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After the gap at the top of the championship was reduced by nine points on Saturday, as Jorge Martin took victory at the Sprint, a new day began at the Chang International Circuit.
MotoGP Thailand 2023: How the race unfolded
There was little change at the start, as Jorge Martin kept his lead. Luca Marini lost a position to Aleix Espargaro and Brad Binder made his way through to fourth. Francesco Bagnaia didn’t make any significant ground up and found himself in a big fight against the Marquez brother early on.
The two men on the move on the first few laps were Binder and Alex Marquez, who rose to second and third respectively. Marini and Aleix Espargaro followed, while Bagnaia came out on top after a battle with Marc Marquez.
The leading pack stayed tight, but the Aprilia rider struggled to keep pace. Bagnaia overtook him and he fell into the clutches of Marc Marquez. The swapped places a couple of times and even had contact, with this battle costing them time and allowing the top five to pull away.
The race stabilised with the top five staying in touch with each other. The only change over the next few laps of the race was a move by Bagnaia on Marini for fourth on the tenth lap. Four laps later, Alex Marquez crashed out of third and allowed the factory Ducati rider to close in on Martin and Binder.
After the halfway point of the race, the top three separated themselves from Marini, who had his teammate, Marco Bezzecchi, on his tail. Binder started to put Martin under huge pressure, making a failed move for the lead on a couple of occasions.
It was third time lucky for the South African though! With five laps remaining, he made the move for the lead stick. He did not pull away though and Martin passed him again three laps later. Bagnaia made a fantastic move on the final corner of the penultimate lap and almost took the lead, but he slotted back in third.
PECCO BAGNAIA ALMOST PULLED OFF THE IMPOSSIBLE! 😱
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) October 29, 2023
It all came down to the final corner, with all three contenders together. Martin defended it brilliantly though and he left Binder with no opportunity but to settle for second.
MotoGP Thailand 2023: The results
After two bad Grands Prix in Indonesia and Australia, Jorge Martin returned to the top step of the podium in Buriram, after a stunning performance, excelling in race management, attacking and defending.
Brad Binder came very close to ending his two-year drought of victories, as he could not set up a move for the final few corners. After the race though, he was demoted one position for exceeding track limits on the last lap and gifted second to Francesco Bagnaia.
The championship leader must have been glad to hear the news and he will now enter the Malaysian GP thirteen points ahead of his championship rival, as three rounds remain in the season.
Behind the top three, Marco Bezzecchi came out on top in his battle with his teammate to finish fourth. Luca Marini dropped off and crossed the line in eighth position, as he lost out to Aleix Espargaro, Fabio Quartararo and Marc Marquez, the latter two having good races on their struggling bikes.
Fabio Di Giannantonio and Johann Zarco were two of the protagonists in the last Grand Prix, but could only manage ninth and tenth in Thailand, ahead of Franco Morbidelli, Joan Mir, Enea Bastianini, Takaaki Nakagami and Raul Fernandez.
Miguel Oliveira and Maverick Vinales were the two other retirements of the race, both with issues on their bikes.
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