the Repsol Honda rider's fading tyres to pass him on the inside and go on to take the chequered flag.

It was Gresini's first MotoGP™ triumph since 2006 and came just over a year after the death of their team principal Fausto Gresini.

Nadia Padovani, Gresini's wife who is now the team principal and owner, was in tears after 2021 rookie Bastianini crossed the finishing line, and she was not the only one.

Bastianini said: "It is such an emotional day for all of the team. We have all cried at the end of the race.

"We did a very good job from most of the testing and this weekend. The set-up of the bike was incredible, we worked very well to prepare for the race and this morning in the warm-up when I saw we had really good pace I thought I can have a good race.

"My decision was to stay with the medium of the rear (tyre). That was the best decision for me, I pushed in my style in the last seven to eight laps and I won the race."

Brad Binder took second and Espargaro was third after going wide when he was passed by Bastianini and subsequently losing another place, with Marc Marquez fifth behind Aleix Espargaro.

Bastianini knows he has a whole host of top-class riders to do battle with as he attempts to build on his first win.

The Italian added: "Pol Espargaro was so fast, he saved his tyres very well. This is a very good step for me, and now it's going to be very competitive. Binder also had a really good race, and it was not easy for me to win but I did it.

"In MotoGP it's not easy because many riders are so fast, and sometimes it's not possible to be on the front, but I am always going to do my best."

Reigning champion Fabio Quartararo could only finish ninth.