The reigning world champion put on one of the greatest rides of his career to win from 13th on grid after main title rival Jorge Martin crashed out of a commanding lead.
Pecco Bagnaia, on the other hand, showcased a relentless drive. He made a swift ascent through the ranks, moving from 13th to sixth by the end of the opening lap, partly assisted by Aleix Espargaro’s wide turn.
As the race progressed, Martin continued to apply pressure at the front. Maverick Vinales struggled to match Martin’s pace and slowly lost ground.
Bagnaia’s aggressive moves put him in the mix for the lead. By the third lap, he surged past Quartararo, with Aleix Espargaro and Brad Binder on the factory KTM also getting ahead of Quartararo.
However, it was Martin who initially looked poised for a runaway victory, stretching his lead to over three seconds. His aggressive performance during the race hinted at a significant championship point gain.
With Martin’s lead appearing insurmountable, disaster struck. On the 13th lap, as he went through Turn 11, Martin’s race turned upside down. A seemingly simple low-side crash led to the surrender of his commanding lead and dashed his hopes of extending his points lead.
Suddenly, Vinales inherited the lead, but Bagnaia was closing in. Over the last few laps, the gap dwindled as Bagnaia methodically bridged the distance between them.
By the 20th lap, it was Bagnaia who took control of the race. He executed a brilliant overtake on Vinales at Turn 10, mirroring Martin’s move from the previous day.
In the closing laps, Vinales attempted a comeback, but he couldn’t get close enough to launch a successful attack. Instead, he found himself fending off Quartararo, who had fallen behind earlier in the race.
As the chequered flag waved, just 0.433 seconds separated the top three riders. Bagnaia celebrated a well-deserved victory, his sixth Grand Prix win of the year, marking his first since the Austrian GP in August.
A surprise performer emerged in Fabio Di Giannantonio, securing fourth place, his best premier-class finish of the season. Behind him, Marco Bezzecchi, still recovering from a recent collarbone surgery, rounded out the top five.
Finishing off the top positions, Brad Binder claimed the sixth spot following his double long-lap penalties. Right behind him was KTM teammate Jack Miller, securing the seventh position. Enea Bastianini on a Ducati, making a remarkable recovery, landed in eighth place. It was an eventful day for Alex Rins, participating in his first Grand Prix since Le Mans, and he managed to clinch the ninth position aboard his LCR Honda. Aleix Espargaro from Aprilia rounded out the top 10 in this tumultuous race.
Further down the line, Takaaki Nakagami secured the 11th spot for the second LCR Honda, while Miguel Oliveira, Raul Fernandez of RNF, and Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli completed the race despite a pit stop, landing in the 12th, 13th, and 14th positions, respectively.
However, it was a day of disappointment for Pramac Racing, with both riders unable to finish the race. Johann Zarco experienced a crash just two laps after Jorge Martin, and Repsol Honda suffered a similar fate, as neither of their riders crossed the chequered flag due to falls. The Tech3 duo of Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernandez also faced separate crashes during the intense race. Luca Marini withdrew from the race on lap six, following an incident with Brad Binder.
With Bagnaia’s crucial win, he not only narrows the points gap but also places himself in a favourable position for the races to come. The championship battle is heating up, promising more thrilling moments as the season comes to a rousing grand finale.