MotoGP: Marco Bezzecchi Dominates the Inaugural Indian Grand Prix as Pecco Bagnaia Crashes Out
Marco Bezzecchi wins in style with Jorge Martin closing the championship lead of Pecco with the Italian falling out of second place
A threat of rain loomed over the grid for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, Marco Bezzecchi started from pole position and hoped to convert his sprint race pace to take his third Grand Prix victory of the season. Jorge Martin was in second and was the rider in form winning the last three races. Francesco Bagnaia rounded out the front row.
Luca Marini and Alex Marquez were declared unfit after both riders sustaining injuries on Saturday. Joan Mir headed the second row ahead of his teammate Marc Marquez and Johann Zarco was promoted to sixth place.
The lights went out and it was Martin who took the holeshot ahead of Pecco Bagnaia and Bezzecchi. Fabio Quartararo had a great start from seventh and was in fourth ahead of Marquez and Mir. Marquez took fourth from the Frenchman at turn five.
Martin out-braked himself into turn four and Pecco and Bezzecchi went through. Bez then passed Pecco into the final corner to lead the end of lap one. The sky was very overcast.
Onto lap four and Bezzecchi was pulling away from Pecco by 0.4 seconds a lap. Martin was glued to the back of the Factory Ducati with the Spaniard having a look at turn eight but had to back out of the move.
Martin sent it up the inside with a very aggressive pass at turn four sending both riders wide and Martin just about took second place with Marquez right behind the championship leader. Bezzecchi was leading by 2.1 seconds.
Marquez lost the front at turn one! The Repsol Honda rider was pushing to stay close to Pecco and he just went over the limit, but the Spaniard did not lose too much time and rejoined in 17th.
On lap eighth Pecco nearly hit the back of Martin into turn four and he had to run wide. Marquez was in 16th lapping the same times as Martin and Pecco and was only ten seconds behind.
Augusto Fernandez retired from the race on lap ten, his first DNF of the season. Bezzecchi was leading by 3.8 seconds and continuing to lap 0.4 seconds a lap faster than anyone else. Marquez passed Pol Espargaro at the final corner to move into 14th. Aleix Espargaro retired on lap 11 with a technical problem.
Martin was making some small mistakes and Pecco slipped underneath the Spaniard at turn nine to move into second place, was his hard front tyre coming into its own?
Pecco Bagnaia was down! The championship leader lost the front early into turn five and that mistake would mean Martin would close the gap even more in the championship.
Martin’s leathers had unzipped and he had to zip it back up and Quartararo was 0.6 seconds behind. Brad Binder passed Mir for fourth place. Fabio Di Giannantonio retired from the race on lap 19.
On the final lap of the race Martin made a mistake at turn four and Quartararo moved into second place, but Martin got a great drive out of turn five and retook second.
Bezzecchi crossed the line to win the first Indian Grand Prix, Martin held off Quartararo for second place and he was exhausted! Binder held off Mir for fourth with Zarco in sixth and Franky Morbidelli in seventh. Maverick Vinales in eighth with Marquez who remounted to ninth and Raul Fernandez who took his second consecutive top ten finish.
Pecco came to India with a 36 point lead, heading to Motegi in Japan it’s just 13 points to Martin.
Featured Image: Mooney VR46 Racing.