MotoGP: Fabio Di Giannantonio Takes a Very Emotional Victory at the Qatar Grand Prix

Published on November 19, 2023
By Jack Hammersley

Fabio Di Giannantonio wins at the Lusail International Circuit ahead of Pecco Bagnaia with Martin down in tenth

Luca Marini started from pole position and was taking a risk with a soft front tyre when most of the grid had opted for the hard compound. Fabio Di Giannantonio had been strong all weekend and was fresh off a second place finish in the Tissot Sprint, his teammate Alex Marquez lined-up alongside in third. Francesco Bagnaia was fourth with championship rival and sprint race winner Jorge Martin in fifth with Frenchman Johann Zarco in sixth.

The lights went out and it was Pecco Bagnaia who took the holeshot into turn one as Martin had wheelspin and dropped down to eighth place.

Marc Marquez had moved up to fifth at the start but on lap two Brad Binder slipped up the inside at turn six. Alex Marquez passed Di Giannantonio into turn 12 for third place.

Zarco ran wide at turn four on lap three and let Martin and Maverick Vinales through and dropped to ninth place.

On lap four Di Giannantonio retook his teammate Marquez for third at turn six, he was behind Marini who was 0.3 seconds behind Pecco out in front.

Martin was able to slipstream his way passed Marc Marquez on lap five into turn one and moved inside the top six, the Spaniard was 1.5 seconds behind Binder in fifth.

Di Giannantonio made his second pass at turn six, sitting up Marini and moving into second place, Marquez then followed suit into turn 12. The Italian ran wide in the process and Binder was able to profit from the situation and was into fourth place. The South African then out-braked Marquez into turn one and moved into third place.

After taking multiple looks for a few laps, Vinales was able to overtake Marc Marquez into turn 14 for seventh place and was right behind Martin who was struggling to match the pace of the top five.

Vinales passed Martin on lap 11 at turn four and Marc Marquez followed suit into turn six. Fabio Quartararo had great pace and passed Zarco into turn ten and was the next rider that could pass Martin who was struggling.

Marquez went wide at turn six on lap 12 and let Martin and Quartararo through, Quartararo then moved into seventh, passing Martin into turn ten. Jack Miller then passed Martin into turn one as the Prima Pramac Racing Ducati rider ran wide mid-corner.

Zarco passed Martin into turn one, but the Frenchman ran wide, Enea Bastianini then set the fastest lap of the race on lap 14 and was about to pass Martin.

Marini who was the highest soft front tyre runner passed the Gresini Ducati at turn ten, but the Spaniard retaliated at turn 12. The VR46 Academy rider then took the place back at turn 15.

Bastianini out-braked Martin into turn one on lap 18 to move into ninth place, Vinales was on the move and passed Marquez and Binder for fourth and began to chose down Marini who had moved into third. Marquez ran wide at turn one and Binder moved back inside the top five.

Di Giannantonio made his move at turn 12 with four laps remaining, Pecco had a look at turn 13 but decided against it.

Pecco tried to pass back Di Giannantonio into turn one but got all crossed up and ran very wide, luckily for the Italian he had a five second gap over Marini and was able to settle back into second.

Fabio Di Gianntonio crossed the line to take his first victory in the MotoGP class and only his fourth Grand Prix victory! Pecco Bagnaia brought a very important second place for his championship aspirations and Luca Marini rounded out the podium in third for just his second Grand Prix podium.

Jorge Martin crossed the line in tenth a took six points, he has a 21 point deficit to Pecco with 37 points available at Valencia.

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