Jorge Martin was on another level in a superb sprint race victory here at the Sachsenring. Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller rounding off the top three in 2nd and 3rd as the Martinator marched on in his 2023 title challenge.
The crowd were witness to a fantastic battle in the early stages between the front 3 riders and a great fight for 4th place which was taken, in the end, by Luca Marini. More disappointment for both Yamaha and Aprilia with only Aleix Espargaro managing to finish in the top 10.
AS IT HAPPENED
Jack Miller, after a great start, lead into turn 1 on the first lap only for Pecco Bagnaia to come back past Miller into turn 2.
At the end of lap 1, Bagnaia ran too hot into turn 1 as Miller moved back past into 1st and created a bit of a gap at the front. Jorge Martin wasup 3 places in the race by the start of lap 2.
As the front three were battling, it was Brad Binder setting the fastest lap of the race at the end of lap 2 with Marc Marquez running wide. Marquez is constantly on the limit with his Honda this weekend, which has resulted in a lot of crashes so far. Halfway through lap 3, Bagnaia made his way back to the front down the hill of turn 11, back past Miller, only for the lead to quickly switch back to Miller down into turn 1 at the start of lap 4. A fantastic battle between last year’s teammates.
The overtake and key moment of the race has to go to the Martinator, Jorge Martin, as he blasted up the inside of both Bagnaia and Miller into the lead. An outstanding move from Martin!
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) June 17, 2023
On lap 6, Martin set the fastest lap of the sprint whilst building a gap to Bagnaia in the chasing group of 4 behind. Martin was pushing the gap above 1 second for the first time and trying to stretch out a lead at the front. Martin posted fastest lap after fastest lap and was on another level here at the Sachsenring.
It was a story of Ducati vs KTM in the top 5 with Yamaha nowhere, down in 14th and 15th. Aprilia were also outside of the top ten. With 9 laps to go in the sprint race, Martin is now 1.327s ahead of Bagnaia in second and despite Bagnaia doing his best lap of the race, he’s still unable to respond to the blistering pace of Martin out at the front.
Starting lap 10 of 15, Martin was well ahead now with a gap of 1.696s to Bagnaia in 2nd. Bagnaia was also half a second clear of Miller in 3rd.
Coming into the final phase of the sprint race, the top 3 seemed to have the positions locked in. The battle for 4th intensified with Binder battling with Marini. Binder was unable to outbreak the VR46 team rider into turn 1 as the battle for 4th place continued with 4 laps to go.
At the start of lap 14 and Binder was trying all he can to get by Marin, again into turn 1, however he was unable to make the move stick. Marini was holding station in 4th and showing superb defensive skills and was shutting the door whenever he could on Binder.
On the last lap of the sprint, Zarco managed to barge his way by Binder to take 5th but this then forced an investigation by the stewards. In the end, Marini managed to hold off everyone to take a great 4th place.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) June 17, 2023
Martin crossed the line +2.468s clear of Bagnaia in 2nd and is now just 21 points shy of Bagnaia’s lead in the championship. Martin is mounting a serious challenge to our reigning champion and proved to be just too quick today for Bagnaia and Miller. Miller said, post race, that there is still more to come from the KTM rider and we’re all set for a great race tomorrow.
How it finished
Feature Image Credit: MotoGP