Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP MotoGP Virtual Race 2 Results and Coverage: Bagnaia Strikes Back

MotoGP Virtual Race 2 Results and Coverage: Bagnaia Strikes Back

Pecco Bagnaia withstood a torrid last-lap challenge by Maverick Viñales to win the 2020 MotoGP Virtual Race 2. Held on PlayStation with the MotoGP19 video game at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, the race pitted 10 MotoGP racers against each other from their own homes.

2020 MotoGP Virtual Race 2 - Bagnaia and Vinales
Viñales (left) battles Bagnaia

The top five finishers in Virtual Race 1 returned for VR2, with five new riders added to the mix, including Valentino Rossi and Danilo Petrucci. However, the top five riders in VR1 also took the top five spots in VR2, though the order was shaken up.

 

 

Pole sitter Bagnaia, who hounded Alex Márquez for most of the six-lap race at Mugello Circuit in VR1 before crashing, took the lead early, though not until after a spectacular first-corner pile-up that took out half the field, including Valentino Rossi and VR1 winner Alex Márquez. By the time those riders remounted, Takaaki Nakagami had the lead. However, Nakagami rode erratically, and surrendered the lead to Bagnaia before the end of the first lap. On his way down the field, Nakagami later took out both Márquez brothers, before executing a spectacular crash.

 

 

The 10-lap race rewarded consistency, and that benefitted Bagnaia and Viñales, who kept their motorcycles on two wheels. Still, their positions swapped, sometimes thanks to the rider-friendly video game settings used for the race. Often, riders went off the track, and onto the grass or into the gravel, without severe penalties.

Viñales’ last lap attempt to beat Bagnaia was thwarted when Bagnaia repassed Viñales by using the grass on the inside of the turn—not a likely successful strategy in real-life MotoGP. Viñales wasn’t done, but a big moment coming out of the final corner by Viñales sealed the deal for Bagnaia.

Rossi and Danilo Petrucci battled for the top spot in the bottom-five, with Rossi crashing out spectacularly in the final corner as he dove aggressively inside Petrucci. However, as none of the bottom-five riders were on the same lap as Bagnaia, they all finished without classification.

 

 

The top five riders—Bagnaia, Viñales, the Márquez brothers, and Fabio Quartararo, were inarguably the cream of the field. The top five qualified within 0.404 seconds of each other, with Michele Pirro leading the bottom-half in qualifying, but over two seconds off Bagnaia’s pace. In the race, the top four riders all had best laps in the 1:21s, with Quartararo clicking in a 1:22.351 best lap. The rest of the field has best-laps of 1:23 or more.

With a runner-up finish in VR1 and a win in VR2, Bagnaia takes the series lead by four points over Alex Márquez, who has a win and a P3 finish. Viñales, with P2 and P3 finishes, has a solid grasp on P3 in the standings, with Quartararo and Marc Márquez tied in P4 with 24 points in two races.

2020 MotoGP Virtual Race 2 Results - Marquez
Márquez vs. Márquez

Although it is a virtual race, it is real racing, and the last-lap duel between Bagnaia and Viñales was electrifying, for both the viewer and the riders.

“I had to concentrate so hard,” said Bagnaia admitted. “When Maverick overtook me, he was setting a really good pace. When he crashed and I took the lead again I started to make a lot of mistakes. It was difficult to manage the grip, but I tried to stay in front of him. On the last lap when he overtook me, I gave it everything, also touching the grass a little, but the battle was so much fun.”

2020 MotoGP Virtual Race 2 - Vinales at Home
Maverick Viñales training

“I was pushing a lot, and I tried to put a gap into Pecco,” Viñales observed, “but I braked a little too hard and crashed. I managed to recover, and on the last lap, I took the lead. But, I made a mistake, and Pecco was able to overtake me again. It was a lot of fun, though, and a good result for Yamaha in Austria. In the last corner, for sure I was going to overtake Pecco, but I made a mistake. It was so much fun, though—a nice race, and it was great to feel the emotion of a normal race.”

“Having a MotoGP Race on the PlayStation was really strange!” Rossi acknowledged. “It was a new experience for me. I like playing online with friends, but I’m more competitive with four-wheel games. However, I had a lot of fun. I tried to fight! I hope all the MotoGP fans had a good time…I look forward to seeing the fans again next time I do a virtual race!”

Dorna hasn’t announced a 2020 MotoGP Virtual Race 3. But, with the return to on-track racing remaining to be determined, it seems likely we’ll see the MotoGP riders on back on the PlayStation circuits soon for another #StayAtHomeGP. Should they reconvene, it will likely be on the MotoGP20 game, which comes out on April 23.

2020 MotoGP Virtual Race 2 Results

  1. Pecco Bagnaia, Pramac Racing; 13:47.091
  2. Maverick Viñales, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP; +0.074
  3. Alex Márquez, Repsol Honda Team; +9.762
  4. Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team; +12.572
  5. Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT; +35.418Non-classified
  • Danilo Petrucci, Ducati Team
  • Valentino Rossi, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
  • Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda Idemitsu
  • Tito Rabat, Real Avintia Racing
  • Michele Pirro, Ducati Team

 

MotoGP Virtual Race Series Standings (after two rounds)

  1. Pecco Bagnaia, Pramac Racing Ducati, 45 points (1 win)
  2. Alex Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, 41 (1 win)
  3. Maverick Viñales, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 36
  4. Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, 24
  5. Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT, 24
  6. Alex Rins, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 10
  7. Joan Mir, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 9
  8. Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Tech 3, 8

Non-scoring riders

  • Iker Lecuona, Red Bull KTM Tech 3
  • Aleix Espargaró: Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
  • Danilo Petrucci, Ducati Team
  • Valentino Rossi, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
  • Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda Idemitsu
  • Tito Rabat, Real Avintia Racing
  • Michele Pirro, Ducati Team

Don Williams
Don Williamshttp://www.ultimatemotorcycling.com
With 50 years of riding experience, Don Williams is a fan of all kinds of motorcycles. He enjoys sport bikes, cruisers, dirt bikes, touring bikes, adventure bikes, dual sport bikes, and rideable customs. Ask Don what his favorite bike is and he will tell you, "Whatever bike I'm on."

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