MotoGP: Bagnaia Wins First Race of Season Whilst Rookie Acosta Shines

Pecco Bagnaia on his way to winning the Qatar GP.

The grid were back in action at Qatar this weekend – after months of development, days of testing and hours of speculation, it was time to see how the riders would actual perform!

Our reigning champion was untouchable today in Qatar. Pecco Bagnaia and his mighty Ducati machine cruised to a seemingly easy victory after hitting the front very early on. He flew off the starting grid to lead after only a few corners. Once he hit the front, he dictated the pace for the rest of the field and never looked back.

Despite the dominant win for Bagnaia, the race wasn’t without it’s drama. Mere moments before the lights went out, Raul Fernandez waved to the track officials, signalling an issue with his bike. The start was then delayed further as Fernandez, who had got his bike restarted, argued with the officials about his need to start the race from pitlane. His day then went from bad to worse as his Trackhouse machine faced technical issues and he was forced to retire from the race; not an ideal start to this brand new team’s MotoGP career.

The full MotoGP fly off the starting grid at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar
Image credit: MotoGP

Brad Binder and his Red Bull KTM put on a fabulous show for the crowd at the Lusail International Circuit. In typical Binder fashion, he had a great start from 4th on the grid and enjoyed a race-long battle with Jorge Martin as the pair jostled for 2nd. It was Binder who eventually came out on top, enjoying his second 2nd place of the weekend, after coming home in the same position at Saturday’s sprint race.

Whilst Martin may have hoped for more than 3rd after his Sprint race win, he has already enjoyed a much stronger start to his title campaign than he did in 2023. Many will be hoping he can keep up this momentum for the rest of the season.

For many MotoGP fans, their attentions were solely on Marc Marquez as he took to the track for the first time in Gresini blue. He had a brilliant race and will undoubtedly be happy to come home in 4th. He enjoy lots of battles with, none more so than a fantastic fight with our only rookie on the grid, Pedro Acosta.

Acosta finished the day in 9th but that result doesn’t do justice to his strong race. The rookie has been impressing many up and down the paddock and he enjoyed a strong race, moving up from 8th on the starting grid to 4th. He did look set for a podium finish but faded later in the race – it seems he went out too hot in the early stages and was left battling with serious tire wear. With just 8 laps remaining, he slipped back down the grid to end the day just inside the top 10.

Pedro Acosta and Marc Marquez battle at the Qatar GP. Acosta is forcing his bike up the inside of Marquez.
Image Credit: MotoGP

It was a difficult day for Jack Miller who crashed at turn 2 on the 2nd lap – whilst he was able to rejoin the pack, picking the bike up surprisingly quickly, he came home in 21st and last today. There have been lots of discussions about future the line up for the Red Bull KTM team so with his team mate on the podium and Acosta showing his ability so early in his career, it wasn’t an ideal day for the Aussie rider.

Full Results:
1st Pecco Bagnaia Ducati
2nd Brad Binder Red Bull KTM
3rd Jorge Martin Prima Pramac
4th Marc Marquez Gresini
5th Enea Bastianini Ducati
6th Alex Marquez Gresini
7th Fabio Di Giannantonio VR46 Racing Team
8th Aleix Espargaro Aprilia
9th Pedro Acosta GASGAS Tech3
10th Maverick Vinales Aprilia
11th Fabio Quartararo Yamaha
12th Johann Zarco LCR Honda
13th Joan Mir Repsol Honda
14th Marco Bezzecchi VR46 Racing Team
15th Miguel Oliveira Trackhouse
16th Alex Rins Yamaha
17th Augusto Fernandez GASGASG Tech3
18th Franco Morbidelli Prima Pramac
19th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
20th Luca Marini Repsol Honda
21st Jack Miller Red Bull KTM

DNF: Raul Fernandez (Trackhouse)

Championship Standings:
1st Pecco Bagnaia 31 points
2nd Brad Binder 29 points
3rd Jorge Martin 28 points
4th Marc Marquez 18 points
5th Enea Bastianini 15 points

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP Website

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: Zarco Finally Takes Maiden Victory at Phillip Island

Everyone loves MotoGP at Phillip Island but, today, no one loves it more than Johann Zarco. The Australian track has given us some historic races over the years and today was no exception.

After 258 races in MotoGP, Johann Zarco has won his maiden race. It was a stunning performance from the Frenchman as he fought his way back from a poor start and calculated the final laps to perfection.

However, it wasn’t all joy in the Prima Pramac garage as their championship contender, Jorge Martin, lost a comfortable lead on the final lap. He dropped back from 1st to 5th as his gamble of running on soft tires failed to pay off. He spent 20 of the 27 laps with a 3+ second lead but wasn’t able to hold off the chasing pack.

As Martin’s championship hopes faded, Pecco Bagnaia came up in 2nd place. He remained within the chasing pack for most of the race and made a stunning move with only a few corners remaining. He will certainly be celebrating extending his championship lead when it looked to likely that this wouldn’t be the case.

The final podium place was taken by Fabio DiGiannantonio who is fighting for a place on the MotoGP grid next year. This maiden podium couldn’t have come at a better time and his aggressive, confident riding through the race, will have undoubtedly helped his cause.

The race was packed with drama from start to finish, with big moves and plenty of overtakes happening up and down the grid. It is certainly a race that will be talked about for years to come but its effect on the final championship result are yet to be known.

Image Credit: MotoGP
AS IT HAPPENED

Jorge Martin and Brad Binder, starting from 1st and 2nd respectively, flew off the line and quickly put clean air between them and the rest of the field. Despite Binder pulling up alongside Martin, it was the Prima Pramac machine that was quicker and able to keep the lead. Pecco Bagnaia then slotted himself in to 3rd. Jack Miller, the home hero, had a great start going from 8th on the grid to 4th.

It was a tricky start for Marc Marquez who slipped back from 7th to 10th, as well as Johann Zarco who dropped from 5th to 8th.

Martin was quick to pull a gap out between himself and Binder. Meanwhile, in to turn 11, Miller made a move up the inside of Bagnaia to take 3rd away from the championship leader. However, on the following lap, Miller goes wide and drops back to 6th. This allowed Fabio DiGiannantonio and Marquez to gain positions.

All this battling allows Binder to pull a 1.2 second gap over Bagnaia in 3rd. Martin was then a further 0.5s down the road.

In to turn 2 on lap 3, DiGiannantonio makes an aggressive move to steal 3rd place from Bagnaia. Further back on the same lap, Marquez goes wide thanks to pressure from Zarco. This lets through Zarco, who is now up to 5th and Miller, who is up to 6th. Marquez remains close behind Miller but isn’t able to get back past.

With drama unfolding up and down the field, the leading trio of Martin, Binder and DiGiannantonio are all enjoying comfortable gaps. Behind them is where the drama is unfolding. It seems like Bagnaia is riding slower than others and that sees him backing up the pack somewhat.

The battles between 4th and 10th are hotting up and, on lap 6, there are moves happening up and down the field. Zarco makes his way past Marquez for 5th, Aleix Espargaro takes 7th from Miller and Marco Bezzecchi takes 9th away from Alex Marquez. Zarco continues battling with Marc Marquez throughout the lap, with the pair jostling back and forth. Eventually, it is Zarco who comes out on top and instantly sets his sights on Bagnaia in 4th.

A few laps later and there seemed to be spots of rain falling across the track. It isn’t heavy enough to affect the riders but it was certainly visible on their visors. By this point, Martin was now leading by 2.4 seconds.

On lap 11, Joan Mir crashed out of 15th place. Going in to turn 4, he bumped in to Luca Marini and ended up in the gravel. The incident was reviewed by the stewards deemed that no further action was necessary.

The following lap and the battle behind the leading pack continues. Espargaro gets past Marquez for 7th and, a few corners later, Miller makes a similar move. This pushes Marquez back down to 8th.

On lap 13, turn 4 takes another victim as Augusto Fernandez slides out of contention.

Bagnaia, by lap 15, is the fastest rider on the field and catching up to DiGiannantonio. However, with Zarco breathing down his neck, the reigning champion is forced to turn his attention to defending and that allows DiGiannantonio to pull a 1 second lead over his rivals.

With rubber flying off everyone’s tires – even the medium tires – Martin’s lap times were dropping significantly. However, he had been able to maintain a steady gap. Just behind, and despite being close on his tail for a few laps, it wasn’t until lap 19 when DiGiannantonio was able to get past Binder for 2nd. Their battle allows Bagnaia to close the gap and he is now hot on the tail of Binder.

With DiGiannantonio now in second, he gets his head down and starts to chase down Martin in the lead. He quickly brings down the gap from 3.4 seconds to 2.8, and brings Binder (in 3rd), Bagnaia (in 4th) and Zarco (in 5th) along with him.

On the following lap, the gap is cut by a further 0.3 seconds and DiGiannantonio has even managed to pull out a 0.5 second lead over Binder.

On lap 22, Zarco takes 4th place away from Bagnaia – he came up alongside the Italian on the start-finish straight and had shut the door on him but turn 1. At the same time, Martin reacts to the mounting threat behind him and stabilises the gap – DiGiannantonio is now no longer closing in on him.

The following lap, Binder is able to pull up alongside DiGiannantonio and regain 2nd place. It’s Binder who now significantly closes the gap at the front and, within 2 laps, this is reduced to less than 1.2 seconds.

On lap 26, Zarco is able to get past Binder for 2nd place. The attack forces him slightly wide and as the pack bunches up, Binder ends up dropping from 2nd to 5th. Now, the chasing pack are just 0.4 seconds behind Martin.

On the final lap of the race, we have an exciting 5-way battle for the win with Martin in 1st, Zarco 2nd, Bagnaia 3rd and DiGiannantonio 4th. But Zarco is able to pull away from Bagnaia, leaving him vulnerable to DiGiannantonio who makes his move up to 3rd. Zarco then makes a move for the lead, which he times to perfection. He brings Bagnaia with him who makes a stunning move for 2nd place. The chaos lasts for a few final corners, in which Martin drops from 1st to 3rd.

As the checkered flag falls, it’s Zarco who claims the victory, ahead of Bagnaia in 2nd and DiGiannantonio in 3rd. Just behind them, on the final straight, Martin loses 4th place to Binder. Bezzecchi is the “best of the rest” in 6th, whilst Miller snatches 7th place away from Espargaro on the line.

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

DNFs = Augusto Fernandez (GASGASG Tech 3), Joan Mir (Repsol Honda)

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1st Pecco Bagnaia 366 points
2nd Jorge Martin 339 points
3rd Marco Bezzecchi 293 points
4th Brad Binder 224 points
5th Johann Zarco 187 points

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Mayhem in Mandalika as Bagnaia Reclaims Championship Lead

A chaotic race in Indonesia has seen Pecco Bagnaia reclaim the championship lead that he lost after yesterday’s sprint race. Jorge Martin, his nearest rival, made a painful error which saw him crash out of the lead. With just 5 races left, this season is far from over!

It was both a costly error from Jorge Martin and a calculated ride from Pecco Bagnaia that has firmly placed today’s Indonesian GP in the history books. Having lost the championship lead for a day, Bagnaia was able to quickly reverse this as he sailed to a phenomenal victory. He made his way from 13th on the grid to win what might be the greatest race of his career.

Meanwhile, it was an undoubtedly difficult day for Martin. Having enjoyed all the momentum and accolades over the last few races, he crashed out of the lead at a crucial point in the season. The costly error came despite him sitting comfortably at the front of the field for the first 20 laps.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Bagnaia was joined on the podium by Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo who both enjoyed strong weekends but were frustrated to not finish higher after a close final few laps.

There was chaos up and down the field for most of the race, as we start our first of two triple-header weekends to round out the 2023 season.

AS IT HAPPENED

As the lights went out, Jorge Martin flew off the line and leapt from 6th to 1st before entering the first corner. It was a slower start for both Aprilia riders, as well as Luca Marini, who all slipped back down the field. This allowed both Brad Binder and Fabio Quartararo to make up some places on the first lap. However, Maverick Vinales was able to recover and slot in to 2nd.

There was chaos up and down the field across the opening laps of the race. This started with Aleix Espargaro going wide at turn 1. This let Pecco Bagnaia through but as Espargaro returned to the racing line, he nearly collected Marc Marquez.

Enea Bastianini also went wide, causing him to go off the track. He failed to rejoin in the correct way and was later given a long lap penalty as a result.

On lap 3, Binder gets out of shape at turn 10 and clatters in to the side of Marini, knocking him in to the gravel. Binder was just carrying too much speed in to the corner and wasn’t able to make it round. Like Bastianini, he also received a long lap penalty for this later on in the race.

On the same lap, Pol Espgargaro crashes at turn 15 and Franco Morbidelli heads in to the pits to retire.

Pecco Bagnaia and Aleix Espargaro then find themselves breezing past Quartararo to take 3rd and 4th respectively. Meanwhile the leading pair of Martin and Vinales were now 1.8 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

As Binder takes his long lap penalty on lap 6, he drops from 5th to 10th. Espargaro, in 4th, is all over the back of Bagnaia, in 3rd, and forcing the Italian to ride defensively.

On lap 8, Marc Marquez is quickly overtaken by Jack Miller, Marco Bezzecchi and Brad Binder, shuffling him back from 7th to 10th. A few corners later, he then crashes at turn 13. It has been a difficult weekend for the Spaniard who is undoubtedly counting down to his move to Gresini for 2024.

 

This then sparks a 4-way battle for 6th place, with Miguel Oliveira, Miller, Bezzecchi, and Binder in 6th to 9th respectively. Miller is the first to make a move on the final corner of lap 9, followed by Bezzecchi on the first corner of lap 10.

On the following lap, Binder attempts to then make a move on Oliveira but bumps in to the side of him, knocks off his wings, and then sends them both wide. They are both able to rejoin but lose places at a crucial point in the race. Binder will receive his second long lap penalty of the race for this harsh move.

On lap 12, Augusto Fernandez crashes, followed by Joan Mir on the following lap.

Moments later, our race leader then crashes at turn 11. The bike slides out from under him and he is left looking down at his Prima Pramac machine in utter disbelief.

Image Credit: MotoGP

This promotes Vinales to 1st, with a 1.2 second gap to Bagnaia in 2nd. Quartararo, after recently making a move on Espargaro, is now promoted to 3rd.

On lap 16, Johann Zarco also crashes, again at turn 11. This leaves just 14 riders out on the track.

Meanwhile, at the front, Quartararo is closing in on Bagnaia who, in turn, is closing in on Vinales. We thought the chaos had calmed down but these three had other ideas.

At this point in the race, it is clear to see who opted for soft tires and who played it safe with the hard tires. Those on softs begin dropping back down the field as their tires struggle with the heat and soaring temperatures.

After closing the gap significantly over 4 laps, it was on lap 20 when Bagnaia was finally able to take control at the front of the race. He breezed past Vinales to take 1st place away from him.

For the final 7 laps of the race, the leading trio kept the pressure on each other. So much so that, by the final lap, there was barely a hair’s width between them. However, neither Vinales or Quartararo could make a move and they were forced to settle for 2nd and 3rd respectively.

FULL RESULTS
1st Pecco Bagnaia Ducati
2nd Maverick Vinales Aprilia
3rd Fabio Quartararo Yamaha
4th Fabio Gi Giannantonio Gresini
5th Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46
6th Brad Binder Red Bull KTM
7th Jack Miller Red Bull KTM
8th Enea Bastianini Ducati
9th Alex Rins LCR Honda
10th Aleix Espargaro Aprilia
11th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
12th Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF
13th Raul Fernandez CryptoDATA RNF
14th Franco Morbidelli Yamaha

DNF = Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac), Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac), Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Tech 3), Joan Mir (Repsol Honda), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Luca Marini (Mooney VR46), Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Tech3).

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Home Hero Aleix Espargaro Wins Catalunya Sprint Race

Aleix Espargaro has taken his first sprint race win of the season in a fantastic and aggressive race from the Catalan rider. He took the lead of his home sprint race on lap 7 and quickly pulled out a comfortable lead, eventually crossing the line with a 2+ second lead over his nearest rival. He celebrated with a wheelie that lasted for the entire start-finish straight, soaking up the cheers from his adoring home crowd.

Despite starting on pole, Pecco Bagnaia was clearly thrilled with his silver medal – his 9th podium in 11 sprint races, showing he clearly relishes this new weekend structure! It was a hard-fought 2nd place – he put up a good defence against Espargaro, with some characteristic late-breaking, and then faced a challenge from Maverick Vinales.

Image Credit: MotoGP on Twitter

Despite coming achingly close to 2nd place, and getting up alongside Bagnaia a few times in the final laps, Vinales was forced to settle for 3rd place. He clearly tried everything in his wheelhouse but didn’t quite have enough to pass the championship leader.

Further back, it was a positive race for Marc Marquez who has struggled a lot this weekend. He started the race in 12th but was quickly up to 8th after a flying start off the line – it seemed the light rain and slippery conditions suited Marquez and he was able to capitalise on this in the early stages. He enjoyed a close battle in the latter stages of the race for 10th place, fighting with Alex Marquez, Luca Marini and Fabio Di Giannantonio.

It was a tricky day for Jack Miller, Joan Mir and both Yamaha riders, Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo. None of these riders were able to make waves in the field. Morbidelli and Miller crossed the line in 15th and 16th, a whopping 16s away from the race winner, with Quartararo coming home in 18th and Mir in 21st and last.

AS IT HAPPENED

Much like qualifying, the weather threatened to add significant chaos to the race – the rain began to fall during the warm up lap which forced the teams to rush to prepare the spare bikes with wet weather tires. However, it wasn’t quite wet enough for the riders to opt for these bikes and everyone lined up on the grid with their slick tires on.

As the lights went out, Pecco Bagnaia leapt in to a comfortable lead, with Maverick Vinales slotting in behind, in 2nd. Jorge Martin took 3rd after enjoying a flying start from 5th.

It was a great start also for Marco Bezzecchi, climbing from 10th to 5th, and Marc Marquez, leaping from 12th to 8th.

Despite a very strong qualifying session, Miguel Oliveira quickly undid all that hard work as he dropped back from 3rd to 7th in the early stages.

As the riders came to the end of the first lap, Aleix Espargaro came past his teammate to take 2nd away from Vinales. Bagnaia was quickly pulling out a comfortable lead and soon had a 0.5s gap over the chasing pack.

On lap 4, Pol Espargaro crashed after going wide at turn 5 – he made the sensible decision to lay the bike down before hitting the barrier and was able to walk away from the incident.

On the following lap, his brother Aleix was now close enough to Bagnaia to pull up alongside him. However, in classic Bagnaia fashion, he was so late on the breaks that Espargaro wasn’t able to get out of 2nd place.

At the halfway point in the race, we had Bagnaia leading, from Espargaro in 2nd, Vinales in 3rd, Brad Binder in 4th and Oliveira in 5th. There was then a 1.3s gap back to the next group, made up of Martin, Bezzecchi, Marc Marquez, Enea Bastianini and Johann Zarco in 6th to 10th respectively.

At the first corner of lap 7, Espargaro finally made his way past Bagnaia, much to the joy of his home crowd. Before the lap ended, he had already pulled out a 0.49s gap over the championship leader and looked to be quickly checking out at the front.

The race settled down for the final laps, with the only action coming from Vinales who was quickly catching up to Bagnaia. He spent the final two laps of the race right on Bagnaia’s tail but sadly wasn’t able to get past him like his teammate could. This battle eventually gave Espargaro a 2+ second lead as he crossed the line to take his first sprint race victory.

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

DNFs: Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Tech3)

Image Credit: MotoGP on Twitter

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Bagnaia on pole for the Catalan GP

Our championship leader has smashed the lap record at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on his way to taking pole position before this weekend’s racing. It was a session with mixed conditions and some mixed results for riders up and down the grid.

Pecco Bagnaia has taken his 6th pole position of the season at the Catalan GP today. He smashed the previous lap record, laying down a storming time of 1:38.639.

He will be joined on the front row by Aleix Espargaro, in 2nd, and Miguel Oliveira, in 3rd. Many had tipped Espargaro for pole this weekend, but he lost time in the latter sectors and crossed the line just 0.104s behind pole position. Oliveira, who has also looked really fast this weekend, was a frustrating 0.005s away from Espargaro in 2nd.

It was a tricky day for Marc Marquez who, despite being promoted from Q1, had to settle for 12th overall. It was thanks to a tow from Jack Miller that Marquez made it through to Q2 – however, providing that two seemed to hold back Miller who was unable to make it through to the second qualifying session, despite showing good pace this weekend so far.

It was arguably a tougher day for the Yamaha team with Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo having to settle for 16th and 17th respectively. They have been well off the pace all weekend and struggling at the back of the grid.

AS IT HAPPENED

Qualifying 1

In the 15 minutes between FP2 and Qualifying 1, the weather changed quickly and the track went from bright sunshine to rain. The sessions therefore started with a damp track which meant riders were instantly out to set a banker lap.

We had some big names in this first session, including Jack Miller, Pol Espargaro and Miguel Oliveira who have looked fast all weekend so far. It also included Luca Marini and both Yamaha riders who have struggled throughout this weekend.

With 3 minutes of the session done, we had half the track enjoying bright sunshine and the other half under rainfall. These mixed conditions meant the early laps were quite slow – Marini was the first to lay down a lap time but was way off the expected pace. Quartararo, on the other hand, seemed to revel in these mixed conditions and set the first relative lap time of 1:39.878. On his next lap, he was quickly improving and beat his previous time by 0.2s.

As Quartararo began his third flying lap, he went wide at turn 1. Whilst trying to keep the bike upright, we got stuck in the gravel and ended up falling in an embarrassing fashion. He was able to rejoin the field but wasn’t on the same pace as the rest of the field.

Halfway through the session and, as everyone made their way back in to the pits, we had Oliveira and Franco Morbidelli in the top two spots and provisionally going through to Qualifying 2.

As everyone came back out of to the grid for their final flying laps, Marquez was gifted a nice tow around the track by Miller. As they crossed the line, the pair were 1st and 2nd respectively.

However, with 2 minutes left on the clock, Oliveira bested them both to claim the top spot with a 1:38.789. As the seconds tick down, no one is able to improve on their current lap times – Marini was clearly struggling with the lack of grip, Espargaro bailed out of his final lap and Marquez went back to the pits before the session ended.

With no one else able to improve, it was Oliveira and Marquez who progress to Q2.

Qualifying 2

It was a quieter session this time as the weather settled down and the Spanish sunshine began to shine again.

Marc Marquez was the first to cross the line and laid down a lap time of 1:40.665. As everyone else began finishing their first flying laps, he was quickly shuffled down to 8th and Aleix Espargaro was on provisional pole.

The grid then shuffled around again as everyone completed their second flying laps. This time, Brad Binder took provisional pole before being beaten by Vinales. Espargaro was now in 3rd and Pecco Bagnaia in 4th.

We then had the typical lull in the middle of the session as everyone made their way back to the pits for a breather and fresh tires. There were 6 minutes on the clock when everyone came back out on to the grid.

We now had Espargaro, Bagnaia and Martin flying round the grid and, with 3 minutes remaining, Espargaro set the fastest lap of the day so far – a 1:38.752.

He was soon bested by championship leader, Bagnaia, who smashed the current lap record with a 1:38.639. As the minutes ticked down, no one was able to get close to this time. Espargaro was shuffled down to 2nd and Oliveira slotted in to 3rd. That was how the session ended with no one able to make waves.

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

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Perfection from Pecco In Spielberg!

Feature Image Credit: Joel Cooper Photography LTD

Pecco Bagnaia obliterated the field today and showed everyone why he’s the current reigning world champion. Total domination from the Ducati number 1 in the Austrian mountain’s. A fantastic performance and 50th Grand Prix podium for Pecco. Pecco was simply too strong for KTMs Brad Binder finishing 2nd and Marco Bezzecchi, to the delight of team boss Valentino Rossi, finishing in 3rd place.  

AS IT HAPPENED

Ducati have clearly made improvements to the launch control, as Pecco got off to a fantastic start leading after turn 1. KTM’s home race rider Binder in 2nd, teammate Jack Miller and VR46s Luca Marini side by side, 3rd and 4th as they came out of turn 1, heading to the chicane at turn 2.

 

Jorge Martin up 4 places to 8th on the first lap, still with a long lap penalty to serve for the antics at turn 1 in the sprint race yesterday afternoon. Maverick Viñales down to 11th place from the front row of the grid, another disastrous start for the factory Aprilia rider.

Across the line to start lap 2 and Pecco leads from Binder in 2nd and almost a second gap to Miller in 3rd place. Binder eager to get by Pecco here as the KTM rider can’t sit too long on the wheel of Pecco, as front tyre temperatures will go through the roof fairly quickly.

Onto lap 3 now with Binder setting the fastest lap of the race , the KTM stand cheering on Binder doing all he can to keep up and possibly get by Pecco to take the lead. Coming to the end of lap 3 and Miller is beginning to fade as Miller is falling into the clutches of Alex Marquez and the the VR46 riders Bezzecchi and Marini close behind.

Pecco responds to Binder posting the fastest lap of the race on lap 3, and as we head into lap 4, Jorge Martin serves his long lap penalty to come back out just ahead of Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli in 13th place.

Lap 5 and getting the drive from turn 8 and down into turn 9, Marquez made it look easy as he went by Miller. Things going from bad to worse for the Australian, as VR46 Ducati’s Bezzecchi and Marini go by as Miller goes from 3rd to 6th.

Miguel Oliveira’s woes continue as we see Oliveira return to the pits retiring from the race, the performance of the bike matching the special livery for today’s Grand Prix. Hopefully Oliveira can catch some good fortune next time out in Barcelona.

As the laps tick by its clear Pecco is in control at the front, although trying all he can it doesn’t look like Binder has an answer for bike #1 today. The dream win for KTM at their home Grand Prix is slipping away from them.

Jack Miller under further pressure now as Viñales who started on the front row is desperate to get passed and up to 6th place. Viñales getting frustrated running wide at turn 4 giving Miller some breathing room as Viñales shakes his head coming out of the corner.

Bezzecchi now the fastest rider on track battling with Marquez for the final podium position. Viñales eventually getting through on Miller with Pecco holding station at the front.

Lap 12 now and quickly coming up to half race distance. Aleix Espargaro goes by Miller as he continues to go the wrong way. Enea Bastianini now hot on the heels of the Australian, gets by and Martin quickly follows. Surely something is wrong with the Australians KTM this afternoon. Losing 3 places on lap 12.

Martin eager to make up the time lost in the long lap penalty goes up the inside of Bastianini as Bastianini gets it wrong at the chicane. A slow exit gifting the place to Martin as Martin goes by into turn 3. Jorge Martin now up to 8th place and a great recovery from the Prima Pramac Ducati rider.

At the half way point now, and a great midfield battle is developing as Bastianini is dicing with Zarco getting by into 10th place. At the front of the race its business as usual. Pecco is controlling the race with over as second of a gap to Binder in 2nd.

Bike number #72 fighting with bike number #73 for the final podium position now on lap 16. Bezzecchi runs up the inside of Marquez but too deep into turn 1 and unable to get by into third place. On equal machinery can Marquez hang onto 3rd for what would be a great podium for the Gresini Racing team.

 

Midway through lap 19 now. Pecco with a 2.558 seconds gap to Binder in 2nd. Binder to Marquez in 3rd with a gap of 2.923 seconds. Unless the front two riders have taken too much out of their tyres, it looks like the front two positions are settled already here in Austria. A masterclass from the world champ and a great ride so far from Binder,  who celebrates his contract extension this weekend at the home Grand Prix for the KTM team.

Bezzecchi ever determined to get by Marquez has another failed attempt at dive bombing into turn 1 and has a look at turn 8 later in the lap but not quite close enough to attack. Bezzecchi right up behind Marquez as they cross the start finish straight now with 7 laps to go. Bezzecchi trying to get by in the first few corners running too deep again, brings his teammate Marini into the mix now. The battle for 3rd heating up in the final phase of the race.

Bezzecchi now with better traction out of turn 8 and down into turn 9 goes by Marquez and up into 3rd. Marini now onto the back wheel of Marquez with 6 laps to go as they come across the straight finish line.

5 laps to go now and Pecco is 5 seconds clear of Binder in 2nd and Binder almost 3 seconds clear of Bezzecchi in 3rd. Bezzecchi already pulling a gap to Marquez after battling with Marquez for so long in this race. Marini keen to get by Marquez in the closing stages. The front two of the race seemingly cruising to the finish.

In the midfield, Martin up to 7th place and a great recovery after the long lap penalty starting in 12th place. Fabio Quartararo also in 9th. A much better race weekend for Yamaha with Morbidelli also in 11th after the torrid time in Silverstone.

As Valentino Rossi cheers on his VR46 riders Bezzecchi 3rd and Marini now up into 4th, Pecco is way ahead with 3 laps to go here in the Styria mountainside. A picturesque setting with a performance to match, as nobody can keep up with Pecco here today in Austria.

Onto the last lap now and factory Ducati superstar and bike #1 is comfortably clear of Binder in the KTM and cruising to victory. Bezzecchi set to take the final podium position here in Spielberg.

A 62 point lead now in the championship for Pecco as we have a brief rest before racing again in Catalunya at the beginning of September. What a performance from the Bologna Bullet as he marches on towards his 2nd world title in MotoGP.

Image Credit: MotoGP

 

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: 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

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