MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro Wins the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya Sprint Race.

Published on September 2, 2023
By Jack Hammersley

Aleix Espargaro wins his first sprint race in-front of his home fans in Barcelona.

Francesco Bagnaia started from pole position for the sixth time this season, he lined-up ahead of three Aprilia’s in Aleix Espargaro, Miguel Oliveira and Maverick Vinales. Last years race winner Fabio Quartararo stared from the sixth row in 17th, behind team-mate Franky Morbidelli. Marc Marquez started in 12th.

It was cool windy conditions and there was a threat of rain looming on the grid and as they started the warm up lap spots of rain began to drop. The lights went out and it was Pecco Bagnaia who took the holeshot into turn one ahead of Vinales and Jorge Martin, Espargaro overtook Martin into turn four.

On lap two Espargaro overtook his teammate Vinales on the brakes into turn one. Oliveira was down in seventh fighting with Marquez who had a great start from the fourth row.

On lap three Martin tried to copy Espargaro’s move on Vinales into turn one but out-braked himself and dropped down to sixth ahead of Marco Bezzecchi.

Espargaro was all over the back of Pecco but wasn’t close enough to make a move on the championship leader. Brad Binder was running in fourth place behind Vinales and ahead of former teammate Oliveira.

On lap seven Espargaro made the move at turn one on Pecco and made it stick and immediately began to open up a gap.

With two laps to go Espargaro had a 1.7 second lead over Pecco with Vinales right behind the Italian trying to make it a first Aprilia one-two.

Aleix Espargaro crossed the line to win his first sprint race of his career in stunning fashion, beating Pecco Bagnaia by 2.1 seconds. Maverick Vinales could not find a way through and had to settle for third, Binder finished in fourth with Oliveira in fifth.

Featured Image: Aprilia.


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