Francesco Bagnaia

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MotoGP 2021: Retiring Valentino Rossi bows out as Francesco Bagnaia wins Valencia Grand Prix
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MotoGP 2021: Retiring Valentino Rossi bows out as Francesco Bagnaia wins Valencia Grand Prix

The 42-year-old Rossi, a nine-time world champion across categories, took all the applause from the 75000 crowd as he rode an ovation lap in Valencia, which was his 432nd GP since starting his career back in 1996.

Francesco Bagnaia wins Algarve MotoGP after champion Fabio Quartararo falls
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Francesco Bagnaia wins Algarve MotoGP after champion Fabio Quartararo falls

Italy's Bagnaia, who had started on pole position for a fifth consecutive race, finished ahead of 2020 world champion Joan Mir of Suzuki and Australia's Jack Miller, also on a Ducati.

Fabio Quartararo wins first MotoGP title after Francesco Bagnaia crashes out at Emilia-Romagna GP
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Fabio Quartararo wins first MotoGP title after Francesco Bagnaia crashes out at Emilia-Romagna GP

Quartararo's win comes in his third season in MotoGP, the first with Yamaha's factory team after two years with the SRT satellite outfit. Of the 16 MotoGPs he has contested this season, he has claimed 10 podiums, including five victories.

MotoGP 2021: Ducati's Jack Miller dominates practice, Fabio Quartararo outside top 10
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MotoGP 2021: Ducati's Jack Miller dominates practice, Fabio Quartararo outside top 10

On a track still wet following rain in the morning and at the start of the afternoon session, Australian Miller set a time of 1 min 41.305 on his factory Ducati.

MotoGP 2021: Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia fends off Fabio Quartararo to win San Marino MotoGP
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MotoGP 2021: Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia fends off Fabio Quartararo to win San Marino MotoGP

The Italian, who celebrated his debut win in the premier category last weekend in Aragon, came under intense pressure from championship leader Fabio Quartararo in the closing laps.

MotoGP 2021: Francesco Bagnaia sets new track record, claims pole for San Marino MotoGP
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MotoGP 2021: Francesco Bagnaia sets new track record, claims pole for San Marino MotoGP

Ducati rider Bagnaia, who won his first GP at Aragon last weekend, posted a blistering best time of one minute, 31.065 seconds at Misano, finishing ahead of teammate Jack Miller and championship leader Fabio Quartararo.

MotoGP: Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia pips Marc Marquez at Aragon to claim maiden victory
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MotoGP: Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia pips Marc Marquez at Aragon to claim maiden victory

This was Bagnaia's debut success in the premier category after 10 wins combined in Moto2 and Moto3.

MotoGP 2021: South African Brad Binder wins Austrian MotoGP, Francesco Bagnaia comes second
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MotoGP 2021: South African Brad Binder wins Austrian MotoGP, Francesco Bagnaia comes second

Unlike his rivals who pitted to change bikes, Binder opted to stay out on slick tyres and skillfully held off the field to win his second-ever MotoGP.

MotoGP 2021: Jorge Martin beats out Fabio Quartararo to grab pole ahead of Austria GP
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MotoGP 2021: Jorge Martin beats out Fabio Quartararo to grab pole ahead of Austria GP

On the fastest track in MotoGP, championship leader Fabio Quartararo seemed to have sealed pole position when he smashed the record set last week by fellow Frenchman Johann Zarco last weekend ahead of the Styria Grand Prix.

MotoGP 2021: Maverick Vinales claims pole position at Dutch MotoGP, Marc Marquez to begin in 20th position
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MotoGP 2021: Maverick Vinales claims pole position at Dutch MotoGP, Marc Marquez to begin in 20th position

Vinales' French teammate and championship leader Fabio Quartararo was second, at 0.071sec, with Ducati's Italian rider Francesco Bagnaia in third (+0.302).

MotoGP 2021: KTM's Miguel Oliveira holds off late surge from Johann Zarco to win Catalonia MotoGP
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MotoGP 2021: KTM's Miguel Oliveira holds off late surge from Johann Zarco to win Catalonia MotoGP

Australian Jack Miller took third after championship leader Fabio Quartararo was hit with a three-second penalty for straying off the track a few laps from the end.

Italian MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo claims fourth straight pole in Mugello with 'best lap ever'
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Italian MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo claims fourth straight pole in Mugello with 'best lap ever'

The French Yamaha rider took pole in style, lowering the record Bagnaia set only hours earlier, with a new fastest time at the circuit of 1min 45.187sec.

French MotoGP: Ducati's Jack Miller conquers the rain to clinch victory at Le Mans
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French MotoGP: Ducati's Jack Miller conquers the rain to clinch victory at Le Mans

Miller, who won the last race in Spain, finished ahead of French pair Johann Zarco, riding for Ducati's satellite Pramac team, and Fabio Quartararo, on a Yamaha.

MotoGP: Australian Jack Miller wins Spanish GP as Francesco Bagnaia takes championship lead
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MotoGP: Australian Jack Miller wins Spanish GP as Francesco Bagnaia takes championship lead

Miller, who underwent surgery early in April, took the lead when pre-race championship leader Fabio Quartararo started to lose pace midway through the race.

MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo registers second successive win after topping Portuguese GP
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MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo registers second successive win after topping Portuguese GP

Italian Francesco Bagnaia on a Ducati was second with Spanish world champion Joan Mir of Suzuki third.

MotoGP: Returning after nine months, Marc Marquez finishes third fastest in free practice ahead of Portuguese GP
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MotoGP: Returning after nine months, Marc Marquez finishes third fastest in free practice ahead of Portuguese GP

The Spaniard fared marginally less well in the second session but still produced the sixth fastest time overall to round off an exciting return, 271 days after his crash at the Spanish Grand Prix.

MotoGP 2021: Maverick Vinales wins season-opening Qatar in windy, sandy conditions
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MotoGP 2021: Maverick Vinales wins season-opening Qatar in windy, sandy conditions

Francesco Bagnaia on another Ducati came third on his first ride in the factory team after starting on pole, beating reigning champion Joan Mir of Suzuki back into fourth in the final moments of the race

MotoGP 2021: Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia takes first pole of season in Qatar pipping Fabio Quartararo
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MotoGP 2021: Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia takes first pole of season in Qatar pipping Fabio Quartararo

Another Yamaha rider, Spaniard Maverick Vinales completed the front row after nudging out Italian veteran Valentino Rossi of Yamaha satellite team SRT, late in the session.

MotoGP: Ducati sign new deal with promoters Dorna Sports, guarantee presence on grid until 2026
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MotoGP: Ducati sign new deal with promoters Dorna Sports, guarantee presence on grid until 2026

Based in Bologna, Italy, Ducati entered MotoGP in 2003, securing the riders' world title with Casey Stoner in 2007.

MotoGP 2020: Yamaha's Maverick Vinales wins Emilia-Romagna MotoGP to within one point of championship lead
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MotoGP 2020: Yamaha's Maverick Vinales wins Emilia-Romagna MotoGP to within one point of championship lead

The young Italian led by a second and a half at one stage and was still on course for a first victory for himself and Ducati-Pramac when he leant a bit too far unto a corner with seven laps to go and slid off.