MotoGP: Martin Wins Stunning Race in Le Mans

Le Man is a circuit full of history and prestige. Today, it delivered a stunning race as we watch a phenomenal season unfold in front of us.

Jorge Martin will be leaving France with both a medal and a trophy, after claiming a double victory in Le Mans. He has taken a stunning win which showcased both his speed and his intelligence. At the start of the race, he slotted in behind Pecco Bagnaia and stayed close on his tail, letting Bagnaia dictate the pace whilst he calculated and weighed up his options, before making the move on lap 21.

Despite leading for those 21 laps today, Bagnaia ended up settling for 3rd. He was also bested by Marc Marquez on the very final lap of the race, as he recreated yesterday’s amazing result with another 2nd place today – the perfect gift for Gresini’s 1,000th race. However, it was a much trickier race than yesterday’s sprint for Marquez as he fought his way through the grid and found himself involved in numerous battles with the likes of Enea Bastianini, Maverick Vinales and Fabio DiGiannantonio.

Pedro Acosta, the only rookie on the grid this year, has ended his points scoring run with a DNF today. He made an aggressive move when fighting for 3rd place with Aleix Espargaro and DiGiannantonio – three into one at turn 8 was never going to end well!

It was a promising day for home hero Fabio Quartararo – he has been much more on the pace throughout this weekend but sadly crashed out halfway through the race. He and the crowd alike were visibly disappointed but there are plenty of promising signs to take away from today.

Image Credit: MotoGP
AS IT HAPPENED

Compared to yesterday’s sprint race, today’s feature race started under slightly cooler conditions, with the wind picking up. But it could have been worse – We were predicted rain today, but that thankfully didn’t appear.

As the lights went out, Pecco Bagnaia was quick to jump to the front of the grid, having started in 2nd. It was another good start for Marc Marquez, but not quite as impressive as yesterday – today, he gained 5 places in the opening corners, leaping up to 8th.

It was a difficult start for both Marco Bezzecchi and Maverick Vinales. Bezzecchi’s front tire jumped up on the start line and left him vulnerable to the rest of the grid who swallowed him, leaving him in 9th – 4 places down on his starting position. Vinales went deep into turn 1 and was forced to go very wide. He journeyed in to the run off area and rejoined the field in 5th, losing 2 places.

So as the grid finished the first lap, it was Bagnaia leading from Jorge Martin and Aleix Espargaro. Fabio DiGiannantonio was in 4th, with Vinales in 5th. The top ten was rounded out by Pedro Acosta, Enea Bastianini, Marc Marquez, Marco Bezzecchi and home hero Fabio Quartararo respectively.

Bagnaia was eager to try and put some clean air between himself and Martin but the Prima Pramac rider just wouldn’t let the Ducati escape. He was happy to sit in behind the reigning championship and allow him to dictate the peace whilst he calculated the right time to make a move.

On lap 3, we had our first crasher, with Pedro Acosta going down at turn 8. He was fighting with Espargaro and DiGiannantonio for 3rd but Acosta was just too aggressive in to the corner. As he went down, his back wheel was hit by DiGiannantonio who, somehow, impressively kept his bike upright! This is the first race of the season where the rookie has failed to score points.

The following lap, Bezzecchi’s horrible day came to an end as he crashed at turn 6. He was trying to get the cut back on Bastianini, who he was fighting with for 7th place.

A few laps later, Marquez was making moves on Vinales as they fight for 5th. Vinales made his bike as wide as possible as he defends and manages to keep hold of the position. Meanwhile, DiGIannantoni is continuing to fight with Espargaro for 3rd – he is clearly desperate to make a move. He eventually gets past at the La Chapelle corner on lap 8, the following lap.

At this point in the race, the top riders were all battling in pairs, with Bagnaia and Martin fighting for 1st, DiGiannantonio fighting for 3rd as well as Vinales and Marquez battling for 5th. These battles continue until lap 10, and that allows Bastianini, in 7th, to catch up and join the fight. By lap 11, just 2 seconds covered the top 7 riders.

On the same lap, Espargaro goes wide at Garage Vert whilst fighting with Vinales. This sees him gifting 4th place to his Aprilia team mate, only for Marquez to quickly rob him of 5th place as well.

The following lap sees Bastianini making a very late move on Espargaro and pushing him completely off the track. Bastianini is gifted 6th as a result, but he is quickly slapped with a long lap penalty for cutting turn 9 as he recovers from the battle.

At the halfway point of the race, it felt like things were starting to settle down. Martin was still in 2nd but stuck close to the rear tire of Bagnaia in 1st. There was then a 0.9 second gap to DiGiannantonio in 3rd and Vinales in 4th. Marquez was 0.3 seconds behind in 5th, with Bastianini in 6th. Home hero, Fabio Quartararo was having a solid race so far in 7th, just ahead of Espargaro, Miguel Oliveira and Franco Morbidelli in 8th, 9th and 10th respectively.

The calm doesn’t last for long as, on lap 17, it was heartbreak for the French crowd as Quartararo crashes out at turn 9 on lap 17.

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Meanwhile, Marquez makes a move on DiGiannantonio for 3rd. DiGiannantonio just refuses to give up the place and gives us a masterclass in brave defending. The continued battle almost gives Vinales the opportunity to take 4th from Marquez. This close battle continues for a few laps and, eventually, Marquez makes a move for 3rd place that sticks. As DiGiannantonio tries to make the cut back, he goes too wide and lets Vinales up to 4th. The Gresini rider is then forced to rejoin in 5th but, unfortunately, the stewards decided that he didn’t lose enough time when rejoining the field and was handed a long lap penalty.

With Marquez now released into some free air, he starts chasing down the leading pair who are 2 seconds down the road. Martin is closer than he has ever been in the race so far and looking like he is ready to set up a move, with just a handful of laps remaining.

At the start of lap 20, Martin makes his first move on Bagnaia but the reigning champion is quick to cut back and regain the place. The following lap is when Martin makes exactly the same move, again at turn 2, but this time makes the move stick and firmly shuts the door on Bagnaia. This fighting means that the gap to Marquez has now been cut in half, and he is just over a second behind them and catching them at a rapid pace.

As the laps continue to tick down, there is nothing between the leading group with Martin now leading from Bagnaia and Marquez.

None of the riders seem comfortable on their soft rear tires but it’s Marquez who seems to be handling these best. He is continuing to close on Bagnaia and on the final lap, with just four corners remaining, he eventually makes his move. With some stunning late breaking, he throws his Gresini up the inside of Bagnaia and manages to make the apex perfectly at turn 7 and 8. This gives Martin some breathing room at the front as Martin sets up defensive moves in the final corners, blocking Bagnaia before he can even think about making a move.

As they cross the line, Martin celebrates a stunning and well-calculated victory with a smash of his bike’s screen. Marquez is equally as thrilled with is performance and celebrates like it was a win.

FULL RESULTS
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CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Martin has been able to extend his championship lead with today’s win – he was leading by 28 points but this has now increased to an impressive 38 points as he continues to enjoy a brilliant start to his season.

Bagnaia returns to 2nd in the standings but now has Marquez hot on his heels, as both riders leapfrog Bastianini.

Image Credit: MotoGP on Twitter

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Moto3: Alonso Tactical Masterclass at Le Mans!

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David Alonso (CFMOTO Aspar Team) held his nerve and delivered a tactical masterclass for the Aspar Team to take his 7th Grand Prix victory here in Le Mans!

It was an epic battle from start to finish today in Moto3 and was anyone’s guess as to who would win right up until the finish. Championship leader Daniel Holgado (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) just finished in 2nd place to Alonso with Dutchman Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) taking 3rd place. 

As we head to the next race at the Catalunya circuit, Holgado just has a 1 point lead in the championship to Alonso. 

AS IT HAPPENED

Alonso had a great start off the line but Holgado pounced heading into the Dunlop chicane to take the lead on the opening lap of the race. David Munoz (BOE Motorsports) was up 5 places up into 3rd, and ever aggressive blasted by Alonso into 2nd on the opening lap. A dream start for Munoz.

Munoz looked to go by Holgado into turn 1, but Holgado shut the door and held off the Spaniard. Holgado lead every lap of the 2023 race here at Le Mans and was hoping for a repeat over the next 19 laps. Adrian Fernandez (Leopard Racing) into the final 2 right handers went by Alonso and up into 3rd.

Munoz tried a tighter line into turn 1 but again, Holgado shut the door on Munoz. Veijer was now into the mix and got by Alonso on lap 3 up into 3rd, as Fernandez took his long lap penalty. Fernandez was with a lot of pace tat this point and would have been keen to battle his way back through the pack. Fernandez back to 16th after serving the 1st of his 2 long lap penalties.

Fernandez’ Leopard teammate rookie Angel Piqueras set the fastest lap of the race on lap 3 and produced a stunning overtake past Ortola up into 5th. Charging on the Leopard Honda Piqueras then picked off Alonso and up into 5th but Alonso bit back and retook 4th place.

A quarter of the way through and Holgado still had the lead from Munoz on his back wheel in 2nd. The top 8 in Moto3 as they crossed the line were all covered by just a second. 16 laps to go and Fernandez served his 2nd long lap penalty and dropped way back to 21st. His teammate Piqueras however was still dicing and swapping places with Alonso as they started lap 6.

Another lap at the front banked for championship leader Holgado as they started lap 7. Still 8 riders in contention here for victory all dicing and fighting for positions behind Holgado. Riccardo Rossi (CIP Green Power) joined the party at the front up into 5th past Piqueras.

Under 2.5seconds covered the top 18 riders as they completed lap 7 to start lap 8 of 20 of this French Grand Prix. Veijer sat behind Holgado and was planning on how to get by in the 2nd half of the race.

Sector 4 up in yellow flags at turn 11 as Rossi went through on Munoz for Munoz to tap Rossi out of the race. Veijer was also through into the lead for the first time. Munoz went up the inside of Holgado only for Holgado to get back past Munoz as they crossed the line to complete lap 9.

Into the 2nd half of the race and Veijer lead from Holgado 2nd and Munoz in 3rd. Alonso was 4th in a lead group of a dozen riders all battling it out here at Le Mans. Munoz for the contact with Rossi earlier on lap 9 was handed a double long lap penalty. Munoz was shaking his head as he crossed the line clearly angry with the stewards decision. Munoz was still fighting with Veijer and Holgado at the front even though Munoz needed to serve his penalties.

Munoz surrendered the lead to Holgado and dropped back to 17th place after serving the 1st long lap penalty.

9 laps to go and Holgado lead from Veijer 2nd and Alonso in 3rd. Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI) picked his way through the field up into 5th at this stage past Piqueras. Fernandez battled his way back up into 8th place as Veijer took the lead from Holgado after Holgado ran wide.

Into the last 3rd of the race and Dutchman Veijer was leading a group of 4 with Holgado 2nd and Alonso in 3rd. Ortola still not giving up the fight on the back wheel of Alonso in 4th.

Into turn 1 on the fastest part of the circuit, Holgado moved ahead of Veijer with in the slipstream as Veijer tapped Holgado twice as Holgado took the lead.

5 laps to go and Munoz crashed out at turn 11 as Holgado still lead into the final part of the race. The race was shaping up to be decided on the last corner of the last lap. A great race so far in Moto3!

Ortola went up the inside of Alonso into the Dunlop chicane as Ortola moved up into the podium positions. The overtake on Alonso bunched up those behind handing a gap to leaders Holgado and Veijer ahead of them.

Alonso fought back and went up inside of Ortola into 3rd and Alonso geared up for an attack for victory in the final stages of the race. Into lap 18 of 20 and 8 tenths of a second separated the top 8 riders. It was still anyone’s guess as to who would go onto win this one.

Lap 18 and Holgado ran wide and Veijer needed no invitation to swoop into the lead with 3 laps to go. Alonso now into the lead with an epic overtake to get by Holgado and Veijer into the same corner. Holgado dicing with Alonso but Alonso crossed the line in the lead.

THE LAST LAP

Holgado lead across the line to start the final lap. Just 14 corners left to go and Alonso went back into the lead as they went into the Dunlop chicane.

Through turns 6 into 7 and Alonso still hung onto the lead, only a bike length  ahead of Holgado at this point.

Holgado now wheel to wheel with Alonso had to back out of a move to avoid a collision. Holgado would not give this up trying every angle and line to get by Alonso on the final lap.

Alonso though held his nerve into the final 2 right handers, and with everyone breathing down his neck, managed to fend off Holgado to take victory.

Victory number 7 for David Alonso and what a win from the Colombian whizz kid! Alonso’s tactics were incredible today and waited on the perfect moment to go on the attack  and hunt down Holgado for the win.

Race Classification 

Image Credit: MotoGP
Image Credit: MotoGP

Championship Standings

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Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Martin Cruises to Sprint Race Victory in Le Mans

Jorge Martin has further extended his championship lead thanks to a Sprint Race victory at the French GP. He enjoyed a fairly easy race, with no real competition, as he cruised to the chequered flag. After being fastest in Friday practice, taking pole position and now this win, it’s been a perfect weekend so far for the Spaniard.

His main competition was Marco Bezzecchi who spent most of the race in 2nd place. At lap 6, he looked to be closing in on the leader but, after facing huge pressure from Marc Marquez, he went down at turn 9 on lap 10. It’s a disappointing result for the VR46 rider who looked to be much more on the pace this weekend and is finally showing us his true colours after a tough start to the season.

Instead, it was Marc Marquez who came home in 2nd place. It was an amazing result for Marquez, after a mistake in qualifying meant he didn’t make it through to Q2. He was forced to start from 13th on the grid but, in a matter of corners, he had thrown his Gresini bike up to 6th. By lap 2, he was in 4th and was soon gifted two more places after Aleix Espargaro faced a double long lap penalty for a jump start and Bezzecchi crashed out. Marquez was understandably thrilled with this result and was thumping his first to his chest as he crossed the line.

The final podium spot was claimed by Maverick Vinales who has looked to be on good form this weekend. However, speaking after the race, he told media that his race was more focused on defending, rather than attacking. There will be work for him tomorrow if he wants to recreate this result in the main race.

It was a day to forget for reigning champion, Pecco Bagnaia. He crashed in this morning’s qualifying session and then had to retire from the race with an undisclosed technical issue. As the race started, Bagnaia was quickly swallowed up by the grid and dropped from 2nd to 15th in only a few corners. He then had a moment on lap 3, heading off the track and into the run-off area at Museum Corner, which dropped him to last place before retiring a lap later.

Not only was it a bad race result, but it also drops him down to 3rd in the championship. He is leap-frogged by Enea Bastianini who came home in 4th place today. It was a much-needed positive day today for the Ducati rider, with so many ongoing discussions about who will partner with Bagnaia at that team next year.

Pedro Acosta continues his scoring record – he is the only rider on the grid to score points in every race and sprint race so far this season. He came home in 6th place but was very lucky to meet the chequered flag – he had a huge moment at turn 13 of the penultimate lap and did incredibly well to keep the bike upright.

Tomorrow’s race will be double the length with double the points on offer. Can Pecco Bagnaia make amends and get his title fight back on track? Or will Jorge Martin round out a truly perfect weekend?

Full Results:
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Championship Standings:
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Feature Image Credit: Jorge Martin on X

Moto3: Alonso Takes Pole In Le Mans!

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3rd pole position in a row for the Colombian sensation David Alonso (CFMOTO Aspar Team)! Championship leader Daniel Holgado (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) qualified in 2nd and after qualifying said he was ready to fight for victory tomorrow. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) rounded off the front row after a great qualifying session in 3rd.

20 laps on Sunday around this circuit and the top 2 in the championship are up for the fight. The Moto 3 heavyweights can’t wait to fight it out for victory tomorrow. 

Image Credit: @AsparTeam on X
Image Credit: @AsparTeam on X

AS IT HAPPENED

Qualifying 1

The session got underway in glorious sunshine at Le Mans, and as the first set of times were posted, it was Luca Lunetta (SIC58 Squadra Corse) leading the way from Filippo Farioli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) 2nd, David Almansa (Rivacold Snipers Team) 3rd and Jacob Roulstone (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) in 4th.

Nicola Carraro (MTA Team) shot to the top with 8mins left of the session. With the top 4 order ever changing in the Q1 session, it was shaping up for a last minute fight to get through to Q2.

Carraro went down in the Dunlop chicane and yellow flags a plenty in sector 1 as Carraro was in a hurry to get back up and running on his bike.

As everyone headed into the pits to catch their breath before their final runs, it was still Carraro at the top with Lunetta 2nd, Roulstone 3rd and Farioli sat in 4th.

Under 5mins left of the session and British rider Scott Ogden (MLav Racing) blasted his way to the top of the timings as Tatsuki Suzuki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) and Ogden pushed on as the rest of the field filtered back out of the pits. Only 2 tenths of a second separated the top 6 riders at this point.

Last chance for the riders as the chequered flag waved and Lunetta managed to sneak into 2nd as Suzuki also managed to knock out Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team) at the end of the session. The top 4 heading through to Q2 were Roulstone, Lunetta, Ogden and Suzuki.

Qualifying 2

Roulstone fresh from Q1 lead the way early on at the top of the timings on provisional pole. As the rest of the field completed their first runs, it was Jose Antonio Rueda at the top with Alonso a tenth behind in 2nd and Adrian Fernandez (Leopard Racing) on the front row in 3rd.

Just under 8mins left of the session and Alonso took command and into provisional pole with Rueda 2nd and Ivan Ortola (MT Helmets – MSI) up to 3rd. It was heating up to be a fantastic battle for pole position here at Le Mans.

Race winner last time out in Jerez, Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) went up to provisional pole as the rest of the riders were sat in the pits. Alonso just +0.001 behind Veijer with just over 4mins left of the session.

Every rider was now pushing to the limits as several riders all lit up sectors red with just 2mins left of the session. Championship leader Holgado marched up to provisional pole just ahead of Rueda 2nd and Alonso in 3rd at this stage. Just one more final flying lap attempt remained.

Colombia vs Spain and the top 2 in the championship, Alonso and Holgado were neck and neck in the final seconds of the session. Alonso snatched pole position away from Holgado with a stunning 1:40.114. Holgado just +0.011 seconds behind Alonso in 2nd. Alonso on pole, Holgado 2nd and Rueda rounding off the front row in 3rd for tomorrow’s race.

Holgado lead every lap last season at the French Grand Prix and will be hoping for the same tomorrow. 3 pole positions in a row for David Alonso! Can Alonso convert the pole position into a win tomorrow?

Top 10

Image Credit: MotoGP
Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Bagnaia Puts in a Champions’ Performance to Win the Spanish GP, Ahead of Marc Marquez

Pecco Bagnaia has shown everyone why he is a two-time MotoGP world champion, taking a phenomenal and hard-fought win at the Spanish GP in Jerez.

It wasn’t an easy win for the Italian – he first had to battle with Jorge Martin, after losing the lead to him on lap 2. He kept the pressure on but just couldn’t find a way past. When Martin went down at turn 6 on lap 11, Bagnaia was able to take over at the front, with a comfortable lead of the rest of the pack.

Then, in the latter stages of the race, he had a fiery Marc Marquez on his tail and had to fend off numerous moves from the home hero. Both ended the day with rubber on their leathers after bumping and making contact a few times.

As many MotoGP fans know, there is no love lost between Marquez and Bagnaia after numerous clashes already this year, as well as the behind-the-scenes unhappiness when Marquez moved to Gresini (a Ducati sister team). But it was clear who the fans were cheering for and their deafening cheers were all for their home hero, Marquez.

Marquez certainly won’t be disappointed with 2nd place today. It’s his first race podium in nearly two years and his first podium with Ducati. It will mean even more to him, given that this track nearly ended his career 4 years ago after a horrific crash.

The final podium position was taken by Marc Bezzecchi, who turned parc ferme in a huge party. He was evidently thrilled with his first podium of the year, having struggled so much at the start of the season. It was a much-needed result for him with big boss Valentino Rossi watching trackside this weekend!

Image Credit: MotoGP on X
AS IT HAPPENED

Much like yesterday’s Sprint Race, it was Brad Binder who had a great start off the line. It was short lived though, as he was pushed wide at turn 1 and ended up shuffling back to 6th. So the race began with Marc Marquez leading, from pole, with Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi slotting in behind.

Pecco Bagnaia was super aggressive at the first two corners, which saw him rocket from 7th up to 4th. It was an equally positive start for Miguel Oliveira, leaping from 15th to 7th, and Jack Miller, jumping from 15th to 8th.

Meanwhile, Augusto Fernandez, enjoying a pretty poor start to the season, was slapped with a double long lap penalty for a jump start. He then failed to serve this within the required 3 laps so his penalty increased to a ride through penalty instead.

As the grid approach turn 6, the Dani Pedrosa corner, Bagnaia was ridiculously late on the breaks and flew up to 2nd place. He was then quickly battling for the lead and took over at the front as they crossed the line to start lap 2.

The drama continued as we had 3 abreast going in to turn 1, which ended with Bagnaia leading ahead of Martin in 2nd and Marc Marquez in 3rd. As the lap then ended, Bagnaia went wide at the final corner to gift the lead to Martin.

Behind them, as the grid settled down, we had Bezzecchi in 4th, Alex Marquez 5th, Binder 6th, Oliveira 7th and Miller 8th. Enea Bastianini and Fabio DiGiannantonio rounded out the top 10.

On lap 4, we had our first crash of the race. Dani Pedrosa, a wildcard for KTM, went down at turn 8 in a very fast crash. Later in the lap, Bezzecchi was able to snatch 3rd place away from Marc Marquez who responds by setting the following lap next time around. At this point in the race, there was hardly anything between the top 4, with Bagnaia achingly close to the back wheel of Martin but unable to find a way past.

Aleix Espargaro was the next to crash, going down at turn 5 on lap 10. He bumped in to the back of Johann Zarco, taking him down too. Zarco was a completely innocent bystander, with no way to avoid Espargaro’s uncharacteristically silly move.

There were some gaps forming in the pack as everyone settled in to the race – everyone except Bagnaia who was still desperately trying to find a way past Martin who was holding firm in 1st. On lap 11, it seems like the pressure became too much for Martin and the bike folded underneath him, sending him in to the gravel at turn 6. He was left utterly dejected, forced to watch on from the escape road.

So this left us with Bagnaia in the lead, a comfortable 0.8 seconds ahead of Bezzecchi in 2nd. Marc Marquez had now been promoted to the final podium spot, with a gap between him and Binder in 5th, Oliveira in 6th and Bastianini in 7th.

Tyre struggles for Bezzecchi on lap 14 allowed Marquez to finally retake 2nd place. He had made an attempt the lap before, when Bezzecchi went wide on the final corner, but there was some smoke from his rear tyre and he couldn’t find the speed he needed to make the move. It appeared that he was perhaps having a technical problem, possibly with a part of bodywork rubbing on his tyre. But once he made the move, he was able to pull out a 0.2 second gap within just 2 corners.

As Marquez kept putting air between himself and Bezzechi, Bagnaia was now leading by 1.4 seconds.

Further back, there was a battle raging between Miller and Pedro Acosta, with Acosta coming out on top. There has been lots of talk about Acosta potentially replacing Miller next year so he will have been disappointed to be bested by the rookie.

By lap 16, Marquez had reduced the gap at the front to 0.6 seconds and it was game on for the race win today. Marquez was setting fastest lap after fastest lap, including setting a new race lap record. Then, on lap 21, Bagnaia and Marquez were side by side for a large portion of the lap, even bumping in to each other at turn 10. It was a breath taking tussle, with reigning champion Bagnaia coming out on top.

He then proved to us exactly why he is a two-time champion, responding to Marquez’s attack by laying down qualifying-style lap times and further smashing the race lap record. It was a hugely impressive feat, given he was on 23-lap-pld tyres at this point.

It was this blistering pace, with error free laps, that allowed Bagnaia to take the win and leap frog up to 2nd in the championship standings.

RACE RESULTS
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CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
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Feature Image Credit: Ducati on X

Moto3: Veijer On Fire In Jerez!

Image Credit: @IntactGP on X

Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) took control and dominated from the front today in Jerez. Veijer took his first win of the season and it will be a massive boost of confidence to the Dutchman returning to the top step in Moto3.

It was never in doubt for Veijer despite immense pressure from local hero David Munoz (BOE Motorsports), and the chasing pack throughout the race. Munoz finished 2nd and last year’s race winner Ivan Ortola (MT Helmets – MSI) rounded off the podium in 3rd place.

Championship leader Daniel Holgado (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) started from 18th and fought his way through brilliantly to finish in 7th place. Holgado takes a 6pts lead to the next race in Le Man, after disaster struck for David Alonso (CFMOTO Aspar Team) at the end of lap 1.  The Aspar rider Alonso lost the front end on the final corner of lap 1, but managed to fight his way through the field to finish in 11th.

A great race today here in Jerez and a refreshing change from the slip streaming carnage we usually see at other circuits. 

AS IT HAPPENED

It was a great start from Munoz to get ahead of Alonso to take the lead into turn 1. Lunging from 8th to 3rd off the start was Alonso’s teammate Joel Esteban.  Alonso into turn 6 from a long way back got back by up the inside of Munoz to retake the lead.

Into the last corner though and disaster struck for Alonso, down at the last corner at the end of lap 1. Holgado from 18th to 13th on lap 1, the championship leader on the charge from the off in Jerez.

18 laps to go and Veijer took to the front for the first time in the race with Munoz 2nd and last season’s race winner Ortola in 3rd. Ortola up the inside of Munoz into 2nd and hunted down Veijer in front.  We had a lead group of 6 riders at the early stage of the race.

First quarter race distance completed, championship leader Holgado continued carved his way through the pack and up into 9th place at this point.

Esteban set the quickest lap of the race as the Aspar rider was carrying all of the hopes of the Aspar team on his shoulders after Alonso’s crash.

Lap 5 and it was tight at the top in the lead group. Not much dicing between each other or as chaotic as a Moto3 race would usually be. Given the nature of the circuit being very fast and free flowing.

The lead group of six continued to dice and swap places behind Veijer, with Veijer seemingly in full command leading at the front on lap 8 of 19. Holgado up into 8th place but had a huge task on his hands to bridge the gap to the leading group.

At the halfway mark, Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI) was quickest in 4th and Ortola was hanging onto 2nd with Munoz on his back wheel in 3rd. Veijer still controlling the front but unable to pull away from the chasing lot behind. The lead group of 6 down to 4 now at this point, all fighting it out for race victory.

8 laps to go and the lead group of 4 only had 3 wins between them as Veijer still lead at the front with Ortola 2nd, Munoz 3rd and Yamanaka in 4th. Alonso and Holgado still determined to get something out of this race, Holgado up into 7th with Alonso picking off everyone at the back up into 16th place.

Moving into the final stages of the race Veijer remained in control at the front with Munoz, Ortola and teammate Yamanaka behind. The best action was further back at this point with Holgado fighting for 7th and Alonso carved his way through the pack up into 12th place now.

3 laps to go and it was now a 3 rider shootout for the win. Yamanaka dropped off from the front 3 after losing grip on the front tyre. Veijer in front with Munoz 2nd and Ortola 3rd. Munoz born nearby in Seville would not give this one up without a fight.

Into the last lap and Munoz was on Veijer’s back wheel. Munoz was unable to get close enough to get by Veijer with Veijer was excellent at defending as they headed into the stadium section into turn 9. Turn 10 and Veijer lead with 3 corners left of the race. Munoz was unable to get by as they headed into the back straight, Veijer clung on to take victory.

Race Classification 

Image Credit: MotoGP
Image Credit: MotoGP

Championship Standings 

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Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Martin Wins Spanish Sprint, As Half The Grid Crash

Today’s Sprint race at the Spanish GP was a test for rookies and experienced riders alike, as everyone had to battle with a partially damp track and invisible wet patches of tarmac which ended races for so many. It was chaotic from start to finish, in typical MotoGP fashion!

Despite the sun shining, the track was hiding plenty of treacherous damp spots which brought down even the most experienced and talent riders today. By the time the chequered flag fell, over half the grid had crashed with only 9 riders making it over the line safely.

The first of those riders to cross the line was Jorge Martin, who mastered the conditions to take the win. It’s his second Sprint Race win of the season and extends his lead at the top of the championship standings.

However, for much of the race, it looked like Martin would have to settle for 2nd place as Marc Marquez was took the lead off him on lap 7. However, Marc was on of the riders to fall victim to the track conditions and went down on lap 9. He was able to re-join the pack and eventually came home in 7th.

Rookie Pedro Acosta continues to impress as he enjoyed his first trip to the Sprint Race podium today, coming home in 2nd place. This came despite a terrible start to the race that saw him get swallowed up by the grid and drop way down.

Fabio Quartararo won’t have been on many people’s betting slips for a podium today, but the Frenchman kept his nose clean and was able to capitalise on the many crashes happening around him. He was clearly thrilled with the result, having started the race from 23rd on the grid.

The final result was a topsy turvy list, with many of the midfield riders able to take home some crucial points today.

Image Credit: MotoGP
AS IT HAPPENED

Marc Marquez started the race on pole but, as he moved across the track in a fierce defensive move, he was quickly swallowed up by the pack and dropped back to 3rd. Instead, it was Brad Binder who flew off the line in the classic KTM fashion we have come to know recently.

As the field settled in to their positions, Binder was leading from Jorge Martin in 2nd, Marc Marquez in 3rd and his brother Alex just behind in 5th. Just behind them was Pecco Bagnaia, who went wide and let Marco Bezzecchi through and in to 5th. The following corner, the roles were reversed and Bezzecchi went wide to gift 5th place back to Bagnaia. Meanwhile, at the front, Martin took over in the lead – a position where he always feels comfortable!

Our first victim of the damp patches was Aleix Espargaro, in 12th, who went down at turn 8 in a very fast crash. A few corners later, Jack Miller then went down at turn 13 but, unlike Espargaro, manages to get the bike running again.

As the grid crossed the line to end lap 1, Martin was leading by 0.2 seconds – a gap which soon grew as Marc Marquez began a battle with Binder for 2nd. Marc took over in 2nd place, much to the thrill of the crowd, but as Binder fought back, he pushed them both wide and let Alex Marquez ahead of them both.

Binder then starts battling with Pecco Bagnaia and Fabio DiGiannantonio. At turn 1, the South African made an overly aggressive move up the inside of Bagnaia, forcing himself in to a gap that didn’t really exist. This left Bagnaia sandwiched between the two and with nowhere to go but the gravel trap.

DiGiannantonio also went down at the final corner of the same lap – he was only marginally offline but the bike just folded underneath him.

On lap 5, Martin was leading with a comfortable 1.3 second gap over Marc Marquez. Alex Marquez was still in 3rd with Binder in 4th, Pedro Acosta in 5th and Enea Bastianini in 6th. At this point in the race, it felt like things were starting to settle in to a rhythm.

The following lap, something seemed to ignite in Marc Marquez and he reduced the gap at the front to just 0.8 seconds whilst also setting the fastest lap of the race so far. On lap 7, the gap was now just 0.3 seconds and as Martin goes wide at turn 9, Marc Marquez is there to reap the reward. The crowd were deafening as their home hero took over at the front.

On lap 9, and completely synchronised, Alex Marquez, Binder and Bastianini all went down at turn 5 after hitting a damp past at exactly the same time. Then, a few corners later, Marc Marquez faced the same fate. Again, just one lap later, the same thing happened to Maverick Vinales at turn 5. Not even the most talent riders were safe!

Only Marc was able to rejoin the pack, taking 10th place. But he was clearly frustrated and began making silly moves as he tried to push his way back up through the field. First was Joan Mir, who’s back tired was bumped by Marc and he was forced to sit up and go wide. Then, on the last lap, he made a similar move on Miguel Oliveira.

Meanwhile, up at the front of the field, Martin had been gifted the lead by Marquez’s error. He was now leading by 3 seconds and tiptoeing round the track to make it home safely. Rookie Acosta was equally safe in 2nd place, 7 seconds ahead of Fabio Quartararo who was taking the final podium position.

Just behind the Yamaha was wildcard rider and old favourite, Dani Pedrosa who was testing for KTM. He tried his best to make it past Quartararo but simply couldn’t find a way past and had to settle for 4th as the chequered flag fell.

FULL RESULTS
Image Credit: MotoGP on X
POST-RACE UPDATE

2 hours after the chequered flag fell, the news broke that Dani Pedorsa, KTM’s wild card rider, had been promoted to the podium! Fabio Quartararo was demoted to 5th after being found guilty of a tyre pressure infringement. Four other riders, including Quartararo’s own team mate, were also punished for the same reason. This means that Raul Fernandez drops to 7th, Fabio di Giannantonio drops to 13th, Jack Miller drops to 14th and Alex Rins drops to 15th.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Moto3: Back to Back Pole’s for Alonso!

Image Credit: @AsparTeam on X

David Alonso (CFMOTO Aspar Team) has lead every session since Austin, Texas and this weekend has been no different. 9 sessions in a row at the top for Alonso and the rest of the Moto3 field must be wondering how to stop the Colombian whizz kid.

Alonso a class of his own, but a jubilant David Munoz (BOE Motorsports) managed to get up into 2nd and a front row start for the Spaniard in front of his home crowd. Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) pushed Alonso as hard as he could in that session and will start from 3rd tomorrow. 

Both Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 riders out in Q2 at the same corner, turn 5. Hopefully both will be fit enough to race tomorrow. Championship leader Daniel Holgado will be keen to salvage as much as possible from today’s qualifying with just 2 points separating himself and Alonso at the top of the championship.

Image Credit: @AsparTeam on X
Image Credit: @AsparTeam on X

AS IT HAPPENED

Qualifying 1

On a drying track full of damp patches, the Moto3 riders headed out onto this Angel Nieto circuit thankfully in the sunshine.

Noah Dettwiler (CIP Green Power) set the benchmark time of 1:51.039 to kick us off in the session as the field were all on their first flying run’s. Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Adrian Fernandez (Leopard Racing) were the surprise names in the session and went up into the top 4 as expected. Nicola Carraro (MTA Team) set the fastest time early on in the session of a 1:49.083, a great time and a tough one to beat for the rest of the session.

As the confidence grew the times tumbled and with 8mins to go in the session, all of the sectors across all of the riders were lighting up red. This session looked like it would be going to the wire.

Xabi Zurutuza (Red Bull KTM Ajo) went down at turn 13 with just under 5mins left in the session. Carraro still lead the session with Bertelle 2nd, Fernandez 3rd and Leopard Racing teammate Angel Piqueras in 4th.

Into the final minute of the session and Carraro was flying, nearly half a second quicker heading into the 3rd sector of the lap. Filippo Farioli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Piqueras both up on the fastest time set so far.

Farioli crossed the line and pushed Bertelle out of the top 4 and headed into Q2 to fight for pole position. The top 4 riders through to Q2 were Piqueras 1st, Carraro in 2nd, Farioli 3rd and Fernandez in 4th.

Qualifying 2

Only a few minutes into the session and championship leader Holgado went down at turn 5. A horrible highside for Holgado just a few minutes into the session. Holgado seemed ok but hobbled through the gravel clearly in a lot of pain. Not a great way to spend your 19th birthday.

As we are used to seeing now, Columbian whizz kid David Alonso. who has topped every session so far this weekend, set the provisional pole lap time as the first lot of flying laps came through.

Just under 7mins left of the session and Veijer is not giving up on pole without a fight. The Dutchman up to the top of the timings with a 1:46.234, just +0.197seconds ahead of Alonso in 2nd. Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI) currently sat in 3rd, but +0.794 tenths of a second back to Veijer at the top.

 

Jacob Roulstone in the exact same corner as his teammate at turn 5,  went down and out of qualifying. A disaster for the Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 team today in Jerez.

3mins left of the session and Alonso stormed to the front. Alonso with a brilliant lap, smashed Veijer’s time with a 1:45.232. It seemed like Alonso and Veijer were in a class of their own with 3rd place Yamanaka +1.796 seconds back to Alonso’s provisional pole lap time.

The first man into the 1:45s today,  Alonso looked to cement his place on pole position with a 1:44.954.

David Munoz right at the end of the session was close but no cigar, just 2 tenths shy of the pole lap set by Alonso. Fantastic for Munoz and the first front row start for the Spaniard this season. Veijer rounded off the front row and will start from 3rd on the grid tomorrow.

Qualifying Classification

Image Credit: MotoGP
Image Credit: MotoGP

 

 

 

 

Moto3: Alonso Annihilation In Austin!

Image Credit: @AsparTeam on X

Total dominance from the Colombian teenage sensation David Alonso (CFMOTO Aspar Team) this weekend in Austin, Texas. Quickest in practice, pole position and an easy race with Alonso leading every lap of it.

Alonso would have been unaware of the chaos and drama behind him, especially the terrific fight for the remaining podium places. Daniel Holgado (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) and Angel Piqueras (Leopard Racing) finished the Grand Prix with a photo finish. Holgado finished 2nd and Piqueras just a bike wheel behind in 3rd. 

Holgado continued his great run of form and hasn’t finished outside of the top 3 so far this season. The championship lead cut down to just 2 points to Alonso as we head to Jerez in two week’s time.

Image Credit: @AsparTeam on X
Image Credit: @AsparTeam on X

AS IT HAPPENED

Unfortunately due to illness, Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was unable to compete in today’s race despite the excellent qualifying session yesterday. This promoted everyone up the grid one slot and Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) up onto the front row.

After the antics in yesterday’s sessions, most of the field had a long lap penalty and some a triple long lap penalty to take during the Grand Prix.

A great start from pole position from Alonso and Filippo Farioli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) went down on the first corner with several riders taking evasive action to avoid any collision. Farioli far too late on the brakes went into the back of Veijer and Veijer lucky to stay on the bike past turn 1.

Joel Kelso (BOE Motorsports) collided with Holgado into turn 8, luckily both riders stayed on their bikes. Alonso with the chaos behind him gained a half a second lead at the front on the opening lap.

Holgado into turn 12 went up the inside of Veijer and back up into 3rd. Ivan Ortola (MT Helmets – MSI) and Stefano Nepa ( LEVELUP – MTA) crashed out with Ortola too keen to get by. Ortola confused in the melee almost re-joined the race on the wrong bike. Holgado after the incident with Kelso got by Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team) and back up to 2nd place as we headed into lap 2.

 

Into lap 2 and Alonso pulled away at the front with Piqueras, Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia) and Veijer all getting by and swapping places with Holgado.

With all of the field fighting behind, Alonso started lap 3 over 2 seconds clear at the front. Piqueras lead the chasing pack with Holgado 3rd and Furusato in 4th.

Yellow flags waved in sector 1 as Luca Lunetta (SIC58 Squadra Corse) crashed out with 11 laps to go. Lunetta able to re-join but would end up finishing in last place. Alonso now had a 3.5 seconds lead at the front. The chasing pack of 6 riders lead by Holgado but Holgado was unable to break away from Piqueras and co. behind.

Holgado, Piqueras, Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI) and Veijer all in a fantastic fight for the 2nd and 3rd podium places here in Austin. At the half way point of the race, it was Alonso’s to lose with a huge advantage of 4 seconds at the front. Kelso caught up to the chasing pack and now a group of 5 emerged to fight it out for the podium places.

5 laps to go and Holgado set the fastest lap of the race, reducing the gap to 3 seconds to Alonso ahead in the lead. Kelso crashed out at turn 1 to remount and was still in the top 10 as Kelso re-joined in 8th place.

Alonso’s gap shrunk by over a couple of seconds as Veijer went down in sector 1 through the fast twisty section with Yamanaka and Holgado narrowly missing Veijer and his bike. The crash handed breathing room for Piqueras and was on target for his first ever podium for Leopard Racing.

3 laps to go, Alonso lead with Piqueras 2nd and Yamanaka in 3rd. Holgado and  Yamanaka fought it out through the twisty section for 3rd place. Veijer retired on lap 12 after a more than eventful Grand Prix for the young dutchman. Hit multiple times from other rider’s before a high speed crash himself. Through turn 12 and up the inside of Yamanaka, Holgado moved back up into 3rd place.

2 laps to go and Holgado moved ahead of Piqueras into 2nd place late on the brakes up the hill into turn 1. Yamanaka and Piqueras both fighting for their first ever podiums in Moto3. Piqueras up the inside of Yamanaka and started the last lap of the race in 3rd place hunting down Holgado.

Onto the last lap and Piqueras was on the back wheel of Holgado and looked to take 2nd place away from the Red Bull GasGas rider. Down the long straight, Piqueras went up the inside of Holgado into 2nd. Holgado though patiently waited to attack and into turn 19 Holgado made his move. Up the inside of Piqueras and we had a photo finish on the line between the pair of them.  Holgado took 2nd place by just a bike wheel ahead of Piqueras who finished in 3rd.

Image Credit: MotoGP
Image Credit: MotoGP

With all of the carnage behind him, David Alonso kept his cool and cruised to victory in Austin. Alonso capped off a fantastic weekend today and was dominant in every session.

Race Classification 

Image Credit: MotoGP
Image Credit: MotoGP

Championship Standings

Image Credit: MotoGP
Image Credit: MotoGP

Moto3: Holgado Wins The Battle Of Portugal!

Image Credit: MotoGP @PolarityPhoto

Back to back wins for Daniel Holgado (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) in Portimão! From 4th place to 1st in 2023 and now in 2024. Pole sitter Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) fought hard and took a great 2nd place with Ivan Ortola (MT Helmets – MSI) finishing in 3rd. 

It was a Moto3 classic and a thrilling race on a rollercoaster of a circuit. Holgado clung on at the end in an ever changing order at the front throughout the 19 laps of the Grand Prix. Holgado tops the championship as we head to Austin, Texas in a couple of week’s time.

AS IT HAPPENED

Rueda would have been forgiven for thinking he was going to have an easy race out in front in the early stages. Constant interchanging of positions behind the KTM Ajo rider, Rueda managed to pull a half a second gap ahead to those behind, mostly due to the great start off the line.

As Alonso and Holgado fought yellow flags waved in sector 3 as Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI) and Angel Piqueras (Leopard Racing) collided. Both riders ok and Rueda lead as they crossed the line to complete the 1st lap.

Riccardo Rossi (CIP Green Power) joined the party at the front and moved into 3rd as David Alonso (CFMOTO Gaviota Aspar Team) dropped back to 5th. Alonso had a lot of work to do early on but we all know Alonso has no problems fighting his way back through a field of riders.

Over the next few laps we headed to quarter race distance with Rueda in control of what was a raging battle behind him. Alonso flying up the inside of any rider who was in front of him through his favoured turns 10 and 11.

The field continued to reel Rueda in at the front over the next few laps. Holgado and Alonso dicing with each other where ever possible with Rueda just 2 tenths clear of Holgado as we headed into lap 9.

Lap 9 and Holgado had a look at Rueda into turn 2 and Alonso nearly ran into the back of Holgado. Alonso now back to 5th place with another charge through the field to do with 11 laps left of the race. Into turns 10 and 11 and Alonso is back up to 4th past Rossi.

Down the hill into turn 1, Ortola was last on the brakes and up into 2nd place ahead of Holgado. Holgado then ran in too hot and missed going back passed Ortola. This left the door open for Alonso to go by Holgado and then up the inside of Ortola only a few corners later. Alonso completed his charge and finally took the lead of the race getting passed Rueda.

With 9 laps to go we had a lead group of 6 with Alonso and Holgado at the front pulling away from Ortola leading the others behind.

 

As we moved into the final third of the Grand Prix in the Algarve, we still had an ever changing order at the front with Holgado 1st, Alonso in 2nd and Rueda in 3rd.

5 laps to go and sector 2 in yellow flags as Rossi went over the handle bars. Rider ok though as the lead group of 6 with Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP), Ortola and Joel Kelso (BOE Motorsports) now keen to get involved with the front 3 battle.

Lap 18 of 19 and Holgado and Rueda have pulled a gap to the rest out in front. Dropping down through the high speed turn 15 Holgado in 1st as we started the last lap of the race.

Veijer went by Alonso as Alonso headed backwards. Veijer and Alonso fought handed breathing room for Ortola as Ortola now comfortable in 3rd.

Coming into the final sector Rueda only had a couple of corners left to go for the win. Holgado clung onto the lead through turns 14 and 15 to take victory in what was a Moto3 classic.

Race Classification

Image Credit: MotoGP
Image Credit: MotoGP

Championship Standings

Image Credit: MotoGP
Image Credit: MotoGP
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