MotoGP: Francesco Bagnaia Does the Double and Wins the Portuguese Grand Prix

Published on March 26, 2023
By Jack Hammersley

Pecco Bagnaia takes maximum in Portugal with Marc Marquez taking out home favourite Miguel Oliveira

Marc Marquez started the season on pole position ahead of the winner of the inaugural sprint race Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin rounded out the front row.

Miguel Oliveira headed the second row onboard his CrytpoDATA RNF Aprilia with Jack Miller in fifth making his Grand Prix debut on the Red Bull KTM and Maverick Vinales moves up to sixth after Enea Bastianini was declared unfit after breaking his scapula in the sprint race. Fabio Quartararo started from tenth on the grid.

The lights went out and Miguel Oliveira took the holeshot into turn one, there was a lot of jostling for position in the opening two sectors, but Miguel held onto the lead to start lap two.

Pecco Bagnaia was third, but slipstream Martin and made his move for second into turn one. Marc Marquez was one of the most aggressive riders on the first lap and was in fourth. Pecco took the lead of the race, executing a perfect block pass into turn 13.

Marquez was trying to stay with the front three, he out-braked himself into turn three, hit Martin and clattered into Oliveira and took himself and the home rider out, a huge mistake by the eight-time world champion.

After the collisions on lap three, Maverick Vinales sat in second place, making up four places from the start and Miller was in the final podium spot.

Marco Bezzecchi was having a very solid ride, moving passed Miller to move into the podium places, Alex Marquez was in fifth place and eyeing up the Australian.

Alex went through a couple of laps latter after Miller out-braked himself down into turn five. Vinales was all over the back of Bagnaia and just waiting for the right moment to strike.

On lap 18 Jack Miller was able to retake Marquez for fourth place at turn 13, but Alex was able to get it back. The Australian tried again on lap 19 and made it stick, but Marquez out-dragged the KTM down the straight to stay in-front. Those two were joined by Brad Binder, Johann Zarco and Aleix Espargaro.

Jorge Martin had just moved up into tenth place, recovering from the Marquez-Oliveira incident and the Spaniard lost the front at turn ten.

Binder had got through on Miller and Espargaro also on Zarco, the five were having a titanic battle for fourth place. Binder undercut Marquez into turn eleven to take fourth. Marquez once again out-dragged the RC16 to retake fourth place.

Luca Marini went down at turn ten and that was the end of a disastrous weekend for the Italian. Zarco had made his way passed Aleix at turn eleven, but the Frenchman lost seventh at turn three when the Aprilia went up the inside of the Prima Pramac Ducati.

Espargaro made two big mistakes at turn 11 and 13 and dropped down to ninth place, being overtaken by Zarco and Quartararo.

Francesco Bagnaia crossed the line to win the Portguese Grand Prix being the first rider to the double and it was on the first time of asking. Maverick Vinales finished in second place and Marco Bezzecchi took his second podium of his MotoGP career in third place.

Johann Zarco made an incredible recovery on the final lap of the race, moving from seventh to fourth just pipping Marquez over the line. The two Red Bull KTM Factory machines finished in sixth and seventh with Binder ahead of Miller. Quartararo was eighth ahead of Aleix Espargaro in ninth and Alex Rins rounded out the top ten.

Pecco leads the championship with a maximum of 37 points, Vinales is second on 25 points with Bezzecchi in third on 16.

Race Results

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