MotoGP: Francesco Bagnaia Wins The 2023 MotoGP World Championship
Francesco Bagnaia takes victory in the Valencian Grand Prix as Jorge Martin crashes out
In the final race of the season, Francesco Bagnaia started from pole position after Maverick Vinales received a three-place grid penalty in Warm-up for not respecting the black flag with orange disk by immediately leaving the track after his mechanical problem arose. Johann Zarco started in second place and Jack Miller was promoted to the front row in third. Jorge Martin remained in sixth place on the grid.
The lights went out and it was Pecco Bagnaia who took the holeshot into turn one with Martin in second, Marco Bezzecchi crashed out at turn three.
Miller passed his teammate Brad Binder into turn six on lap two to move into third place. Martin hit the back of Pecco into turn one and ran wide and dropped down to eighth position!
Martin passed Alex Marquez into turn four on lap four to move into seventh place, the Gresini Ducati rider had the chance to pass into turn five but backed out of the move.
Martin passed Vinales at turn four on lap five, but Vinales repassed him into turn five with Martin shaking his head. Martin tried again at turn 11 and ran wide and Vinales retook the place. Zarco and Marc Marquez were also battling for fourth place going toe-to-toe.
Martin hit the back of Marquez at turn four and they both went down! Marquez landed hard on his legs and Martin’s championship hopes were over.
Meanwhile both Red Bull Factory KTM’s had passed Pecco and the Factory Ducati rider gave the message “Martin Out”.
On lap ten Enea Bastianini crashed out at turn one with Augusto Fernandez also crashing out at turn eight.
Binder made a mistake at turn ten and gave himself a long lap penalty and dropped down to sixth place, this meant that Miller was leading ahead of Bagnaia.
Binder passed Alex Marquez into turn four but rammed into the side of the Spaniard and Fabio Di Giannantonio moved into sixth place. Binder was given a drop one place penalty.
On lap 18 Binder passed Vinales, Binder then let Vinales back through and the penalty was declared completed.
Di Giannantonio passed Marquez into turn four and made the move stick on his teammate.
Miller crashed out of the lead at turn 11! Miller fell victim to the dreaded turn 11 cold tyre crash and his chances of becoming the first rider to win on three manufacturers were over.
Pecco was leading with Zarco right behind him with Binder back into the podium places in third. Vinales was struggling and began to fall backwards with Aleix Espargaro and Raul Fernandez passing him on lap 21 and 22.
Di Giannantonio passed Binder into turn 11 on lap 23 to move into third and was 1.2 seconds behind Zarco.
On lap 24 in what could be his final Grand Prix Pol Espargaro crashed out at turn 11, not how the Tech 3 GasGas rider would have wanted to bow out.
Di Giannantonio passed Zarco on the penultimate lap of the race at turn four and was 0.4 seconds behind Pecco.
Francesco Bagnaia crossed the line to win the race and take the 2023 MotoGP World Championship! Di Giannantonio tried to attack on the last lap but he could not find a way through and had to settle for second place with Zarco finishing his final race with Pramac Ducati in third.
There was no back-to-back Grand Prix winner during the 2023 season which is the first time that has happened since the inaugural season in 1949. Pecco won the championship with 467 points, 39 points ahead of Martin.
Featured Image: TNT Sports