As we are becoming accustomed to in MotoGP this season, the sprint race was full of drama from start to finish, with multiple overtakes and lots of drama happening on every lap.
After taking a stunning pole position earlier in the day, and smashing the qualifying lap record, Pecco Bagnaia has taken a dominant win in the Mugello sprint race.
He was joined on the podium by fellow Italian Marco Bezzecchi and Jorge Martin, who fought hard to keep his teammate at bay.
It was a difficult race for Alex Marquez who, after putting in a brilliant qualifying lap and starting the race in 3rd, sadly crash at the first corner, bringing his day to a sudden and unexpected halt.
Similarly, Jack Miller and Marc Marquez will have been disappointed to finish in 6th and 7th respectively after enjoying some dramatic battles in the podium places at the early stages of the race.
We have two returning riders this weekend – Aleix Espargaro is back from a bicycle accident and finished in 8th, whilst Enea Bastianini, who has returned from injuries sustained earlier in the season, ended the day in 9th.
As It Happened
As the lights went out, the rain began to fall – however, it was only light rain which didn’t affect the grip on the tarmac.
Off the line, Bagnaia managed to hold on to the lead despite Marc Marquez appearing alongside him into turn 1. Bagnaia was able to strategically place his Ducati to block this attack and keep the lead. In doing this, he also hampered Jack Miller’s approach as he left the Aussie nowhere to go.
Further back, we had Johann Zarco flying off the line but he sadly goes wide in turn 1, which hampers his amazing start slightly.
In the middle of turn 1 of the first lap, Alex Marquez sadly found himself in the kitty litter after Brad Binder bumped into him on the inside. After reviewing the incident, Binder was deemed to be at fault and was later handed a long lap penalty. That did nothing to soothe Alex Marquez though, who was forced to watch the rest of the sprint race from the garage.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) June 10, 2023
As the grid crosses the line to start lap 2, Jorge Martin stole 2nd from Marquez. He was clearly the real winner at the start, working his way up from 6th. Miller was also on the climb and, with the drama hotting up, Marquez found himself squeezed in to the middle of a Miller-Marini sandwich, which pushed him down the order and promoted Miller to 3rd.
There were aggressive moves happening up and down the field, including the front where Martin stole the lead from Bagnaia on lap 2.
It was at this point that Miguel Oliveira, the wet weather specialist who was running down in 13th, laid down the fast lap of the race so far proving his mastery of these tricky and changeable conditions.
With 4 of 11 laps completed, Bagnaia made his way back into the lead with Martin settling for 2nd. Just behind them were the two Mooney VR46 riders, Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini, who were putting in a brilliant performance for a race where their boss, Valentino Rossi, was watching from the garage.
By lap 6, the action started to settle down and there were a few gaps forming throughout the grid. Bezzecchi was now the rider setting fastest laps, with a lap so fast that is smashed the previous race lap record by 0.3 seconds! Shortly after that, Binder clocked the fastest ever speed recorded at Mugello, as he topped out at 366km/h.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) June 10, 2023
As the lap counter ticked down, and we reached the final stages of the race, we had Bagnaia leading, but being chased down by Bezzecchi in 2nd, and Martin in 3rd with his teammate, Johann Zarco in 4th and hot on his tail. It continued this way until the checkered flag fell, with neither Bezzecchi nor Zarco able to manufacture a move on their competitors.
|1st||Francesco Bagnaia||Ducati Lenovo|
|2nd||Marco Bezzecchi||Mooney VR46|
|3rd||Jorge Martin||Prima Pramac|
|4th||Johann Zarco||Prima Pramac|
|5th||Luca Marini||Mooney VR46|
|6th||Jack Miller||Red Bull KTM|
|7th||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda|
|9th||Enea Bastianini||Ducati Lenovo|
|10th||Fabio Quartararo||Monster Energy Yamaha|
|11th||Brad Binder||Red Bull KTM|
|12th||Miguel Oliveira||CryptoDATA RNF|
|14th||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Gresini|
|15th||Michele Pirro||Aruba. it|
|16th||Franco Morbidelli||Monster Energy Yamaha|
|17th||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda|
|19th||Raul Fernandez||CryptoDATA RNF|
|20th||Augusto Fernandez||GASGAS Tech3|
|21st||Jonas Folder||GASGAS Tech3|
DNFs: Alex Rins (LCR Honda), Alex Marquez (Gresini)
Feature Image Credit: MotoGP