MotoGP: Jorge Martin Takes Sprint Victory in Lusail as Pecco Bagnaia Finishes in Fifth

Published on November 18, 2023
By Jack Hammersley

Jorge Martin wins his eighth Tissot Sprint of the season ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio

Mooney VR46 Racing’s Luca Marini started from pole position for the second time this season after setting a new all-time lap record, he headed an all-Ducati front-row with Gresini Racing’s Fabio Di Giannantonio and Alex Marquez. Francesco Bagnaia headed another row locked out by Ducati’s with championship rival Jorge Martin alongside the Italian in fifth with Prima Pramac Racing team-mate Johann Zarco lining up in sixth after going through Q1.

The lights went out and it was Marini who took the holeshot into turn one ahead of Alex Marquez and Martin with Pecco Bagnaia in fourth. Martin ran wide at turn four which allowed Pecco to move into third and Marc Marquez into fourth. There was a collision at turn six with Aleix Espargaro, Miguel Oliveira and Enea Bastainini

Martin passed Marquez down the home straight and Di Giannantonio passed the Repsol Honda rider into turn two for fifth place. Martin squeezed his way through on Pecco at turn ten and moved into third place. Di Giannantonio then passed Pecco at turn 15.

Brad Binder recovering from a fourth row start aggressively passed Marc Marquez into turn four on lap three and the Spaniard ran off track and fell back to ninth place.

On lap five Alex Marquez pulled alongside Marini and tried to out-brake him into turn one but Marini turned underneath and retook the lead. Martin then attacked Marquez at turn six and moved into second. Di Giannantonio overtook his team-mate at turn 15 with Marquez retaliating at the final corner, but the Italian was able to take third at turn one. Martin took the lead from Marini at turn 16 on lap five.

On lap six Di Giannantonio made another move at turn 15 and overtook Marini for second place.

Marc Marquez was in the final points paying position in ninth place, Fabio Quartararo showed a wheel into turn one on lap ten and Marquez out-braked himself and allowed the Frenchman to move into ninth.

Jorge Martin held off Di Giannantonio to take his eighth sprint victory of the season, Luca Marini took third place after gambling with the soft front tyre. Alex Marquez finished in fourth ahead of Pecco Bagnaia in fifth. Maverick Vinales was sixth ahead of Binder in seventh, Quartararo in eighth and Augusto Fernandez taking the final points paying position in ninth.

The gap between Pecco and Martin was now down to seven points and the title fight would officially go down to the final round at Valencia.

Featured Image: Pramac Racing.


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