MotoGP: Maverick Vinales Takes His First Win Since 2021 in Portimao Sprint

Published on March 23, 2024
By Jack Hammersley

Maverick Vinales takes debut Aprilia and Sprint victory with Marc Marquez taking his first podium finish on the Ducati

Enea Bastianini started from pole position for the first time onboard the factory Ducati ahead of Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales and Prima Pramac Duacti’s Jorge Martin, championship leader Francesco Bagnaia headed the second row in fourth.

The weather had been unpredictable and constantly changing over the weekend so data was difficult to gather for the riders.

The lights went out and it was Vinales who took the holeshot but Jack Miller took the lead on the exit of turn one with Pecco Bagnaia in second and Vinales in third ahead of Bastainini who had a poor start in fourth.

By end of the opening lap Miller had a 0.4 second lead ahead of Pecco, Vinales and Marc Marquez. The Australian made a mistake into turn one and Bagnaia was on his back wheel.

Marquez and Vinales rubbed at turn eleven and twelve with the Gresini Racing rider taking third place, Pecco took the lead at the final corner. Alex Rins crashed out at turn three on lap three.

Marquez passed Miller at turn eleven to move into second place, Pedro Acosta set the fastest lap of the race at the end of lap three. Johann Zarco crash at turn five on lap four. Fabio Di Giannantonio and Brad Binder crashed out separately on lap four also.

On lap five Marquez had a big snap on the front-end into turn five and had to run wide and concede to Vinales.

Martin lunged on Marquez at turn 13 to move into the podium places for the first time since the start of the race.

Martin set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:38.4 which was six tenths faster than Bagnaia out front and the Italians lead dropped from one second to 0.6.

Pecco made a big mistake at turn one of lap nine and ran really wide and dropped down to fourth place just ahead of Miller. Vinales inherited the lead with Martin on his tail and Marquez who was also in the fight.

Martin ran wide at turn 13 on the penultimate lap and that gave Vinales breathing room heading onto the last lap. Marquez was right behind Martin and was eyeing up an attack which he executed at turn five.

Vinales took his first sprint victory and his first win on the Aprilia RS-GP ahead of Marc Marquez in second position with Martin in third. Pecco Bagnaia following his big mistake finished in fourth holding off Miller in fifth and Bastianini in sixth. Pedro Acosta finished in seventh with Aleix Espargaro in eighth and Fabio Quartararo took the last point in ninth.

Bagnaia leads the championship by two points ahead of Martin, Binder despite the crash is third eight points behind with Marquez remaining in fourth ten points back.

Featured Image: Joel Cooper Photography


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