In 2021, MotoGP is the gift that keeps on giving. Another new winner in the shape of Pecco Bagnaia makes it six different nationalities to win a MotoGP race in 2021; that’s the most since the year 2000. If you’re wondering, that’s Portuguese, French, Spanish, South African, Australian and Italian. There were some stellar performances through the field in the MotoGP race at Aragon but this is what we’d score the performances of the top ten.. out of ten.
1st Pecco Bagnaia – 10/10
This lad rode the perfect race to take his maiden MotoGP win. There were a few times I thought the pressure from Marquez might have forced the Factory Ducati boy into a mistake, but it seemed to do the opposite; he was inch perfect every lap. In fact, every single lap was in the 1:48s, until Marquez started barging past with three laps to go. And the way he fended off MM93 on the last few laps was incredible. After 47 attempts, he’s finally a race winner, and now he knows he can do it, I think we might see him win a few more.
2nd Marc Marquez – 10/10
You’d have to say, judging by Sunday’s performance, the old Marc Marquez is back. And I’m not just talking about his pace, which he quite obviously had. No, I’m taking about his determination to get to the front. He didn’t have the straight line speed of the Ducati, and he didn’t appear to be able to brake as hard, but it didn’t stop him trying his best to push past Pecco. He might be having a difficult season, and he might be nowhere in the championship (10th), but he’s still got it. In fact, I don’t think it ever left him.
3rd Joan Mir – 8/10
The reigning champ had a bit of a face on in parc fermé which, if you ask me, was a bit uncalled for. I know everybody wants to win, but a third place finish is still pretty good. And it’s the kind of finish that won him a World Championship last year. So come on Joan, cheer up, will ya? To be fair, he was matching the pace of the leaders for a lot of the race, but he was just too far back; probably thanks to him qualifying on the third row. Next time Joan, try qualifying a bit higher up.
4th Aleix Espargaro – 8/10
It looked like, ‘Spaggers was going to make it two podiums on the bounce at one point. It wasn’t to be, but fourth is still a banging result for Aprilia. They (Aprilia and Aleix) are proving that the Aprilia is capable of competing with any other bike on the MotoGP grid, and not just at one track. I imagine Aleix would have been slightly concerned that his new teammate Maverick Viñales would turn up and smoke him, but that didn’t happen; MV12 finished in 18th position, nearly 20 seconds behind Aleix.
5th Jack Miller – 7/10
I expected Jack Miller, with his big powerful Ducati to be right up there in the MotoGP race at Aragon but he didn’t have the pace to run with the leaders. And not only did he not have the pace, there were a few big mistakes that cost him time and places. Did he use his tyres up too soon? Or was he just pushing them too hard? I don’t know, but I bet he’ll be hoping for a better result next time out.
6th Enea Bastianini – 9/10
Bastianini would have been happy with a top ten finish, so he’ll be over the moon with a top six. The Avintia Esponsorama Ducati rider, on his two year old Ducati, was giving it absolutely everything as he battled with Nakagami and Quartararo. His bike was making all sorts of shapes but he wasn’t about to slow down. Fair play Enea, fair play.
7th Brad Binder – 7/10
Bradley Binder really needs to sort his qualifying tekkaz out. If he’d have started a bit higher than 12th, who knows what he could have done. Still, credit where credit’s due, to get to 7th from the fourth row of the grid is no mean feat. And once again, he was the first KTM rider to finish the MotoGP race at Aragon.
8th Fabio Quartararo – 5/10
The form that Quartararo has shown this season is mighty impressive but his performance on Sunday wasn’t. It looked like he might have been struggling for rear grip, but from the very start. Could he have been given a dicky tyre? It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened. He wasn’t tipped for the win at Aragon, but I think everyone expected better than 8th. Nevertheless, he’s still got a 53 point lead, enough, at the moment, to win the championship with two rounds to spare.
9th Jorge Martin – 6/10
After a fairly epic battle with Binder and Lecuona, Jorge Martin finished in a reasonable (for him) 9th place. I say reasonable (for him), it was only a few rounds ago that he stuck it on the top of the podium. But I suppose that just shows how competitive MotoGP is at the moment.
10th Takaki Nakagami – 5/10
I’m desperate to see Knackers win a MotoGP race, and I’m sure one day he will. But he was a long way from taking his maiden MotoGP win at Aragon at the weekend. Maybe he’ll find a bit more pace as the season continues. Or maybe he won’t.