MotoGP: Alex Marquez takes Magnificent Maiden Win at Silverstone Sprint Race

In typical British fashion, all we could talk about for most of today’s sprint race was the weather. It was unpredictable and difficult to master. But one man came out on top – and for the first time in his premier class career!

It was Alex Marquez who came out on top for today’s sprint race at the British GP. He started the race in 3rd, took the lead on lap 2, and never looked back. He faced a late charge from Marco Bezzecchi, who came home in 2nd, but he lead easily and took the checkered flag in dominant fashion.

The final podium spot was taken by Maverick Vinales, who was thrilled to squeeze a podium out of his Aprilia machine which, typically, doesn’t like these damp conditions.

Early race leaders, Jorge Martin and Jack Miller eventually came home in 6th and 7th respectively.

Further down the pack, it was a difficult day for reigning champion Pecco Bagnaia – he came home in 14th and scored no points, meaning his championship lead over Bezzecchi has been cut to 27 points.

It was an even tougher day for Marc Marquez, coming home in 18th and seemingly facing yet more issues on his Honda, and Fabio Quartararo who made no waves in the race at all – the Frenchman started the race last, in 22nd, and was only able to make up one place across the entire sprint race. A day to forget for both former champions.

The sprint races format, which is new for 2023 in this new era of MotoGP, has now given us 5 different winners across 9 different race weekends. The forecast for tomorrow’s main race is looking dry – can Alex Marquez replicate his win under those normal conditions?

As it happened

After a saturated free practice and qualifying session earlier in the day, the track was beginning to dry as the riders took to the grid for today’s sprint race. That left a lot of questions around tire selection and mid-race bike changes. As it turned out, every rider opted for medium wet tires and this seemed to be the ideal option as the rain would start falling before the race ended.

As the lights went out, Jack Miller and his KTM machine took an unsurprising early lead. He flew off the line and quickly got past polesitter Marco Bezzecchi. Bezzecchi put up an early fight but it was the Aussie who was clearly out in the lead by the end of the first few corners.

Further back down the pack, Pecco Bagnaia had a wobble and fell back from his starting position of 4th and in to a pack of squabbling riders. He was now back down in 12th after losing 8 places. Meanwhile, Marc Marquez and Enea Bastianini clashed in the opening few corners, causing a large gap to form right in the middle of the pack.

Miller wasn’t able to keep hold of the lead for long – after getting past Augusto Fernandez to take 3rd, Jorge Martin flew up the inside of both Bezzecchi in 2nd and Miller in 1st to steal the lead of the race at Stowe corner. It didn’t last for long though and the Prima Pramac rider soon lost out to Bezzecchi and Miller again.

It was on lap 2 that Alex Marquez took the lead. He first shoved his way up the inside of Bezzecchi and then, a few corners later, flew past Miller and into the lead. By the end of lap 3, Marquez had a 0.5 second lead over the rest of the pack.

On lap 4, Maverick iInales and Aleix Espargaro make their way past Martin, who has now been shuffled back to 6th. On the following lap, Vinales was now battling with Miller for the final podium position.

At the halfway point, with his brother leading the pack by 0.8 seconds, Marc Marquez was still struggling down in 14th and he could be seen looking over his shoulder, suggesting there might have been an issue with his bike.

The grid then began to settle in to the race and everything seemed to calm down. Aleix Espargaro took 4th away from Miller, and shortly after we had Martin closing in on the Aussie too. Further back down the grid and Fabio Giannantonio took 12th away from Bagnaia, before Bastianini followed suit.

On lap 8, we had spots of rain appearing at various points on the circuit and, on lap 9, Bezzecchi was squeezing everything out of his Mooney VR46 machine as he went on the hunt for Marquez and the race win. By the start of the final lap, the gap has dropped from just over a second down to 0.8 seconds. Then, in the first sector of the final lap, Bezzecchi took another 0.3 seconds off this gap. Sadly, in the end, Bezzecchi just ran out of road and came home 0.366s behind maiden premier class winner Alex Marquez.

Full Results
1st Alex Marquez Gresini
2nd Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46
3rd Maverick Vinales Aprilia
4th Johan Zarco Prima Pramac
5th Aleix Espargaro Aprilia
6th Jorge Martin Prima Parmac
7th Jack Miller Red Bull KTM
8th Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3
9th Brad Binder Red Bull KTM
10th Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF
11th Luca Marini Mooney VR46
12th Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini
13th Enea Bastianini Ducati
14th Pecco Bagnaia Ducati
15th Franco Morbidelli Yamaha
16th Pol Espargaro GASGAS Tech3
17th Joan Mir Repsol Honda
18th Marc Marquez Repsol Honda
19th Raul Fernandez CryptoDATA RNF
20th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
21st Fabio Quartararo Yamaha
22nd Icer Lecuona LCR Honda
Championship Standings
1st Pecco Bagnaia 194 points
2nd Marco Bezzecchi 167 points
3rd Jorge Martin 163 points
4th Johann Zarco 115 points
5th Brad Binder 115 points

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP on Twitter

MotoGP: Bezzecchi On Pole Despite British Downpour

During a typical summer’s day at the British Grand Prix, the rain poured at Silverstone for our first qualifying after the summer break. The conditions were difficult to master, with many riders falling, but one man was able to secure pole.

Marco Bezzecchi mastered the awful conditions on track today to bring his bike home in pole – his second consecutive pole position. However, his bike wasn’t unscathed. Bezzecchi went down in the dying minutes of Q2 whilst trying to improve on his time. His bike looked very much like it was ready for the scrap heap as the Italian rider walked to parc ferme. He will be joined on the front row by Jack Miller and Alex Marquez who also mastered the conditions.

As It Happens

Qualifying 1

The first rider to fall victim to the conditions was Fabio DiGiantonio. He faced a highside going into Abbey corner with 9 minutes remaining on the clock. It was a disappointing early end to the session for the rider was was fastest in practice and was sitting at the top of the timing sheets so far in qualifying.

A few minutes later, Fabio Quartararo aquaplanes at turn 16 – he is able to keep the bike upright and gets it going again to rejoin the session.

Franco Morbidelli is next to top the timing sheets and continues to beat his own time on his way to a Q2 spot.

Enea Bastianini was looking set to join Morbidelli in Q2, sitting comfortably in 2nd for much of the session. However, he was bested by Augusto Fernandez in the dying moments, as the Spanish rider set a 2:16.885.

It was a hugely difficult day for Quartararo who wasn’t able to find his rhythm again after the mid-session incident. He will start both of this weekend’s races from the back of the grid.

Qualifying 2

The first rider to top the timing sheets was Jack Miller who set a blistering lap time of 2:15.629 – it seemed to come out of nowhere as the Aussie left everything on the track whilst others were tip-toeing around.

With 6 and a half minutes left on the clock, Pecco Bagnaia had a fast crash after locking the breaks. He went down at turn 6 and despite hitching a lift on a moped, he wasn’t able to get back to the garage with enough time to get back on track for a hot lap. Luckily for the reigning champion, he had already laid down a fast lap and will still the race from 4th.

With the rain continuing to pour, more and more riders were falling, with turn 1 looking especially tricky. That included Alex Marquez and Luca Marini. The multiple yellow flags that were out for the final 3 minutes meant that no riders were able to improve on their lap times.

The final rider to fall in qualifying was provisional pole sitter, Marco Bezzecchi. His bike ended up looking like scrap but, again due to the resulting yellow flags, no one was able to beat his pole lap time of 2:15.359.

Feature Image Credit: Mooney VR46 on Twitter

MotoGP: Bagnaia on Pole in Mugello, Just Ahead of Marquez Brothers

The jewel in the crown of the MotoGP season has delivered us a tantalising qualifying session, building the excitement ahead of the two races this weekend.

Championship leader and home hero, Pecco Baganai has set the first ever 1:44 lap at Mugello to take pole in the Tuscan hills. He tackled the pressure of being an Italian rider, on an Italian bike, at an Italian track in spectacular style to the delight of the grandstands.

He will be joined on the front row by both Marc and Alex Marquez, in 2nd and 3rd respectively. This is the first time the brothers have been in parc ferme together.

It was a truly difficult day for Fabio Quatararo who wasn’t able to get out of Q1 and will line up in 15th for the sprint and main races.

Qualifying 1

There were some big names in the first qualifying session, including both Monster Yamaha riders, Fabi Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, Jack Miller, Alex Marquez, Maverick Vinales and rookie-on-the-rise, Augusto Fernandez.

In the early stages of the session, it was Alex Marquez who set the first fastest lap – so fast, he was just shy of the overall lap record. Slotting in behind him, in the second promotion spot, was Morbidelli.

As normal, the riders made their way back to the garages to change tires before their second run. Vinales first improved up in to the promotion spots, followed by Miller who leap-frogged him to second.

This pushed Morbidelli down to 4th, who stayed one place ahead of teammate Quartararo who was having a day to forget.

As the checkered flag fell for Q1, it was Alex Marquez (1:45.231) and Jack Miller (1:45.559, +0.328) who progressed to the next session for their shot at pole.

Qualifying 2

As rain threatened to add some drama to qualifying, every rider was quickly out on track and eager to set themselves a banker lap.

With Valentino Rossi watching from the sidelines, his VR46 rider Marco Bezzecchi set the first flying lap with a 1:45.372. Marc Marquez and Jack Miller were close on his tail, taking 2nd and 3rd respectively.

With 11 minutes left on the clock, and without having yet set a lap time, Enea Bastianini crashed at turn 11 to give himself a huge amount of hard work on his return to MotoGP after recovering from an injury.

Jorge Martin then takes provisional pole away from Bezzecchi just before the riders came back to the garages for a tire change.

Instead of waiting to rejoin the track with everyone else, Pecco Bagnaia came out early to enjoy a complete empty track. However, he was soon joined by Marc Marquez and Bagnaia didn’t hide his frustrations at this, waving to the Spaniard and angrily gesturing to him.

Despite being forced to tow the Spaniard round the track, Bagnaia’s pace was blistering and he crossed the line to set the first ever 1:44 lap at Mugello, smashing the previous lap record. Marc Marquez, however, had to settle for 2nd as he was 0.078s behind the reigning championship

Luca Marini had his previously-cancelled lap time reinstated after the session, gifting 4th place back to him. Aleix Espargaro faced opposite luck – he looked set for a front row start but as the other riders set flying laps, he was eventually shuffled down to 8th.

Full Starting Grid
1st Pecco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo
2nd Marc Marquez Repsol Honda
3rd Alex Marquez Gresini
4th Luca Marini Mooney VR46
5th Jack Miller Red Bull KTM
6th Jorge Martin Prima Pramac
7th Marco Bezzzecchi Mooney VR46
8th Aleix Espargaro Aprilia
9th Johann Zarco Prima Pramac
10th Alex Rins LCR Honda
11th Brad Binder Red Bull KTM
12th Enea Bastianini Ducati Lenovo
13th Maverick Vinales Aprilia
14th Franco Morbidelli Monster Yamaha
15th Fabio Quartararo Monster Yamaha
16th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
17th Michele Pirro Aruba.it
18th Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF
19th Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini
20th Raul Fernandez CryptoDATA RNF
21st Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3
22nd Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia
23rd Jonas Folger GASGAS Tech3

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Alex Marquez Claims Maiden Pole in Argentina

Alex Marquez battled his way through a rainy Q1 session, a crash and a burning bike to claim his maiden MotoGP pole at the Argentinian GP. He will be joined on the front row by Marco Bezzecchi and Pecco Bagnaia – it was the riders who made the brave move to use slicks tires on a drying track that came out on top.

Alex Marquez has made his way through all the barriers that Saturday could throw at him to secure himself pole position for the Sprint and Feature race at this weekend’s Argentinian GP. He came through a wet qualifying session, in which he crashed in the final minutes and then pulled off the track with a bike in flames, to lay down a stunning time of 1:43.881.

Just 0.172s behind him was last weekend’s podium sitter, Marco Bezzecchi on the Mooney VR46 machine. He has clearly capitalised on the momentum he found in the first race of the season.

Just behind them was reigning champion and championship leader, Pecco Bagnaia. He took his time warming up in the session but seemed to come alive during his final flying lap. He was also the first of a series of brave riders to try slick tires on the drying track.

It was a good day for Franco Morbidelli and Maverick Vinales who will line up on the grid in 4th and 5th respectively. Just behind them with be Johann Zarco in 6th, who many tipped for a pole position today, and Luca Marini in 7th. Rounding out the top 10 are Jorge Martin, Aleix Espargaro and Fabio Quartararo.

Image Credit: MotoGP
QUALIFYING 1

There were some big names in Qualifying 1 today – a session that saw rain falling for most of the 15 minutes. Those names included Fabio Quatararo, Jack Miller, Brad Binder and Alex Marquez. The first sessions started with a mistake from Quartararo as he went too deep in to turn 5 and ploughed into the kitty litter at quite some speed. Despite the mistake, Quartararo spent most of the session at the top of the timing sheets, having laid down a time of 1:47.397 with 9 minutes remaining on the clock.

Marquez then took over at the top with 3 and a half minutes remaining. With lots of other riders improving in the dying minutes of the session, including Fabio Di Giannantonio and Joan Mir, Quartararo’s progression to Q2 was looking uncertain. Miller took a riskier approach, only giving him one opportunity for a flying lap. That approach didn’t seem to work for the Aussie who was stuck in 5th, only to be demoted to 6th after Binder took 5th from him.

As the session ended, it was Alex Marquez and Quartararo in 1st and 2nd respectively and both were promoted to the Q2 session.

QUALIFYING 2

As Q2 started, the conditions were improving and the track was drying quickly. Despite that, the pack started on wet tires and all were quickly on the track to try and test out the conditions. As everyone completed their first flying laps, Johann Zarco was the first to take provisional pole, just ahead of the two Yamaha riders with Franco Morbidelli in 2nd and Quartararo in 3rd. Championship leader, Bagnaia, had a slow start to the session with his first flying lap leaving him in 8th.

With 6 minutes left on the clock, all the riders headed back to the pits with a few brave riders then opting that the track was ready slick tires. Of these riders was Bagnaia who was the first to explore the track conditions on slick tires – the bike kept twitching and wobbling underneath him and it looked like he had made the leap just a little too soon.

But the lap times started to tumble as the conditions improved and, as the chequered flag fell, it was those on slick tires who topped the timing sheets. Bravery paid off!

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

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