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.
The action we're all here for! 😎#TissotSprint 💯#FrenchGP 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/dYD6MlLngD
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) May 13, 2023
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.
The Aussie is gone! 🛑@jackmilleraus crashes out of contention! 💥#FrenchGP 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/ZFCuyB5MbZ
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) May 13, 2023
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!
|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|
|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|
|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