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MotoGP Austria 2023 Sprint Race result: Bagnaia escapes the chaos

Francesco Bagnaia won the MotoGP Austria 2023 sprint race
Photo by Gepa / Icon Sport

On a race that produced plenty of talking points, including a big crash at the first corner, Francesco Bagnaia produced a dominant display and won the Sprint.

MotoGP Austria 2023 Sprint: Accidents and retirements

It was all chaos at the start, as a horrible start for Maverick Vinales dropped him into the midfield. He was in the middle of an accident at the first corner, involving Enea Bastianini, Fabio Quartararo, Johann Zarco, Miguel Oliveira and Marco Bezzecchi. Most of those riders retired, while the others rejoined far down the order.

The incident, which looked like it was instigated by Jorge Martin, will be investigated post-race. You can see a video of the start below.

On the racetrack, Francesco Bagnaia barely held onto the lead from pole position, from Brad Binder and Jack Miller. The South African, who had his contract extended earlier today, tried to overtake the championship leader towards the end of the opening lap, but was unsuccessful in his efforts. The leading pair pulled away, while a battle for the podium was brewing.

Jack Miller held third position for the opening seven laps, until he was overtaken by Luca Marini. An error by the Aussie just a few corners later pushed him down to fifth, behind Jorge Martin. The Spaniard tried to pass the Italian on the next lap, but the pair touched and Marini fell, leading to retirement for him. Martin was up to third, after what the stewards deemed as a racing incident.

MotoGP Austria 2023 Sprint: The results

At the front, Bagnaia cruised away from Binder and claimed his fourth Sprint win of the season, his first since Mugello in June. In the end it was a comfortable victory for him, as he stayed well clear from the chaos behind. Binder also had a quiet race, as he was unable to keep up with the Ducati and settled for second.

Third place went to Jorge Martin, who had an eventful race to say the least. While he has escaped penalty for the incident with Marini, whether he is penalised for his part in the first corner mayhem remains to be seen. A week after winning the Sprint at Silverstone, Alex Marquez had another good performance and finished fourth.

Fifth will be somewhat disappointing for Jack Miller, but the same cannot be said for the man who finished sixth. Pol Espargaro rode a brilliant race, on his second weekend back after his serious accident in the opening round in Portimao. That result came after the Spaniard navigated the first corner accident and then held off his brother, Aleix, for most of the race.

Maverick Vinales was the only rider to recover after losing a lot of ground on the first lap and he made his way through the field to climb up to eighth on the chequered flag. He was on the tail of his teammate on the final couple of laps, but elected not to risk a move. The last point went to Franco Morbidelli, who edged out Marc Marquez towards the end.

Fabio DiGiannantonio, Joan Mir, Enea Bastianini and Raul Fernandez followed, with the factory Ducati rider being among the innocent bystanders at the first corner. Fabio Quartararo was another and his race did not get any better. He collected Lorenzo Savadori and earned a long-lap penalty, as the Aprilia test rider fell off his bike and retired.

Johann Zarco and Marco Bezzecchi also retired after their races got ruined, as did Takaaki Nakagami, who suffered a heavy fall on the second lap.

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