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: Martin Wins Sprint Race in Indonesia, Giving Him The Championship Lead

For the first time this season, Pecco Bagnaia is no longer leading the championship standings. After winning today’s Sprint Race, Jorge Martin now leads the title race by 7 points! He was joined on the podium by both VR46 riders, Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi.

We have reached a crucial point in the season now – Indonesia is the first venue for the final 6 races of the season and marks the countdown to the end of the year. We have two triple-headers now, which can make or break a rider’s championship hopes.

Today’s Sprint Race was won by the rider who is currently riding high on momentum, and the points haul has given him the top spot in the championship standings. This is the first time in 2023 that Pecco Bagnaia has not topped the standings.

Jorge Martin showed his prowess today as he fought his way through from 6th on the grid to be leading the race by lap 5.

Joining him on the podium were both VR46 riders who have both had recent surgery on their collar bones, making their double podium even more impressive. Luca Marini, who started on pole, came home 2nd with Marco Bezzecchi less than a second behind him.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Maverick Vinales led the race in the early stages but eventually slipped back and ended the race in 4th. He looked to be struggling on his Aprilia machine, with the front of the bike not where he would want it to be. This saw him going wide in a number of corners and that’s what saw him ultimately miss out on a podium.

Fabio Quartararo came home in an promising 5th place, just ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio. This was the best race result of the season for the Gresini rider who is, at the moment, without a ride for the 2024 season.

The two Ducati riders were next to see the checkered flag, with Enea Bastianini in 7th, returning from his crash in Catalunya and Pecco Bagnaia in 8th, unable to make any significant moves in the race. Rounding out the points-finishing position, in 9th, was Jack Miller and his Red Bull KTM machine.

AS IT HAPPENED

As the lights went out it was Luca Marini, our pole sitter, who flew off the line and led the field off the grid. At turn 1, Maverick Vinales made an aggressive move up the inside of the leader to take over at the front.

It was a bad start for his teammate Aleix Espargaro, who quickly dropped from 3rd to 6th. This promoted Fabio Quartararo up to 3rd but it was clear he was lacking pace and that held up the rest of the field behind him. With clear air ahead of him, Vinales and Marini were able to break away from the pack.

On turn 11 of the first lap, Marc Marquez found himself in the kitty litter as the rear end let go and the bike just slid out from underneath him.

Jorge Martin quickly made his way past Quartararo and in to 3rd, with a move at turn 10 on lap 2. He quickly got his head down and began chasing down the leading pair.

A few corners later, whilst making a move up the inside of Brad Binder for 5th place, Espargaro’s bike slid out from underneath him and he took Binder down with him. The incident was under investigation for a short while, before the Stewards quickly decided there was no penalty necessary.

Image Credit: MotoGP

These two DNFs promoted Pecco Bagnaia up to 9th and in to the points. Meanwhile, Martin, his championship rival was setting fastest laps and getting ever closer to the leading two riders.

On lap 5, Martin was finally able to make a move past Marini and took over in 2nd place.

At the halfway point, Vinales continued to lead the race and was 0.8 seconds ahead of the rest. Martin was in 2nd, with Marini and Marco Bezzeccho in 3rd and 4th.

By lap 9, the gap at the front was down to 0.2s and that allowed Martin to throw his bike down the inside of Vinales to snatch the lead with a very risky and aggressive move.

Vinales seemed to be facing a few issues in the closing stages of the race and was going wide in multiple corners as the front of the bike seemed to get away from him. This left him vulnerable to the two VR46 riders.

Exactly one lap after he lost the lead to Martin, Vinales then lost 2nd place to Marini. The move was an exact mirror image on Martin’s move, with Marini throwing it up the inside at turn 10.

Across the line to start lap 11 and Bezzcchi was now dicing with Vinales as the Aprilia rider continued to slip backwards. However, it wasn’t until turn 10 of the final lap when he was able to get past and take the final podium position spot.

FULL RESULTS
1st Jorge Martin Prima Pramac
2nd Luca Marini Mooney VR46
3rd Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46
4th Maverick Vinales Aprilia
5th Fabio Quartararo Yamaha
6th Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini
7th Enea Bastianini Ducati
8th Pecco Bagnaia Ducati
9th Jack Miller Red Bull KTM
10th Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF
11th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
12th Johann Zarco Prima Pramac
13th Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3
14th Raul Fernandez CryptoDATA RNF
15th Franco Morbidelli Yamaha
16th Joan Mir Repsol Honda
17th Pol Espargaro GASGAS Tech3
18th Alex Rins LCR Honda
19th Brad Binder Red Bull KTM

DNF = Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda).

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Espargaro Takes the Double In Catalunya

After last year’s counting error that saw Aleix Espargaro celebrate too early and lose the victory, it was redemption day for the Aprilia rider as he finally claimed victory at his home race. Espargaro was riding high from victory in Saturday’s sprint race and pulled off nearly the exact same move to take the lead of the race with only 3 laps remaining.

Despite leading the first 20 laps of the race, Maverick Vinales came home in 2nd. However, it wasn’t a difficult result as he celebrated giving Aprilia their first ever 1-2 finish.

Jorge Martin rounded out the podium finishers, coming home in 3rd, after a positive day for the Pramac team.

The day was not without drama – an early red flag was waved after multiple riders crashed at turn 1. The domino-effect incident saw Enea Bastianini, Johann Zarco, Alex Marquez, Marco Bezzecchi and Fabio Di Giannantonio all in the gravel before completing a single corner.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Moments later, our reigning champion and current championship leader, Pecco Bagnaia faced a huge highside which left him stranded in the middle of the track. Brad Binder, unable to avoid him, scarily ran over the Italian’s legs and left him writhing around in pain.

Both Bagnaia and Bastianini were taken to hospital and post-race statements followed. Bagnaia has luckily escaped with very minor injuries and Bastianini suffered a fracture to his ankle and hand.

AS IT HAPPENED

As the lights went out at the start of the race, it was a good start for Pecco Bagnaia who was able remain at the front of the pack after starting on pole. However, it was a poor start for Aleix Espargaro who was quickly lost in the field and going backwards.

Enea Bastianini enjoyed a positive start but, as he made his way up the inside of turn 1, he crashed in to the side of Johann Zarco and caused a domino effect. Zarco then crashed in to Alex Marquez, who crashed in to Marco Bezzecchi, who crashed in to Fabio Di Giannantonio.

Whilst those riders were in the gravel at the outside of turn 1, Bagnaia faced an enormous highside and landed in the middle of the track. Brad Binder was unable to avoid the stranded champion and, in a scary moment, ran over Bagnaia’s legs.

The red flag was quickly waved and the amazing medical team were instantly on the scene. Bagnaia spent some time receiving treatment on the track, before being taken to the medical centre and then the local hospital. Bastianini was also injured and took a trip to the hospital for further checks.

Now, with just 23 laps to race, the riders made their way back on to the grid. Luckily, all other riders were able to make it back to the garages under their own steam which allowed them to rejoin the race when it restarted 20 minutes later. Only Bagnaia and Bastianini were missing.

As the lights went out for the second time, Espargaro had a much better start this time away and managed to lead the pack through a clean, drama-free first corner. It was also a positive start for Jorge Martin, who leapt from 5th to 3rd, and Jack Miller, who leapt from 12th to 5th.

However, but turn 2, his Aprilia teammate snatched away the lead and Vinales took over at the front of the pack. Martin’s positive race start continued as he made his way past Espargaro and in to 2nd.

Before lap 1 ended, Pol Espargaro was forced to retire with mechanical failure.

Meanwhile, his brother was trying to make moves to regain 2nd place from Martin. He was right on the tail of the Pramac rider but wasn’t able to make anything stick. That was until lap 3 when he pulled up the inside of Martin at turn 10. By turn 12, he had made his way past and was in 2nd place, chasing down his teammate in the lead. It wouldn’t be an easy task as Vinales set the fastest lap in response.

On lap 4, Miguel Oliveira made his way past Martin for 3rd, making in an Aprilia 1-2-3!

On the same lap, Binder was forced to retire with technical problems. It was suspected that he had laid down a lot of oil prior to the red flag so it seemed to be a persistent issue for his KTM.

Riders up and down the grid were now settling in to their race and Vinales was slowly pulling our a lead ahead of the chasing pack. By lap 5, he was 0.3 seconds ahead for Espargaro, who was in turn a further 0.5 seconds ahead of Oliveira.

There was action further down the grid with Augusto Fernandez battling with Marc Marquez for 10th place, and Alex Marquez battling with Jack Miller for 6th.

On lap 10, Oliveira lost out on a podium place to Martin, but was able to stay close on his tail. He clearly wasn’t giving up easily, having worked so hard in the early stages.

On the same lap, we had our third rieder retire with mechanical problems – this time is was Raul Fernandez who was limping to the pits after just enjoying a battle with Marc Marquez for 11th.

At the halfway point, with 12 laps completed, Vinales now had a 1.2 second lead over Espargaro, who then had a 2 second gap over Martin. It was at this point that Espargaro seemed to wake up and was suddenly chasing down his teammate at a rapid pace.

Image Credit: MotoGP

By lap 15, thanks to lapping faster than his teammate, Espargaro had now cut the gap down to 0.5 seconds. On lap 18, with just 6 laps to go, Espargaro was finally on his tail.

Espargaro waited patiently and, on lap 20, he came up alongside Vinales on the start-finish straight. The Aprilia pair almost came together at turn 1 and Vinales went wide. That instantly gave Espargaro the space he needed to check out at the front of the field. With only 3 laps left, there was nothing Vinales could do to close the gap.

It ended up being a comfortable victory for Espargaro who was already on a high from winning Saturday’s sprint race!

FULL RESULTS
1st Aleix Espargaro Aprilia
2nd Maverick Vinales Aprilia
3rd Jorge Martin Prima Pramac
4th Johann Zarco Prima Pramac
5th Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF
6th Alex Marquez Gresini
7th Fabio Quartararo Yamaha
8th Jack Miller Red Bull KTM
9th Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3
10th Rabio Di Giannantonio Gresini
11th Luca Marini Mooney VR46
12th Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46
13th Marc Marquez Repsol Honda
14th Franco Morbidelli Yamaha
15th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
16th Iker Lecuona LCR Honda
17th Joan Mir Repsol Honda

DNF: Raul Fernadez (CryptoDATA RNF), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Tech3), Enea Bastianini (Ducati), Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati)

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1st Pecco Bagnaia 260 points
2nd Jorge Martin 210 points
3rd Marco Bezzecchi 189 points
4th Brad Binder 166 points
5th Aleix Espargaro 154 points

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Martin Takes Breathtaking Win In Germany

Sachensring has gifted us a remarkable race this weekend between our two championship contenders. The battle lasted for the entirety of the race, culminated in last-lap contact, and ended with our 4 different race winner across 7 races,

For the first time in over 2 years, Jorge Martin can enjoy the view from the top step of the podium after winning the German GP. It might be only his second victory in the premier class but he laid down a stunning performance to hold off the attack from reigning champion, Pecco Bagnaia. He eventually crossed the line a mere 0.6s ahead of Bagnaia to add 25 points to his championship hopes.

Despite starting in pole position, Bagnaia was forced to settle for 2nd today. He sat at the front of the field for much of the early stages of the race but soon found himself in a fierce battle with Martin.

When Martin took the lead for the first time on lap 3, he was setting blisteringly fast lap times that matched the pace we saw in Saturday’s qualifying. This allowed him to pull out a comfortable lead of 0.5s, after leading for just one lap. He then continued to lead until lap 21 when Bagnaia was able to sneak past him. However, he wasn’t able to pull away by much and Martin stayed hot on his tail before regaining the lead at the final sector of lap 24.

With the lap counter rapidly ticking down, thanks to the shortest track of the year, Bagnaia was achingly close to Martin’s rear wheel. He didn’t let the Spanish rider out of his side and stayed hot on his tail. That was until the penultimate lap when Bagnaia made an uncharacteristic mistake and bumped Martin’s rear wheel. The impact of this contact saw Bagnaia drop back and almost ended his hopes of a race win. He had just one final lap to close the gain and regain the lead – he fought as hard as he could but simply couldn’t get close enough. He made a run on Martin over the finish line but Martin managed to stay 0.064s ahead to take the win.

Image Credit: @DucatiCorse on Twitter

Joining them on the podium was Johan Zarco on the Prima Pramac machine. The Frenchman is becoming quite accustomed to finishing races in 3rd place. This is the third time in a row he has crossed the line in 3rd and tasted champagne on the podium.

Zarco wasn’t able to fight for 1st or 2nd today as he simply wasn’t able to catch the leading pair. This was despite setting a number of fastest laps in the middle of the race.

Brad Binder was on track to take 3rd after fighting his way up to that position and passing Luca Marini. However, on turn 8 of lap 19, one of the fastest corners on the track, Binder lost control of the bike at the corner entry and went wide. When he tried to save it, he was already in the gravel and he came off the bike with a hard hit. Shortly after he limped off the circuit, he was taken to the medical centre for a check.

After his battle with Binder for that final podium spot, Marini then entered a hot battle with his VR46 teammate, Marco Bezzecchi. In the end, it was Bezzecchi who came out on top and the pair finished in 4th and 5th.

Just behind them, finishing the day in 6th, was Jack Miller. In typical Miller fashion, he started the race incredibly well and quickly got the holeshot on Bagnaia. He lead the first lap before, on lap 2, facing a tank slapper at turn 11. This let the rest of the field catch up to the Aussie and we almost had 4 abreast in to turn 12. In the space of two corners, Miller was shuffled back from 1st to 4th.

It was an enough harder day for Maverick Vinales who was unable to finish the race after his engine went bang on lap 8. He went back to the garage shaking his head – it was a weekend that capped off a recent run of poor performance for Aprilia.

Fabio Quartararo, who won here last year, finished way down in 13th, with his teammate Franco Morbidelli just ahead of him in 12th. But this year, 8 of the top 9 bikes were Ducati, showing just how much progress they have made in the last 12 months.

Overall, the pace was so incredibly fast today that the whole race was 20 seconds faster than last year’s German GP – an astonishing race all round.

Full Standings
1 Jorge Martin Prima Pramac
2 Pecco Bagnaia Lenovo Ducati
3 Johann Zarco Prima Pramac
4 Marco Bexxecchi Mooney VR46
5 Luca Marini Mooney VR46
6 Jack Miller Red Bull KTM
7 Alex Marquez Gresini
8 Enea Bastianini Ducati Lenovo
9 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini
10 Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF
11 Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3
12 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha
13 Fabio Quarataro Monster Energy Yamaha
14 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
15 Raul Fernandez CryptoDATA RNF
16 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia
17 Jonas Folger GASGAS Tech3

DNFs: Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), Maverick Vinales (Aprilia)

Championship Standings
1 Pecco Bagnaia 160 points
2 Jorge Martin 144 points
3 Marco Bezzecchi 126 points
4 Johann Zarco 109 points
5 Brad Binder 96 points

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Martin Sprints to Sachsenring Glory

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.

Image Credit: MotoGP

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!

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.

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
Image Credit: MotoGP

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Bagnaia Tops Off Perfect Weekend in Mugello With A Race Win

After taking pole position and a sprint race win, Pecco Bagnaia has rounded out his home race weekend with a win on Sunday. He took a dominant win, leading every lap of the race after overcoming a short early challenge from Jack Miller. He eventually came over the line 1.067 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.

The Italian rider, celebrating his third race win of the season, made his way to the Bagnaia Fan Club grandstand to enjoy an alfresco hot dog – a very old-school celebration for the reigning champion!

Bagnaia has been able to extend his lead at the top of the championship standings, after a difficult weekend for Marco Bezzecchi, who wasn’t able to make his way any higher than 8th today.

Joining him on the podium were both Prima Pramac riders, Jorge Martin in 2nd and Johann Zarco in 3rd. The veteran Frenchman had to fight hard for a podium today, coming through from 9th on the grid and then battling hard with Luca Marini for much of the latter stages of the race.

After sharing Parc Ferme together, for the first time ever, after qualifying on Saturday, the Marquez brothers faced a far more difficult day today with both Marc and Alex ending up in the gravel. The first crash was from Marc whilst running in 4th. He went down at turn 15 on lap 6 after running a little too wide when chasing down Marini who was running in 3rd. Then, on lap 15, Alex went down at turn 2 whilst running in 3rd and facing a huge amount of pressure from Marini just behind him.

It was also a tricky day for Miller who, despite flying off the start line and leading the race into the first corner, was eventually shuffled back and had to settle for 7th. Fabio Quartararo has really been nowhere this weekend, failing to make it out of Q1, settling for 10th in the sprint race and then, today, finishing the race in 11th.

As It Happened

As the riders went out for their warm-up lap, one of the grandstands could be seen holding red and white cards that spelt “Ducati”. There was certainly a lot of expectation in the air and the crowd were hoping to see their first home-grown winner of the day.

As the lights went out and the race got started, Jack Miller was the rider to get the best start and before the grid had even passed the pit lane exit, he was leading the field. The glory was short-lived as Pecco Bagnaia was back ahead by the following corner.

Jorge Martin was also quick to make moves in the field, flying from his starting place of 6th up to 3rd.

As the first lap ended, with had Bagnaia in the lead, followed by Miller in 2nd, Martin in 3rd, Luca Marini in 4th, Marc Marquez in 5th and Alex Marquez in 6th.

Although things were quickly changing up and down the pack – the most significant move came when Martin took 2nd place away from Miller. Marini tried to follow the Prima Pramac rider through, and Miller and Marini then battling hard for 3rd. This battle let Martin break away ahead of them and he quickly built a 1 second lead over the fighting pair.

By this point in the race, the end of the second lap, Bagnaia already had a 0.4s lead over the rest of the field – he was exactly where he wanted to be, out in clear air and controlling the field with ease.

On the third lap, Marc Marquez seemingly came out of nowhere to make a stunning move that saw him overtake three other bikes. In the same move, his brother Alex Marquez lost control of his bike and in an attempt to stay upright, nearly took Miller out of the race. Miller was quick to show his frustrations and the pair were soon locked in to a tough battle, swapping and changing positions at almost every corner.

At lap 5, Johann Zarco was behind Brad Binder with the pair fighting hard for 7th place. He eventually bested the South African and, on the start-finish straight at the start of lap 6, the pair flew past Miller and shuffled him back down to 8th.

It was shortly after this move, at turn 15 of lap 6, that Marc Marquez ended up in the gravel thanks to going a little wide when trying to take 3rd away from Marini. He was clearly pushing hard on a seemingly mediocre bike and his frustrations were clear for everyone to see.

This gave Marini some breathing room as Marc Marquez was very hot on his tail. However, he was then being followed by the younger Alex Marquez who is an equally ferocious competitor.

It was at this point that everything seemed to settle down across the grid with the only moves coming from Fabio Quartararo, who moved up to 12th on lap 9, and Alex Marquez tussling with Marini for 3rd as well as Zarco starting to close in on Marini for 4th.

At lap 15, the second Marquez brother ended up in the kitty litter with Alex Marquez going down at at turn 2 – it seemed that the pressure he was put under by Marini just became too much for him.

Everyone’s attention then turned to Zarco who was trying hard to claim the final podium spot away from Marini. He made the slip stream work perfectly, getting close behind the VR46 machine, but couldn’t seem to make a move work. That was until lap 18 when a tough battle between the pair ended with Zarco finally on top.

All this battling allowed Martin and Bagnaia to pull away from the field, with Martin 1.9 seconds ahead and Bagnaia a further 1.3 seconds ahead of him.

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

DNFs: Miguel Oliveira (CrypotDATA RNF), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Alex Marquez (Gresini)

Championship Standings
1st Pecco Bagnaia 131 points
2nd Marco Bezzecchi 110 points
3rd Jorge Martin 107 points
4th Brad Binder 92 points
5th Johann Zarco 88 points

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Bezzecchi Wins 1000th MotoGP Race at Le Mans

A crash-filled French GP saw only 13 riders meet the chequered flag. There were hard-fought battles up and down the field and plenty of podium celebrations for our top three riders.

Marco Bezzecchi has taken his second race win of the season, celebrating MotoGP’s 1,000th race from the top step of the podium. He was in a class of his own today, starting from 7th before hitting the front at the mid-point of the race and eventually coming home over 4 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

He was joined on the podium by both Prima Pramac riders, with Jorge Martin 2nd and Johann Zarco in 3rd, much to the delight of his home crowd.

Martin had to fight hard to earn that 2nd place today, fighting with Marc Marquez for much of the race. The pair were jostling and fighting at every corner with Marquez often coming out on top. It was a magnificent defence considering he has been out of action for the last three races due to an injury. However, on lap 26, with just two and a half laps remaining, Marquez could no longer keep the bike upright and he slid out as Museum Corner whilst trying to make the cut back on Martin.

Zarco was able to capitalise on the drama and the crashes around him, keeping his nose clean and quietly making his way up the field to 3rd. The moment he stepped on to the podium, the French crowd erupted as they showed support for their home hero.

It was a harder race for the other home hero, Fabio Quatararo, who started 13th and eventually finished the day in 7th. He was able to keep his nose clean but didn’t make significant enough strides to truly battle with those ahead of him.

The race was full of drama, from start to finish, with nail-biting battles taking place for most of the race. None more so than lap 5 which gave us two enormous crashes between four riders running in the top 10.

Firstly, it was pole-sitter Pecco Bagnaia and Maverick Vinales who found themselves in the gravel. The pair were fighting for the same piece of tarmac and, as Vinales returned to the racing line, the pair bumped into each other. This caused Vinales to lose control of the bike and as his machine was wobbling, he clattered into the side of Bagnaia again and the pair went down. Both were able to walk away from the crash but, in the heat of the moment, they began scrapping and fighting in the gravel.

Then, moments later, Luca Marini lost the front of the bike when he hit a kerb. Alex Marquez then ran into the back of the VR46 machine and they both went down dramatically. This incident left Marquez in the middle of the track but he was thankfully able to move and avoid the on-coming traffic.

It was an equally difficult day for Jack Miller. He started the race in 4th and, in typical Miller style, he flew off the line past pole-sitter Bagnaia and was quickly fighting with Marquez for the lead. He made a brave, aggressive move around the outside of Museum Corner – the same corner where he crashed out of Saturday’s sprint race – and was able to claim the lead on the second lap of the race.

Miller enjoyed the clean air for much of the race, until lap 11 when he began to slide backwards down the field. He eventually ended up back in 9th before sliding out of the race at turn 4 of lap 25. It appeared that he was struggling with a bike issue but this is yet to be confirmed.

It was a dream day for rookie Augusto Fernandez who enjoyed his best result of his MotoGP career so far. He was battling hard with the likes of Aleix Espargaro and Brad Binder before crossing the line in 4th. He received a hero’s welcome in the pit lane, his team clearly delighted with his mature and impressive performance today.

Espgararo ended the day in 5th, just ahead of Binder in 6th. The South African would have been hoping for more today after his exceptional 2nd place finish in yesterday’s sprint race. However, he was forced out wide by Alex Marquez at the start of the race. This shuffled him down to 16th and ultimately ruined his chance of a podium or win.

The top 10 was rounded out by Quatararo in 7th, Fabio Di Giannantonio in 8th followed by Takaaki Nakagami and Franco Morbidelli in 9th and 10th respectively.

We now have a 3-week break before the grid is back in action in Mugello. That’s 3 weeks for today’s winners to revel in their success and our losers to dwell on their difficult weekend.

Full Results
1st Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46
2nd Jorge Martin Prima Pramac +4.256s
3rd Johann Zarco Prima Pramac +4.795s
4th Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3 +6.281s
5th Aleix Espargaro Aprilia +6.726s
6th Brad Binder Red bull KTM +13.638s
7th Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha +15.023s
8th Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini +15.826s
9th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda +16.370s
10th Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha +17.828s
11th Danilo Petrucci Ducati Lenovo +29.735s
12th Lorenzo Savadori CrytoDATA RNF +36.135s
13th Jonas Folger GASGAS Tech3 +49.808s

DNFs = Marc Marquez, Jack Miller, Alex Rins, Joan Mir, Alex Marquez, Luca Marini, Maverick Vinales, Pecco Bagnaia

Championship Standings
1st Pecco Bagnaia 94 points
2nd Marco Bezzecchi 93 points
3rd Brad Binder 81 points
4th Jorge Martin 80 points
5th Johann Zarco 66 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

MotoGP: Bagnaia Takes Dominant Win at Americas GP Sprint Race

After claiming pole position earlier in the day, Pecco Bagnaia has taken a truly dominant win for the Americas Grand Prix sprint race in Texas. Just behind him was Alex Rins in 2nd and Jorge Martin who held on to 3rd despite a tough fight with Aleix Espargaro in 4th.

Pecco Bagnaia gave a faultless performance at the Circuit of the Americas to win the Americas GP sprint race. Having started on pole, he was able to hold off an early attack from Alex Rins at the start and quickly pulled out a large lead to win very comfortably. He also smashed the race lap record at the halfway point of the race.

As the lights went out, the race started surprisingly cleanly and everyone completed the first lap safely. The winners off the line were Jorge Martin, who flew from 12th up to 5th, and Miguel Oliveira, leaping from 15th up to 9th. Others faced more of a struggle with the likes of Luca Marini going wide and dropping from 3rd down to 13th and Maverick Vinales struggling at the start and falling back from 8th to 17th.

On the second lap, Rins went wide at turn 12 and gets shuffled back to 3rd. This dropping in right in to a battle with Fabio Quartararo who was trying desperate moves to try and get something out of his Yamaha. As the pair fought, Quartararo clatters in to the side of Rins, leaving rubber marks on his leather.

As the riders settled in to the race, and Bagnaia was enjoy some clear air, Quartararo was still fighting against his Yamaha at every corner. It eventually ended in tears as he went down at turn 1 of lap 5. He was able to rejoin the race and eventually ended the day in 19th.

On lap 7, Rins makes an aggressive move on Aleix Espargaro to steal 2nd from him. However, a few corners later, he goes wide and takes Espargaro with him. Whilst Rins holds on to 2nd, this error gifts 3rd place to Jorge Martin and shuffles Espargaro back down to 4th.

On the same lap, at turn 12, Alex Marquez goes down on the slipper track surface. This promotes Bezzecchi to 6th and allows him to keep the lead of the championship for another day.

In the final laps of the race, Espargaro is trying everything he can to get past Martin and in to 3rd but he simply can’t find a way through.

Lights will go out for the feature race in less than 24 hours time so make sure you follow Crew On Two for all the action.

Top Ten:
1 Pecco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo
2 Alex Rins LCR Honda
3 Jorge Martin Prima Pramac
4 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia
5 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM
6 Marco Bezzecchi VR46 Racing
7 Luca Marini VR46 Racing
8 Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF
9 Jack Miller Red Bull KTM
10 Maverick Vinales Aprilia
Championship Standings:
1 Marco Bezzecchi 54 points
2 Pecco Bagnaia 53 points
3 Johann Zarco 35 points
4 Alex Marquez 33 points

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

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