MotoGP: Delhi Delight for Bezzecchi

Image Credit: MotoGP

In the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, Marco Bezzecchi was simply too good at the Buddh International circuit. Bezzecchi finished the race over 8 seconds clear of Jorge Martin in 2nd and Fabio Quartararo in 3rd place. 

Championship leader Pecco Bagnaia crashed out losing a lot of points in the championship race. We head to Japan next weekend with Pecco only 13 points clear of title rival Jorge Martin.

AS IT HAPPENED

Martin got off to a great start and moved up to first into turn 1, with Pecco up into 2nd ahead of Bezzecchi in 3rd. Only a few corners later, Martin went wide into turn 4 and Pecco got through to take the lead of the race.

Binder was up 4 places into 8th mid way through lap 1. A great start for the KTM rider but Aprilia man Viñales was down 10 places at the end of lap 1 due running wide into turn 1 at the start of the race.

Martin dropped back further into 3rd with Bezzecchi blasting by as Martin opened the door running wide. At the end of lap 1 Bezzecchi went by Pecco and took the lead of the race for the first time at the start of lap 2.

All of the riders with a soft rear tyre had to be careful to not burn the tyre out so early on in the race. Bezzecchi set the fastest lap with Pecco 2nd and Martin 3rd. Martin resisting the pressure from Marc Marquez behind and had a lot of work to do to catch Pecco and Bezzecchi ahead.

KTMs Jack Miller had a disastrous start to the race running way down in 20th place in the early stages.

Martin was desperate to get by Pecco cleanly and get after Bezzecchi as Bezzecchi was 1.237 seconds clear as they come to the end of lap 4.

Martin with the slip steam along the back straight got ahead of Pecco into turn 4. Martin now with 2.159 seconds to make up to catch Bezzecchi. Bezzecchi continued his blistering run of form this weekend and looked to pull even further away at the front.

Yellow flags waved in sector 1 as Marc Marquez crashed out at turn 1. Out from 4th place, but able to re-join and recover into the top 10. A superb performance all around this weekend from both Marquez and Joan Mir.

A third of the way through now and Bezzecchi leads 3 seconds clear of the fight for 2nd place behind. Martin was just ahead of Pecco in 3rd. Fabio in 4th place matched the pace of those in front but a second behind the fighting pair in front.  Pecco swarming all over the back of Martin on lap number 8 of 21.

Lap 9 and Bezzecchi is 3.492 seconds clear of Martin in 2nd and Pecco on Martin’s back wheel in 3rd. Fabio and Joan Mir both looked comfortable in 4th and 5th place. Both Fabio and Mir having the best races for some time so far this afternoon in Delhi.

With 11 laps to go and as Marc Marquez went by his old teammate GASGAS rider Pol Espargaro, Bezzecchi is running away with it here in India. Technical problems for Aleix Espargaro saw the Aprilia rider out of the race and with Viñales down in 10th, it was a torrid weekend for the factory Aprilia team.

Coming into the final third of the race and Pecco with so much more inside grip went by Martin into turns 8 and 9 and made it look easy.  Pecco looked to pull away now from Martin with 8 laps to go.

Sector 2 and yellow flags a plenty as Pecco Bagnaia crashed out of the grand prix! Jorge Martin was now just 13 points behind in the championship if Martin manages to hold onto 2nd place. Fabio moved up to 3rd place and was set for a podium for Yamaha.

4 laps to go and as Martin zipped his leathers back up, Bezzecchi was miles ahead in the lead, 6.814 seconds clear of Martin in 2nd. Fabio 3rd and with Mir running wide opened the door for Binder to move up into 4th place.

With a few laps left the top 3 places looked sown up. Yamaha and Honda must be delighted with all of their riders sat in the top 10.

THE LAST LAP 

Onto the last lap and VR46 superstar Marco Bezzecchi was miles ahead of the rest. Bezzecchi started the lap 6.576 seconds clear of Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin in 2nd and in 3rd place to start the lap was 2021 world champion, Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo.

Martin went into turn 4 and ran wide letting Fabio go by. Martin only to come back round the outside of Fabio at turns 5 into 6. A crazy overtake from The Martinator to get back up into 2nd. Fabio not giving up on 2nd tried to get up the inside of Martin in the following corners.

As Bezzecchi was celebrating cruising along the start straight, Jorge Martin clung on to take 2nd place and crossed the line with Fabio finishing in 3rd.

With 7 races left in the championship and with Pecco dropping the ball into the gravel. Martin is just 13 points now behind Pecco in the championship as we head to Motegi in Japan next weekend.

Race Classification

Image Credit: MotoGP

Championship Standings

Image Credit: MotoGP

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 Takes Home Win at Mugello Sprint Race

As we are becoming accustomed to in MotoGP this season, the sprint race was full of drama from start to finish, with multiple overtakes and lots of drama happening on every lap.

After taking a stunning pole position earlier in the day, and smashing the qualifying lap record, Pecco Bagnaia has taken a dominant win in the Mugello sprint race.

He was joined on the podium by fellow Italian Marco Bezzecchi and Jorge Martin, who fought hard to keep his teammate at bay.

It was a difficult race for Alex Marquez who, after putting in a brilliant qualifying lap and starting the race in 3rd, sadly crash at the first corner, bringing his day to a sudden and unexpected halt.

Similarly, Jack Miller and Marc Marquez will have been disappointed to finish in 6th and 7th respectively after enjoying some dramatic battles in the podium places at the early stages of the race.

We have two returning riders this weekend – Aleix Espargaro is back from a bicycle accident and finished in 8th, whilst Enea Bastianini, who has returned from injuries sustained earlier in the season, ended the day in 9th.

As It Happened

As the lights went out, the rain began to fall – however, it was only light rain which didn’t affect the grip on the tarmac.

Off the line, Bagnaia managed to hold on to the lead despite Marc Marquez appearing alongside him into turn 1. Bagnaia was able to strategically place his Ducati to block this attack and keep the lead. In doing this, he also hampered Jack Miller’s approach as he left the Aussie nowhere to go.

Further back, we had Johann Zarco flying off the line but he sadly goes wide in turn 1, which hampers his amazing start slightly.

In the middle of turn 1 of the first lap, Alex Marquez sadly found himself in the kitty litter after Brad Binder bumped into him on the inside. After reviewing the incident, Binder was deemed to be at fault and was later handed a long lap penalty. That did nothing to soothe Alex Marquez though, who was forced to watch the rest of the sprint race from the garage.

As the grid crosses the line to start lap 2, Jorge Martin stole 2nd from Marquez. He was clearly the real winner at the start, working his way up from 6th. Miller was also on the climb and, with the drama hotting up, Marquez found himself squeezed in to the middle of a Miller-Marini sandwich, which pushed him down the order and promoted Miller to 3rd.

There were aggressive moves happening up and down the field, including the front where Martin stole the lead from Bagnaia on lap 2.

It was at this point that Miguel Oliveira, the wet weather specialist who was running down in 13th, laid down the fast lap of the race so far proving his mastery of these tricky and changeable conditions.

With 4 of 11 laps completed, Bagnaia made his way back into the lead with Martin settling for 2nd. Just behind them were the two Mooney VR46 riders, Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini, who were putting in a brilliant performance for a race where their boss, Valentino Rossi, was watching from the garage.

By lap 6, the action started to settle down and there were a few gaps forming throughout the grid. Bezzecchi was now the rider setting fastest laps, with a lap so fast that is smashed the previous race lap record by 0.3 seconds! Shortly after that, Binder clocked the fastest ever speed recorded at Mugello, as he topped out at 366km/h.

As the lap counter ticked down, and we reached the final stages of the race, we had Bagnaia leading, but being chased down by Bezzecchi in 2nd, and Martin in 3rd with his teammate, Johann Zarco in 4th and hot on his tail. It continued this way until the checkered flag fell, with neither Bezzecchi nor Zarco able to manufacture a move on their competitors.

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

DNFs: Alex Rins (LCR Honda), Alex Marquez (Gresini)

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Bagnaia On Pole for FrenchGP; Disaster For Home Hero Quartararo

It was a session full of surprises today that included highs for our leading championing as well as a returning favourite but also heartache and disaster for a home hero.

After a challenging weekend in which he hasn’t shown a huge amount of pace, reigning champion Pecco Bagnaia came from nowhere to steal pole position in the dying moments of the session. He crossed the line and instantly punched the air, showing he knew just how good his lap time of 1:30.705.

He will be joined on the front row by Marc Marquez, who is returning to the action after missing the last 3 races thanks to breaking a metacarpal at the Portuguese GP. He took provisional pole with 1 minute remaining on the clock, setting, at that time, the fastest lap of the weekend so far. He clearly gave this lap everything he had as he ran out of fuel shortly after, delaying his return to the paddock to meet the media!

Having fought his way through from Q1, Luca Marini was able to snatch 3rd place away from Jack Miller shortly after the chequered flag fell, bumping the Australian down to 4th. On his final lap, Miller was following Augusto Fernandez as a marker but was sadly too close to him and this ended up slowing him down. He was unable to improve on his time and was forced to settle for 4th – a disappointing result given his impressive ride in Friday’s P1 and P2.

Maverick Vinales was an early leader in Q2 and spent time in provisional pole. This was until he left the garage for his second run, with 6 minutes remaining on the clock. He faced issues on the pit exit – the onboard shot seemed to suggest the bike was stuck on the pit limiter. He was twisting the throttle but nothing happened. He was met in the pit lane by Moto3 rider, Riccardo Rossi, who gave him a helpful push back to the garage whilst the team rushed to prepare the spare bike for him. He will line up in 7th for the sprint and main races.

As Vinales waited for his second bike to be readied, his teammate Aleix Espargaro had a huge off at the high-speed turn 1. He lost the front of the bike and slid, which some speed, out into the gravel trap. Thankfully, he was able to walk away and he will line up 11th on the grid.

Home hero, Fabio Quartararo had a disastrous session as he was unable to progress up from Q1. This means he will line up in gut-wrenching 13th place for his home sprint race later today and the main race tomorrow. The record-breaking crowds will undoubtedly be willing him on as the lights go out later today.

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

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Bagnaia Cruises to Victory in Portugal

Our reigning MotoGP Champion, Pecco Bagnaia, has enjoyed a dream start to his 2023 season after taking a clean sweep in the first weekend of action. The Ducati rider has won Saturday’s Sprint Race before going on to dominate in Sunday’s Feature Race. He was joined on the podium by Maverick Vinales and Marco Bezzecchi.

After making history by winning MotoGP’s first ever Sprint Race on Saturday, Pecco Bagnaia has carried on his winning streak on Sunday, with victory at the Portuguese GP Feature Race. He took the lead on Lap 2 and, despite a good challenge from Maverick Vinales, he never looked back and took the chequered flag with a comfortable 0.68 second lead.

Our pole sitter, Marc Marquez, crashed out of the race on Lap 3. He made a huge mistake in the braking zone into Turn 3 and clipped the back of Jorge Martin, who was running in 3rd. As he went down, he clattered into the back of home hero Miguel Oliveira, running in 2nd, and brought him into the gravel with him. His injuries saw Oliveira stretched off track and taken to the medical centre – we are still waiting for an update on his condition. Martin was lucky to stay upright and rejoined the track in 16th, before crashing out of the race at Turn 2, on Lap 20 of 25.

Taking advantage of this drama was Maverick Vinales who carefully made his way through the incident and found himself up to 2nd, after starting 7th. He was quickly on the back of Bagnaia but didn’t quite have the pace to steal the lead from him. He ended the day in 2nd.

Marco Bezzecchi rounded out the podium spots with a well-earned 3rd place. He took 3rd from Jack Miller on Lap 6 but failed to close the gap on the leading pair. For much of the race, the battle for fourth was where the majority of the action was taking place, and Miller was a key part of this. He battled with Alex Marquez, Brad Binder, Aleix Espargaro and Johann Zarco for much of the race. However, on the final lap, Zarco bested all of them as he leap-frogged from 7th up to 4th with a late move. Alex Marquez, Binder and Miller were forced to settle with 5th, 6th and 7th respectively.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo had a difficult day starting in 10th, losing 5 places at the start and then fighting his way back up to end the race in 8th. He took that spot on the penultimate lap as Espargaro made a mistake that opened the door for the Frenchman.

With 6 riders failing to finish the race, all 14 finishers crossed the line to secure some points. Those non-finishers included Luca Marini who suffered his fourth crash of the weekend – a disappointing start to his season after such a consistent year in 2022 – as well as Fabio Di Giannantonio, who retired with mechanical issues on Lap 11, and Raul Fernandez, who crashed on the penultimate lap of the race.

After a perfect weekend, Bagnaia is sitting pretty at the top of the championship standings. Just behind him is Vinales, lagging behind by 12 points, and Bezzecchi, a further 9 points behind.

We only have to wait 7 days for the drama to continue, as the grid will be in action on the 1st and 2nd of April in Argentina.

Full Results:
1st Pecco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo
2nd Maverick Viñales Aprilia
3rd Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46
4th Johann Zarco Prima Pramac
5th Alex Marquez Gresini
6th Brad Binder Red Bull KTM
7th Jack Miller Red Bull KTM
8th Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha
9th Aleix Espargaro Aprilia
10th Alex Rins LCR Honda
11th Joan Mir Repsol Honda
12th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
13th Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3
14th Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha
Championship Standings:
1st Pecco Bagnaia 37 points
2nd Maverick Vinales 25 points
3rd Marco Bezzecchi 16 point
4th Johann Zarco 15 points
5th Jack Miller 15 points

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

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