2022 MotoGP – Race 9: Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya
Venue: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunta, Montmelo
Race Date: 5 June 2022
This is a race that has been pretty open over the last few years. Four different constructors have won the last four races at this Spanish circuit, though with a long main straight similar to that at Mugello it makes sense that teams that fared well in Italy would do so again here. This is especially true given the short turnaround between races. Reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo leads the overall standings, bu the lack of power his Yamaha is producing has to be a concern.
The Italians are on a tear right now. Francesco Bagnaia has the fastest bike on the grid – he has set the fastest lap times in each of the last three races – and he won his home MotoGP last weekend to make it two wins in three races on his Ducati. The other race winner in that span was Enea Bastianini in Spain and he will look to repeat his victory in the Iberian country in the Catalan MotoGP.
One major piece of news is that Spanish hero Marc Marquez will not be riding this weekend. He has had to return to America for a fourth major operation on his right arm as he is still suffering complications from the break he suffered in 2020. There is no timeline for his return and his future as a top-level rider has to be in doubt.
1 – Aleix Espargaro – 16/10
Espargaro claimed the pole for Aspilia Racing, but he had to break his own All Time Lap Record to do so. This is a track that Espararo is great on and he will have to be at his consistent, speedy best to prevail with the riders just over his shoulder.
2 – Francisco Bagnaia – 35/20
Bagnaia of the Ducati Lenovo Team pushed Espargaro all the way. He finished just 0.031 seconds behind the Aprilia racer, a gap that is essentially nothing in MotoGP terms. Bagnaia has been sensational since the series returned to Europe and will have every belief he can claim back-to-back wins here.
3 – Fabio Quartararo – 3/1
Don’t count out Fabio Quartararo. His skill in 2022 has been his remarkable consistency. He may not have won the races that he would have liked to, but his ability to continually pick up points and podiums is what makes him such a special rider.
2022 Italian MotoGP Best Bets:
Race Winner: Bagnaia at 35/20
Quartararo is a close second here but I just don’t know why anyone would pick against Bagnaia. He is on the front row (again), will likely set the fastest lap (again), and will be in the mix all the way to the finish.
Long Shot Winner: Fabio di Giannantonio – 250/1
The second row of the grid is all Ducatis in Catalunya. Take your pick really here, but at 250/1 it is Fabio di Giannantonio that offers insane value for a bike that was less than four-tenths of a second off of the fastest lap and will start fifth on the grind.