Assen, 26 June 2016: Gaviota Aspar Mahindra rider Pecco Bagnaia made history today as the first rider ever to win a motorcycle Grand Prix on a Sunday at Assen.
Bagnaia made his charge from tenth on the grid to take the first win of his career and a historic first for Mahindra, a result that moves him up to fourth in the championship, fourteen points shy of third. Bagnaia was followed across the line by fellow Italians Fabio di Giannantonio, Andrea Migno, Romano Fenati and Nicolo Bulega, who filled the top five positions after a memorable 22-lap race that featured countless overtakes. In the end Bagnaia took the flag by just 0.018 seconds from Migno, who was relegated one position after a penalty, handing second place to Di Giannantonio. Series leader Brad Binder could only manage twelfth place today with a 48-point advantage over Jorge Navarro, who remains second despite missing this race through injury.
For the Gaviota Aspar Mahindra Team the win for Bagnaia was their first since Jonas Folger in the Czech Republic Grand Prix of 2012. Bagnaia rode his Mahindra brilliantly from the start of the race at Assen, making up seven positions on the first lap as he moved up to third. Lap by lap he picked his way to the front but with more than ten riders in the lead group it was a case of fighting to stay in the hunt until the end. A series of impossible manoeuvres around the outside eventually gave Pecco his memorable first win at Assen. His team-mate for this weekend Albert Arenas, stepping in for the injured Jorge Martín, was unable to build on his experience during practice yesterday after a crash at the end of the first lap, which left him with a fractured big toe on his left foot.
“I am very happy, I can’t believe it because it was very hard to stay at the front today. I have managed to set a fast pace all weekend even though in qualifying it was difficult to set a fast lap because of the amount of slow riders on track. I am happy with my first win, I’m excited, also this is the first win for Mahindra. To win by just 0.018 seconds is incredible. In the race I managed to be quicker in the final sector than I managed in practice and I knew that if I was third in the penultimate sector I had a chance to overtake and win. This win has come on the back of a lot of hard work, two years of working to be stronger and more consistent. I knew I had to give 110% and on the last lap I knew I could win. I am so happy,’’ says Pecco Bagnaia.
eom/Aspar Mahindra press release