Francesco Bagnaia after winning the Portuguese Grand Prix. (Ducati Corse Photo)

Bagnaia Begins MotoGP Title Defense With Portugal Win

Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia began his title defense in winning style, scoring the victory in MotoGP’s season opening race in the Portuguese Grand Prix. 

Though it wasn’t smooth sailing at first for the reigning champion at the start, with polesitter Marc Marquez leading the charge early on. 

Three laps into the event, disaster struck for Marquez, after making contact with Jorge Martin, which in turn sent Marquez into Miguel Oliveira in turn three. 

From there, Bagnaia would surge the rest of the 25-lap event, despite pressure from Maverick Vinales. 

Fabio Quartararo endured a difficult start to the event, after dropping five spots to 15th on the opening lap.

Quartararo would rebound to finish eighth. 

With one round down, Bagnaia leads Vinales in the standings by 12 points.