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The pendulum in the MotoGP championship has swung again! From thirteenth on the grid, Francesco Bagnaia won the Indonesian Grand Prix, while his championship rival, Jorge Martin, crashed and scored no points.
MotoGP Indonesia 2023: How the race unfolded
The start provided a huge moment for the championship, as Jorge Martin had a stunning getaway and rose from sixth to first! Maverick Vinales was second and on his tail at the end of the first lap, with Fabio Quartararo third, ahead of Luca Marini -whose start from pole was not the best- Brad Binder and Francesco Bagnaia, who was aggressive on first lap and gained six positions.
On the second lap, Binder tried to pass Marini, but the pair made contact and the Mooney VR46 rider crashed. The KTM rider continued, in sixth position, while Marini picked up his bike and continued dead last. This helped Bagnaia get up to fourth, which turned into third when he overtook Quartararo on the next lap. Binder was later penalised and he dropped to tenth after serving his long lap penalty.
After a few laps, the race settled down at the front, with Martin leading from Vinales, Bagnaia, Espargaro and Quartararo. In the battle for sixth, Miguel Oliveira, Jack Miller, Marco Bezzecchi and Binder fought hard, resulting in the Portuguese rider running wide as the South African tried to pass him. Marc Marquez was also part of that fight, but he crashed out of the race on the ninth lap.
The next development of the race came on the thirteenth lap and it was a huge one! Jorge Martin crashed on his own, while holding a three-second advantage over Vinales! The Spaniard became the new leader, a second ahead of Bagnaia, but on softer tyres.
Bagnaia closed the gap rapidly and he was on the leader’s tail with eight laps remaining. Without wasting much time, he made his move and took the lead. The top three stayed close together until the finish and it looked like we were in for a huge fight, but there was no change for the podium spots.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) October 15, 2023
MotoGP Indonesia 2023: The result
The conclusion of what seemed like a disastrous weekend, amazingly, found Francesco Bagnaia as the winner and the new championship leader! He won from thirteenth on the grid and will leave Mandalika with an eighteen-point lead in the championship, with the advantage back to him.
Maverick Vinales barely held on to second, finishing at that position for the third time this season. He finished only just ahead of Fabio Quartararo, who claimed his second podium in three Grands Prix, for sure a positive development for the Japanese manufacturer, which has struggled massively this season.
Fabio di Giannantonio took his best result in MotoGP by finishing fourth. A heroic ride from Marco Bezzecchi, a week after surgery on his collarbone, saw him take the chequered flag in fifth. He overtook Brad Binder on the last lap, as the South African overcame two long lap penalties, after contact with Luca Marini and Miguel Oliveira, to finish sixth.
Jack Miller was seventh, in front of Enea Bastianini, who had an excursion early in the race and a long lap penalty he was carrying over from the Catalan Grand Prix. Alex Rins, in his first Grand Prix since he broke his leg back in June, was ninth after surviving a chaotic race.
Aleix Espargaro had a miserable race, as he really struggled with his tyres and finished tenth, just beating Takaaki Nakagami. Miguel Oliveira had a trip through the gravel trap after contact with Binder and could only finish twelfth, in front of Raul Fernandez and the last finisher, Franco Morbidelli.
Pol Espargaro became the first retirement of the race after crashing out on the second lap. He was followed by Luca Marini, who also stopped after riding for a few laps after his crash. Augusto Fernandez and Joan Mir also crashed in the middle part of the race. Another rider that crashed was Johann Zarco, on the same corner as his teammate, just a couple of laps later.
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