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Race report
MotoGP Thailand GP

MotoGP Thailand GP: Martin dominates sprint to cut Bagnaia’s championship lead

Pramac’s Jorge Martin dominated the Thailand Grand Prix sprint race to cut Francesco Bagnaia’s MotoGP championship lead to 18 points, after the latter was only seventh.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Martin converted pole to a fifth consecutive sprint victory in 2023 to bring his tally for the season up to seven, the Pramac Ducati rider 0.933 seconds clear of KTM’s Brad Binder at the chequered flag.

Leading every lap, Martin came under no challenge as he romped away from the field, while Bagnaia struggled to seventh.

Binder won out in a battle with VR46 Ducati’s Luca Marini, while Marc Marquez snatched fourth on his Honda from Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro on the final lap.

Marco Bezzecchi’s title challenge further faded as he was sixth on the sister VR46 Ducati ahead of Bagnaia, Alex Marquez and Johann Zarco.

Martin didn’t get the initial launch off the grid perfect, allowing second-placed Marini on his year-old Ducati to draw alongside on the run into Turn 1.

But the Pramac rider outbraked Marini to hold onto the holeshot and defended well on the run down into the Turn 3 hairpin.

That would be as close as Martin would come to being overtaken in the 13-lap sprint, as he streaked a second clear by the end of lap two.

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Bagnaia didn’t get away well from sixth and found himself in eighth on the opening lap, the factory Ducati rider quickly being cast adrift of the podium battle.

Zarco on the sister Pramac Ducati would demoted Bagnaia to ninth briefly, before a dice between Alex Marquez (Gresini) and the Frenchman on lap four would allow Bagnaia up to seventh.

While Bagnaia moved clear of Marquez and Zarco, he wouldn’t get close enough over the remainder of the race to challenge the group ahead of him.

At the front, Martin’s lead swelled to 1.4s at mid distance, while Binder finally made a move on Marini stick on lap seventh to take second.

Binder was able to quickly pull away of Marini, but it wouldn’t be enough to reel in Martin over the final laps despite the Pramac rider’s lead reducing to 0.933s come the finish.

Marini held onto the last step of the podium, while Marc Marquez snatched fourth from Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro at the final corner.

Earlier on the final lap, Marquez was able to move into fourth exiting Turn 3 after Espargaro made an error, only for the latter to scythe through again on the inside of Turn 7.

The pair were split by 0.078s on the run to the line, Marquez edging Espargaro and Bezzecchi was a further 0.448s behind.

Bagnaia missed out on taking an extra point from Bezzecchi by 0.092s, with Alex Marquez and Zarco completing the top nine.

KTM’s Jack Miller was 1.9s away from points in 10th, with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo shadowing him by 0.099s in 11th ahead of Honda’s Joan Mir.

An apparent clutch issue forced Fabio Di Giannantonio to retire his Gresini Ducati, while Tech3 GasGas rider Augusto Fernandez and LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami suffered falls at the last corner.

Nakagami was able to remount and finish 19th behind Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales, who slumped from ninth on the grid to 18th after being handed a long lap penalty for exceeding track limits.

MotoGP Thailand GP sprint race results

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Retirement Points
1 Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 13

-

      12
2 South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 13

+0.933

0.933

0.933     9
3 Italy L. Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 13

+1.841

1.841

0.908     7
4 Spain M. Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 13

+3.503

3.503

1.662     6
5 Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 13

+3.581

3.581

0.078     5
6 Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 13

+4.029

4.029

0.448     4
7 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 13

+4.121

4.121

0.092     3
8 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 13

+6.727

6.727

2.606     2
9 France J. Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 13

+7.323

7.323

0.596     1
10 Australia J. Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 13

+9.240

9.240

1.917      
11 France F. Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 13

+9.339

9.339

0.099      
12 Spain J. Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 13

+10.356

10.356

1.017      
13 Italy E. Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 13

+12.312

12.312

1.956      
14 Spain R. Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 13

+15.390

15.390

3.078      
15 Italy F. Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 13

+15.535

15.535

0.145      
16 Spain P. Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 13

+15.644

15.644

0.109      
17 Portugal M. Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 13

+17.753

17.753

2.109      
18 Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 13

+22.675

22.675

4.922      
19 Japan T. Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 13

+37.854

37.854

15.179      
dnf Italy F. Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 9

 

    Retirement  
dnf Spain A. Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 5

 

    Retirement  

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