MotoGP: Martin Wins Breathtaking Race in Thailand

Jorge Martin has taken possibly the best win of his career, eventually coming out on top ahead of his nearest championship rider and one of the hardest racers on the grid. He celebrated like he had won the title, showing just how crucial this victory is for his championship campaign.

With the top three riders covered by less than 0.3 sections, we spent most of the race not knowing who was going to come out on top. Eventually, it was Jorge Martin who came out on top. He battled hard but it was a clean and mistake-free final lap that eventually gave him the win.

Brad Binder fought hard to cross the line in 2nd – however, he faced a post-race penalty for track limits that ultimately demoted him to 3rd. He left everything out on the track today and, in the latter stages of the race, looked like he could be on for his first win of the season.

Binder’s demotion handed 2nd place to our championship leader, Pecco Bagnaia. It wasn’t an easy race for the Italian, who started in 6th, dropped back to 7th and was forced to fight his way up through this field. It was a brilliant recovery rider that allowed him to keep the lead in the title fight, with the final 3 races of the season left.

 

Bagnaia now has just a 13 point lead over Martin, with his lead being cut by 14 points across this weekend. It is looking more likely than ever that this championship will continue to be fought until the final race of the season in Valencia.

Alex Marquez should have been on the podium but he crashed out on lap 14, whilst running 3rd. He was the only rider with a medium rear tire (everyone else ran a hard rear tire) which could have caused his mid-race mistake.

It was a positive day for Fabio Quartararo and Marc Marquez, who came home in 6th and 7th respectively – both riders seem to have found their groove again this weekend and laid down some brilliant moves that showed us why they are champions in their own right.

The top 10 was rounded out by Fabio Di Giannantonio in 9th, who is still desperately seeking a rider for 2024, and Johann Zarco in 10th, who had a difficult day after the highs of his maiden win last weekend.

Image Credit: MotoGP on X
MOMENTUM SHIFT?

Watching Jorge Martin’s celebrations during the cooldown lap and when he returned to parc ferme, you would be forgiven for thinking he had won the championship today. He ripped the windshield off his bike and his visor off his helmet as he celebrated. Instead, he just closed the gap to Pecco Bagnaia by 5 points. However, this race felt like so much more than 25 points.

After two difficult races, with a crash in Indonesia and a bad choice of tires in Australia, it was crucial for Martin to come back stronger than ever. He could have crumbled under the pressure and handed the control over to Bagnaia, but he seems to have come back stronger than ever. This was just the weekend he needed with a dominant sprint race win and today’s breathtaking performance.

Meanwhile, Bagnaia looked very subdued and quiet during the post-race celebrations today. He is still leading the championship fight but he certainly doesn’t look comfortable or confident ahead of the last 3 races of the year.

Regardless of who wins the title, this race is clearly a crucial moment in the championship battle and one we will likely look back on as pivotal in the fight.

 

BEST RACE OF THE SEASON?

Many people across social media and throughout the paddock have hailed this the best race of the season. Seeing the riders watching the key race action in the cool down room, before their podium celebrations, it’s clear that their reactions also matched this.

With just 0.25 seconds covering the top 3 riders as they met the chequered flag, this is the 4th closest podium in the premier class’ history. But this race was so much more than just the top 3 riders – there were battles up and down the field with aggressive, experienced and beautiful moves being made almost every lap.

At one point in the race, Pecco Bagnaia was stuck down in 7th place and seemed unable to make any moves of those ahead of him. To pull it back and salvage a 2nd place, that was almost a race win, shows how phenomenal his performance was. We also had the joy of seeing previous champions, Fabio Quartararo and Marc Marquez enjoying some exciting battles within the top 10.

For so many reasons, this race will clearly go down in history books, with action from start to finish and rider’s prowess shining through.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP on X

MotoGP: Martin Takes Dominant Sprint Win in Thailand

Jorge Martin has enjoyed a strong Saturday at the Thai GP – he took pole in the morning and followed this up with a very dominant performance in the sprint race. He flew off the line, led every lap, and eventually crossed the line 0.9 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

After a difficult race in Phillip Island, Jorge Martin has quickly bounced back today at the Chang International Circuit to take his fifth consecutive sprint race win. It was a truly dominant ride after he flew off the line and quickly put clean air between him and the rest of the field. No one could come close to him as he enjoyed a 1+ second lead for the majority of the race.

Our championship leader, Pecco Bagnaia, had a much more difficult day – he arrived in Thailand with a 27 point lead in the championship. However, after coming home in 7th, this has dropped to just 18 points. With 136 points still up for grabs, the 2023 title could go to either rider!

Martin was joined on the podium by Brad Binder, in 2nd, and Luca Marini in 3rd. It was a strong race for both of them as they looked to have good pace and enjoyed a tussle for 2nd place.

Marc Marquez came home in 4th place, after an aggressive last lap fight with Aleix Espargaro. It was a final corner move from Marquez that forced Espargaro to have to settle for 5th.

Image Credit: MotoGP on X
AS IT HAPPENED

Despite rain being forecast for today, the sprint race took place under glorious sunshine. We started with Jorge Martin on pole and championship leader, Pecco Bagnaia starting in 6th.

As the lights went out, Luca Marini, who started in 2nd, did try to take the lead of the race. He pulled up alongside Martin off the line but Martin was clearly ahead by the first corner. By the end of the first lap, Martin was already leading by 0.6 seconds.

It was a very difficult start for Bagnaia who quickly dropped down the order. There was an aggressive early move from Johann Zarco to take 8th away from Bagnaia. A few corners later, Fabio Quartararo made a similar move and pushed Bagnaia down to 10th.

As everyone settled in to the race, we had Martin leading, with Marini in 2nd, Aleix Espargaro in 3rd, Brad Binder in 4th, Marc Marquez in 5th and Marco Bezzecchi in 6th. Just behind them were Alex Marquez, Zarco, Quartararo and Bagnaia who were all battling hard 7th.

On lap 2, Binder shoved his bike up the inside of Espargaro for 3rd. Marc Marquez made a similar move a few corners later and pushed Espargaro down further to 5th.

It was on this same lap that we had our first crash of the race, with Takaaki Nakagami going down at turn 12. He was able to rejoin the race but wasn’t able to make any moves up through the field.

On the following lap, at turn 15, Bezzecchi took 6th position back from Alex Marquez who had bested him on the lap before. This now left Marquez and Zarco battling hard for 7th. After losing a place to Zarco, Marquez came back past him, pushing his way up the inside at turn 12. This move sent both Marquez and Zarco wide, gifting a lucky 7th place to Bagnaia who flew past them both as they rejoined the racing line. This battle allows Marc Marquez, in 6th, to pull out a 1.5 second gap ahead.

Just ahead, on lap 5, Binder in 3rd was now hot on the tail of Marini in 2nd. Binder finally makes a move on the following lap but he goes wide and allows Marini to instantly come back through. It was lap 7 when Binder was finally able to take, and hold, 2nd place. He came through on the final corner in a very tight and aggressive move. All this battling has allowed Espargaro, behind them in 4th, to close the gap down to 0.2 seconds. However, ahead of them all, Martin was now leading by 1.6 seconds.

On the same lap, Augusto Fernandez became the first rider to retire. He went down at the final corner, turn 12, and was unable to rejoin the race. Then, on lap 10, Fabio Di Giannantonio faced a similar fate and was forced to head to the pits and retire the bike after a technical issue.

Meanwhile, on lap 5, Marquez takes 5th place away from Bezzecchi. A few laps later, the VR46 rider ten has Bagnaia all over the back of him too.

On the final lap of the race, and with Martin simply cruising to the line, the drama was still unfolding further down the field. At turn 3, Espargaro goes wide and lets Marquez through for 4th. As Espargaro attempts to regain the position, the pair bump into each other. Espargaro is only ahead for a short while as, on the final corner of the race, Marquez makes a stunning move up the inside to stead 4th as the pair cross the line – a fantastic photo finish!

Image Credit: MotoGP on X

Feature Image Credit: Prima Pramac on X

MotoGP: Espargaro Wins Stunning British Grand Prix

There were times when it felt like we were watching a Moto3 race today at Silverstone – there was drama up and down the grid and 5 riders all in contention for the win when we reached the final lap.

Aleix Espargaro has won the British grand prix at Silverstone in stunning fashion. Despite starting the race in 12th, he quietly made his way up the field, capitalised on others crashing, and then found himself in the leading group of four. There was plenty of tussling and battling but he kept his eyes on race leader Pecco Bagnaia to then make a move on the final lap of the race.

Bagnaia ended the day in 2nd, despite looking pretty untouchable and dominant for much of the race.

In the early stages, the reigning champion had been battling with title rival, Marco Bezzecchi. However, the VR46 rider made a crucial error when chasing down Bagnaia and crashed out at turn 15 of lap 6.

The final podium position was taken by Brad Binder, who mastered the tricky weather conditions and used them to his advantage. As others tiptoed round the circuit, making cautious moves, he threw his KTM machine around on his way up to 3rd.

Binder enjoyed a lot of battles with Miguel Oliveira, who is back this weekend after taking some time out due to an injury. He was very close to the final podium spot as well as Maverick Vinales. The pair eventually came home 4th and 5th respectively.

As is becoming so normal now on race day, Jack Miller flew off the start line and was an early leader. However, he began to drop back a little bit and then, on lap 3, Vinales made an aggressive move up the inside as the pair were fighting for 4th. This move pushed Miller out wide and dropped him back to 14th. He eventually finished the day in 8th.

Rain started to fall on lap 13 of 20. Four riders opted to change bike and run the wet tires, including Fabio Di Giannantonio and Franco Morbidelli. However, the gamble didn’t pay off and they all finished at the back of the grid.

Joining them at the back as the checkered flag fell was Fabio Quartararo. But his day wasn’t as bad as it seemed. The Frenchman started the race from last on the grid and worked hard to get himself up to 8th. Whilst fighting with Luca Marini for 7th, the pair collided and he went down at turn 4. He lost much of the carbon fibre off the front of the bike but was able to keep going. He came in to the pits to change his bike and then ended the day 15th. A disappointing result for the Yamaha rider, but he did show glimpses of the old Fabio today.

There were further DNFs for Alex Marquez who retired with a technical failure on lap 5. It looked as though his gear linkage was broken as he limped his way back to the garage.

His brother, Marc Marquez, also failed to meet the checkered flag. He was battling with Enea Bastianini at Maggotts and Becketts when the two collided and both went down – it seems they were just making moves that were too risky when the track was greasy and wet.

Full Results
1st Aleix Espargaro Aprilia
2nd Pecco Bagnaia Ducati
3rd Brad Binder KTM
4th Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF
5th Maverick Vinales Aprilia
6th Jorge Martin Prima Pramac
7th Luca Marini Mooney VR46
8th Jack Miller KTM
9th Johann Zarco Prima Pramac
10th Raul Fernandez CryptoDATA RNF
11th Augusto Fernandez GASGASG Tech3
12th Pol Espargaro GASGASG Tech3
13th Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini
14th Franco Morbidelli Yamaha
15th Fabio Quartararo Yamaha
16th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
17th Icer Lecuona LCR Honda

DNFs = Joan Mir (Repsol Honda), Alex Marquez (Gresini), Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Enea Bastianini (Ducati)

Championship Standings
1st Pecco Bagnaia 214 Points
2nd Jorge Martin 173 Points
3rd Marco Bezzecchi 167 Points
4th Brad Binder 131 Points
5th Johann Zarco 122 Point

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Bagnaia Takes Dominant Win as Podium Changes After Flag for DutchGP

In the last race before the 5-week summer break, the iconic Assen TT circuit has given us another brilliant race with difficult conditions and a close field to overcome.

Pecco Bagnaia has mastered the tricky, hot track conditions at the DutchGP to take a truly dominant victory. He led almost every lap of the race on his way to extending his championship lead.

After his brilliant pole positions and sprint race win, Marco Bezzecchi was thrilled with another podium today as he came home in 2nd place. He dropped back to 3rd at the race start, giving himself the challenge of fighting with Brad Binder for 2nd.

It was Binder who crossed the line in 3rd but, after a dramatic post-flag penalty for exceeding track limits, he was demoted to 4th. Replays showed that the South African touched the green part of the kerb with a fraction of his front tire – however, this was enough to set off the sensors and land him a penalty. He will feel very hard done by after facing the same fate in yesterday’s sprint race – It was the same kerb at the same part of the race that saw him miss out on a podium.

This meant that Aleix Espargraro was promoted to the 3rd place after a really positive race for the Aprilia rider. This is his first podium of the year – a surprise to many after his very strong showing at pre-season testing. He will be hoping to carry this momentum through the summer break and on to Silverstone in 5 weeks time. It was an impressive run for Espgararo who was nursing an injured bike after contact with Luca Marini’s rear tire at the start of the race.

Image Credit: MotoGP

It was a much more difficult day for Jack Miller, celebrating his 200th race, and Johann Zarco, celebrating his 250th race. Miller was the first rider to go down on lap 2, followed by Zarco, who was taken out by Fabio Quartararo on lap 3.

In the end, we only had 14 riders complete the full 26 lap race thanks to a number of riders falling victim to the 50-degree track temperatures and the numerous issues this caused.

As It Happened

As the riders made their way on to the grid, we were able to see their tire choices and how the riders were aiming to tackle the undoubtedly hot and greasy track conditions – tires were always going to prove crucial today. All riders, except two, were on the hard front tires. Half the grid then opted for a soft rear tire, the other half opting for a medium rear. Most notably were Brad Binder and Jack Miller who had opted for that soft rear – it looked as though they were aimed for a strong start to the race with that choice.

The lights went out and, as anticipated, there was quickly a lot of action up and down the grid. Polesitter, Marco Bezzecchi was swallowed by the chasing pack and quickly dropped down to 3rd. Binder, in typical Binder fashion, had a flying start. He saw a small gap on the inside of turn 1 and made a very late move, throwing his bike up and into the lead.

Further back, Jack Miller was sitting in 8th and hunting down Maverick Vinales in 7th. He then made a move on the start-finish straight at the start of lap 2. However, as Vinales tried to retake the position, Miller lost the bike under him slid out into the gravel at turn 1. Thanks to this clear air, Vinales was able to then take fastest lap.

It wasn’t long before the next incident and on lap 3, Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco went down at turn 7- the fastest part of the track. The replays showed that the front of Quartararo’s bike folded underneath him and he collected Zarco as he went down. It was clearly a huge impact for both riders, who looked battered and bruised. Quartararo was then helped out of the gravel as he limped away.

It was on the same lap that Pecco Bagnaia stole the lead away from Binder.

One more lap later, it was Vinales’ turn to go down. He was making moves up the field but sadly went down at turn 8. That’s four riders going down across 3 laps!

All these incidents helped to promote Jorge Martin, Miguel Oliveira and Alex Marquez who were running in 6th, 7th and 8th respectively. There was now a huge battle for 5th place, with 6 riders all in the fight. On lap 6, Luca Marini, who had been leading this pack, fell back from 5th to 10th in the space on one corner. This meant that Aleix Espargaro, running in a comfortable 4th, was gifted a 2.5s gap over this fighting group.

On lap 7, Enea Bastianini crashed out at turn 5 whilst running in 8th – he tried to get the bike back up and running again but it was a lost cause as the flames started to appear at the back of the Ducati machine.

At the midpoint of the race, we still had Bagnaia leading the field, with Binder hot on his tail in 2nd. Binder was able to gain a huge amount on the leader in every breaking zone, but wasn’t able to convert this into a move for the lead.

Everything across the field seemed to calm down as we drew ever closer to the chequered flag. The biggest drama came when Oliveira, running in 10th, made a mistake at turn 15. He then retired a lap later, suggesting it was a mechanical issue. A few laps later, we then had Iker Lecuona drop to the back of the field before also retiring with a mechanical issue. Lecuona is here this weekend to stand in for the injured Joan Mir.

With the laps ticking down now, Bezzecchi decided now was the time to make a move and lay down his intentions to win. On lap 17 of 26, he made a move on Binder, who tried hard to counter this. This battle then gave a 1.2s lead for Bagnaia.

Bezzecchi, now in 2nd and with some clean air in front of him, was gaining between 0.3s and 0.4s per lap on Bagnaia and looked like he might be making a late move for the victory.

After losing 2nd place, Binder was now in 3rd and falling back in to the clutches of Espargaro who was desperately seeking his first podium of the year.

There were gaps forming between most riders on the grid now and it appeared that the hot track conditions were hampering everyone from making late moves.

This meant that nothing changed on the track and Bagnaia took the chequered flag, ahead of Bezzcchi and Binder. Espargaro came home in 4th, but would soon be promoted to 3rd after Binder’s last lap penalty for track limits.

Jorge Martin, despite a difficult weekend where he seemed to be quite off the pace, came home in 5th. He was just ahead of Alex Marquez in 6th, Luca Marini in 7th and Takaaki Nakagami in 8th. Rounding out the top 10 were Franco Morbidelli in 9th and Augusto Fernandez in 10th.

Full Results
1 Pecco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo
2 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46
3 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia
4 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM
5 Jorge Martin Prima Pramac
6 Alex Marquez Gresini Racing
7 Luca Marini Mooney VR46
8 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
9 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha
10 Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3
11 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia
12 Raul Fernandez CryptoDATA RNF
13 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda
14 Jonas Folger GASGAS Tech3
Championship Standings
1 Pecco Bagnaia 194 points
2 Jorge Martin 159 points
3 Marco Bezzecchi 158 points
4 Brad Binder 114 points
5 Johann Zarco 109 points

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Magnificent Martin Dominates Sprint Race in Le Mans

Le Mans has given us another action-packed sprint race, with breathtaking battles from start to finish. Our winner, Jorge Martin was simply peerless today, whilst Pecco Bagnaia and Marc Marquez, who is back to his old ways after 3 races away, jostled for the majority of the race.

Jorge Martin was in a league of his own on his way to win the sprint race at the French GP in Le Mans. Having started the race in 5th, he enjoyed a brilliant start and was up to 2nd before the exit of turn 1. It was then lap 4 when he finally took the lead and he never looked back, quickly building a gap between himself and his nearest competitors. As the chequered flag fell, he wheelied across the line to take a dominant victory.

Brad Binder took a well-deserved 2nd place today, taking advantage of a race-long battle between Marc Marquez and Pecco Bagnaia. As the pair were fighting, he snuck up the inside to claim second place and, much like our race winner, was able to quickly put clear air behind him. However, that gap ahead was always just slightly too big and he couldn’t find a way to take the fight to Martin.

Championship leader and today’s pole sitter, Bagnaia, came home in 3rd after that race-long battle with Marquez. The pair were jostling for most of the race, closely on each other’s tail and making aggressive moves to try and best each other. It looked as though it might end in disaster multiple times but, eventually, it was the Italian who eventually came out on top.

After 7 breathtaking laps of fighting and overtaking, it was on lap 10 of 13 that he finally made his way past Marquez and made sure to quickly shut the door to avoid any counter-attacks. The nail-biting fight was then quickly over as Bagnaia pulled ahead of Marquez to put clean air between the pair.

Marquez, who is back on the grid after missing the previous 3 races, eventually ended the day in 5th. It seemed that he may have started to fatigue at the same time as Bagnaia’s tyres came into their sweet spot – a bad combination but he will have plenty of positives to take away from his performance today, ahead of tomorrow’s main race.

It looked like this potential fatiguing then made Marquez a bit of a sitting duck for Luca Marini, who was able to make his way up to 4th on lap 11. Marini has enjoyed a fantastic day, progressing from Q1 to then secure 3rd in Q2. He lost a few places at the start of the spring race but more than made up for this with his performance towards the end of the race.

It was a tougher day for Jack Miller and home hero Fabio Quatararo, who both failed to meet the chequered flag.

Miller enjoyed a brilliant start, flying off the line to steal 3rd from Marini early on. The Aussie, who has previously enjoyed a lot of success in sprint races, couldn’t emulate that success today as he went down in the middle of Museum Corner on the second lap. He was visibly frustrated to make an error that ended his race so prematurely.

Then, on lap 10, Quartararo went down at the same corner. The bike just folded underneath him as he helplessly slid into the gravel. The home crowd were clearly disappointed as a stunned silence fell over the grandstands. Today has been a difficult day for the Frenchman – a day that has gone from bad to worse after his inability to progress out of Q1.

The final points-scoring positions were filled by Johann Zarco, Marco Bezzecchi, Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales in 6th to 9th respectively. Vinales had a terrible qualifying session where a bike issue hampered his second run whilst he was sat in provisional pole – it is certainly a day of “what if’s” for the Spaniard.

The main race will take place at 2pm local time on Sunday. If the sprint race is anything to go by, it should be a race filled with action and drama!

Full Results
1st Jorge Martin Prima Prama
2nd Brad Binder Red Bull KTM +1.840s
3rd Pecco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo +2.632s
4th Luca Marini Monney VR46 +3.418s
5th Marc Marquez Repsol Honda +3.541s
6th Johann Zarco Prima Pramac +4.483s
7th Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 +5.224s
8th Aleix Espargaro Aprilia +6.359s
9th Maverick Vinales Aprilia +8.336s
10th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda +9.439s
11th Alex Rins LCR Honda +12.388s
12th Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini +14.125s
13th Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha +15.121
14th Joan Mir Repsol Honda +15.383
15th Alex Marquez Gresini +15.591
16th Danilo Petrucci Ducati Lenovo +19.415
17th Lorenzo Savadori CryptoDATA RNF +26.992
DNF Fabio Quatararo Monster Energy Yamaha
DNF Jonas Folger GASGAS Tech3
DNF Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3
DNF Jack Miller Red Bull KTM

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

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