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The first ever race in India was a Sprint one and it was emphatically won by Jorge Martin, who continues his charge towards Francesco Bagnaia in the championship and his own winning streak, after winning both the Sprint and the Main race in Misano.
MotoGP India 2023 Sprint: The action in short notice
The first Indian Grand Prix was already a dramatic one, due to the doubts about the track’s safety that led to many drivers’ complaints, but it got even more dramatic when the rain soaked the track during the qualifying for Moto3. This caused further delays to both the Moto2 qualifying and the MotoGP Sprint. But the race did get underway with an hour’s delay with 11 laps scheduled.
Poleman Marco Bezzechi didn’t get off to a good start and things got even worse at the first corner, after he crashed with his VR46 Teammate Luca Marini. Marini retired, while Bezzechi escaped, albeit last. Also, there was a crash further back involving the two GasGas riders of Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro and HRC wildcard Stefan Bradl, which saw the later two retire.
So, P2 starter, Jorge Martin jumped into the lead, with Bagnaia second and the much troubled Repsol Honda riders of Marc Marquez and Joan Mir in third and fourth. In lap 4, though, Joan Mir had a slow crash once again eliminating him from the race, while two laps later Johan Zarco suffered an almost identical crash but managed to remount. At the same time, Bezzechi was charging from the back of the field and was already in 7th place.
On Lap 8, Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro fell off his bike, while Bezzechi made further progress in 6th. Things remained relatively stable, as Brad Binder tried to put pressure on Marquez for 3d, but without success. In the last lap, Bezzechi managed to pass Fabio Quartararo for 5th, completing a great comeback.
MotoGP India 2023: Results
So, it all ended up with another dominant win for Jorge Martin, who never got under any pressure. Martin got the full twelve points of the sprint and trimmed three more points of Francesco Bagnaia’s lead in the championship, who finished second. With the difference now on just 33 points, Martin will want to repeat his performance tomorrow in the main race.
But, it’s Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez that stole the show, after managing to take his and Repsol Honda’s first podium since the opening Sprint race of the year in Portugal. The 8-time world champion was very happy after the end of the race, as was his team, with talks regarding his future with HRC continuing. It’s an important result, ahead of the team’s home race in Japan and there will be a vital meating between Marc and the team’s hierarchy regarding 2024.
In 4th place was Brad Binder, ahead of the charging Marco Bezzechi, who salvaged 5 points after his opening lap crash. Fabio Quartararo came 6th, in a pleasant result for Yamaha, ahead of KTM’s Jack Miller. The points were completed by the Aprilias of Maverick Vinales and Raul Fernandez, in a track that doesn’t seem to fit the Italian outfit. Fabio di Gianantonio was 10th, ahead of Augusto Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira. Takaaki Nakagami, who recently signed a contract with the LCR Honda team for 2024 was 13th, while Ducati wildcard Michelle Pirro and Ducati-bound Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli completed the finishers.
The action continues tomorrow with the main race.
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