MotoGP: Francesco Bagnaia takes Victory in the Spanish Grand Prix
Francesco Bagnaia put together a terrific performance in Jerez to claim victory at Round Four of the 2023 season!
After Brad Binder took victory yesterday in the Sprint Race around Jerez the battle for victory in the main race was an exciting prospect.
Aleix Espargaro started from pole with Jack Miller and Jorge Martin joining him on the front row of the grid. After a rocket of a start Miller took the holeshot and led the race out of turn one, with Binder close behind.
At Turn Two Fabio Quartararo got caught up with Miguel Oliveira on the first lap and caused a Red Flag to be thrown out over the Spanish track. Due to the crash Quartararo was given a Long Lap Penalty to serve after the restart.
After a delay due to the Red Flag the Spanish Grand Prix got back underway with the same grid with Espargaro staying on pole with Miller and Martin alongside once again.
For the second time of asking it was Binder who took the holeshot into turn one ahead of Miller. Martin, Espargaro and Bagnaia followed the two KTM’s closely behind. On Lap One of the restart the winner of the American Grand Prix crashed out of his home Grand Prix, but rejoined in last.
Lap Two of the race saw another Honda down in the gravel with Joan Mir adding another crash to his tally this year.
Miller took the lead off of his teammate at the end of Lap Two as the Aussie and South African began to open a gap up over Bagnaia. The lead changed once again at the end of Lap Four into the Jorge Lorenzo corner as Binder slid under Miller once again!
After serving his Long Lap Penalty Quartararo’s Spanish Grand Prix went from bad to worse as he was given another Penalty for an Incorrect Long Lap Penalty.
Lap Eight saw another penalty thrown out, but this time for Francesco Bagnaia, after a tough overtake on Miller the reigning World Champion was forced to drop a place because of it.
With 14 laps to go the battle for fourth began to hot up with Espargaro and Martin scrapping it out for position, with Johann Zarco lurking in behind. The gap at the front was also coming down with Binder being closed in by Miller as the group between first and eighth were bunching up.
Nine laps to go and Bagnaia reclaimed second place, he was the new challenger to try and catch Binder and claim his first win in a full length race since Portimao at the start of the season.
On Lap 17 two Ducati riders ended up in the gravel. Both Johann Zarco and the Championship leader, Marco Bezzecchi crashed out only a few corners apart.
Lap 19 saw Bagnaia set the Fastest Lap of the race with five laps to go. The battle for the win looked to be opening up once again.
Two laps later Bagnaia took the race lead off of Binder, who looked to be struggling for grip. The Ducati man had three laps to hold off the South African!
On the Last Lap Bagnaia had not dropped Binder and the reigning World Champion had 13 corners to negotiate to win another MotoGP and to get his Championship defence back on track!
Francesco Bagnaia crossed the line in first once again as he retakes the Championship lead! Binder and Miller followed the Ducati over the line to complete a 2nd and 3rd finish for the Austrian manufacturer!
Images from MotoGP.com