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On a damp track, the sprint race of the British MotoGP round took place and Alex Marquez emerged as the surprising winner, for his first victory of any sorts in the premier class!
MotoGP Silverstone 2023 Sprint: The battle for the win
The first couple of laps were frantic, with as many as four riders hitting the front. The polesitter, Marco Bezzecchi kept his lead into the first corner, before Jack Miller overtook him into Turn 3.
Towards the end of the first lap, Jorge Martin – who had started from seventh – was flying and battled for the lead with the Australian rider, although he was not able to make a move stick. The next leader was Alex Marquez, who had made steady progress despite dropping a place from third on the grid.
Miller lost another position, by Bezzecchi and the two Ducati riders pulled a little bit away. The younger Marquez brother kept the gap at around a second from Bezzecchi and was never attacked.
In a huge surprise and despite a last-gasp effort by the Italian, Alex Marquez earned his first victory in the premier class, riding a Ducati for Gresini. Bezzecchi had a great last lap and closed the gap to four tenths, but it was not enough to launch an attack for the win.
— MotoGP™? (@MotoGP) August 5, 2023
MotoGP Silverstone 2023 Sprint: Winners and losers further back
Behind them, the two Aprilia riders were making great progress, with Maverick Vinales rising steadily through the field from eighth to grab a podium finish. In the meantime, Aleix Espargaro climbed from twelfth to fourth, but lost out to Johann Zarco – who made a great recovery in the final laps – and dropped to fifth.
Sixth place went to Jorge Martin, who was unable to keep up his early-race pace and dropped off. Jack Miller also dropped off and was a happy man after he lost ground after being forced wide by Zarco when the pair battled. Augusto Fernandez scored for the first time in the Sprint, in a brilliant day that also saw him qualify fifth.
The last point went to Brad Binder, who was able to hold off Miguel Oliveira in the fight for ninth. No riders crashed in the Sprint today, but there will be a few very disappointed riders after this race.
Francesco Bagnaia started fourth, but a bad start dropped him to ninth. He was unable to find any sort of pace and dropped even further, to fourteenth, just behind his teammate, Enea Bastianini.
His 2022 title rival, Fabio Quartararo has had a season to forget – mainly thanks to the Yamaha being off the pace – but today was one of the worst days so far. Qualifying last was already bad enough, but there were no positive signs in the Sprint as well. He finished 21st, only ahead of Iker Lecuona, who is subbing in for the injured Alex Rins at LCR Honda.
Honda’s day was just as miserable. Joan Mir was the top bike of the Japanese manufacturer, but only down in seventeenth. One position behind him was Marc Marquez, who was off the pace for the entirety of the ten-lap race.
The Grand Prix takes place tomorrow, at 1:00 PM BST (12:00 GMT). Here is where you can watch the race.
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