Bagnaia holds off Martin to win Catalunya MotoGP

Two-time defending world champion Francesco Bagnaia claimed victory in Sunday’s Catalunya MotoGP to close in on championship leader Jorge Martin.

Martin had been leading the race before Bagnaia, riding a factory Ducati, passed him on lap 20 at turn five.

The Italian had crashed out of Saturday’s sprint race at the same place but this time he went on to secure his third win of the season and cut the gap to the Spaniard in the standings to 39 points.

“I was very angry about yesterday but I knew the potential I had and was able to win the race,” said Bagnaia.

“It was a tough start but then I saw some struggling at the front and I pushed more.

“The bike was amazing, the team did an amazing job setting up the bike and now I’m looking forward to next weekend’s Italian MotoGP.”

Marc Marquez, who was second in the sprint, followed that up with third, and after three straight podiums, is now third in the championship, two points behind Bagnaia.

He held off the challenge of polesitter Aleix Espargaro, who won on Saturday at the end of a week where he said he would be retiring at the end of the season.