MotoGP Sprint Race: Bagnaia Overtakes Martin to Take the Checkered Flag
Defending champion Pecco Bagnaia triumphed over his Ducati teammate Jorge Martin in MotoGP’s first-ever sprint race at Portimao, securing the full 12 points. Despite not leading for most of the 12-lap sprint, Bagnaia managed to outduel Martin on the final lap and claim victory.
Pecco Bagnaia, the defending champion, emerged victorious over his Ducati teammate Jorge Martin in MotoGP’s inaugural sprint race at Portimao. Although Bagnaia was not leading for the majority of the 12-lap sprint, he managed to outperform Martin on the final lap and earn the full 12 points.
After an impressive start by surprise poleman Marc Marquez, who defended his lead by fending off Pecco Bagnaia, Enea Bastianini took the opportunity to move up to second place, dropping Bagnaia to third.
However, Bagnaia quickly regained his position by overtaking Bastianini at Turn 2, which also allowed Jorge Martin’s Pramac-run Ducati to slip past. Despite Marquez’s early lead, Bagnaia and Martin utilized the Ducati’s straight-line speed to pass him on the main straight by the end of the first lap.
Meanwhile, Bastianini found himself in trouble with Miguel Oliveira and was then involved in a crash caused by Luca Marini, which took both of them down. As a result, Bastianini had to undergo a check-up at the medical centre due to pain in his right arm.
It is noteworthy that there was another incident involving a title contender, as Honda’s new rider Joan Mir collided with a falling Fabio Quartararo on the first lap, causing Mir to also crash and relegating Quartararo to the last position.
Despite being in a strong position early on, Pecco Bagnaia was challenged by Jorge Martin and Jack Miller during the race, leading to a seven-bike lead group. Martin managed to break away from the group and only Bagnaia was able to keep up with him, eventually overtaking Miller to finish in second place. The race also saw the works Aprilias catch up with the leading pack before fading away.
Bagnaia managed to maintain his lead, putting Martin under pressure and eventually overtaking him when Martin ran wide at Turn 5 on the final lap. Meanwhile, a battle for third place emerged between Oliveira, Miller, and Marquez.
Oliveira briefly overtook Miller, allowing Marquez to pass both, but Oliveira eventually reclaimed third place. However, on the final lap, Oliveira made a mistake at Turn 11, taking him out of the podium battle.
Marquez secured the third position on the podium, while Miller finished fourth after holding off a late charge from Vinales.
The Aprilia riders Aleix Espargaro, Miguel Oliveira, and Vinales finished in fifth, sixth, and seventh place respectively, forming an impressive 5-6-7 for the team. Johann Zarco from Pramac Ducati and Alex Marquez from Gresini Ducati claimed the final points positions in eighth and ninth place.
Quartararo made a strong recovery from his first-lap incident but ultimately fell short of a point-scoring position, finishing in 10th place, two tenths behind Zarco.
Unlike in Formula 1, where the sprint determines the Sunday grid, the MotoGP sprint race does not affect the grid for the main event. Therefore, Marc Marquez will start on pole position for the main race despite Pecco Bagnaia winning the sprint race.
The results of the sprint race at Portimao for the 2023 Portuguese MotoGP are as follows:
|1||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Lenovo (GP23)||19m 52.862s|
|2||Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP23)||+0.307s|
|3||Marc Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+1.517s|
|4||Jack Miller||AUS||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+1.603s|
|5||Maverick Viñales||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP23)||+1.854s|
|6||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP23)||+2.106s|
|7||Miguel Oliveira||POR||RNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)||+2.940s|
|8||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+5.595s|
|9||Alex Marquez||SPA||Gresini Ducati (GP22)||+5.711s|
|10||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+5.924s|
|11||Raul Fernandez||SPA||RNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)||+8.160s|
|12||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+8.384s|
|13||Alex Rins||SPA||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+11.288s|
|14||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+17.138s|
|15||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+18.128s|
|16||Fabio Di Giannantonio||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP22)||+21.235s|
|Marco Bezzecchi||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||DNF|
|Enea Bastianini||ITA||Ducati Lenovo (GP23)||DNF|
|Luca Marini||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||DNF|
|Joan Mir||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||DNF|
|Augusto Fernandez||SPA||Tech3 GASGAS (RC16)*||DNF|
MotoGP Sprint Race Bagnaia Overtakes Martin to Take win MotoGP Sprint Race Bagnaia Overtakes Martin to Take win MotoGP Sprint Race Bagnaia Overtakes Martin to Take win MotoGP Sprint Race Bagnaia Overtakes Martin to Take win
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