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Race report
MotoGP Thailand GP

MotoGP Thailand GP: Martin wins thriller, Binder penalty puts Bagnaia second

Pramac’s Jorge Martin won a thrilling MotoGP Thailand Grand Prix on the road from Brad Binder, but a late penalty boosted Francesco Bagnaia to second as the championship gap narrows.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

In a strategic 26-lap grand prix where tyre preservation was crucial, Martin, Binder and Bagnaia engaged in a tense dice over the final laps for victory.

Having briefly lost the lead on lap 23, Martin came back through again on Binder on the penultimate tour and held firm on the final lap to score his fourth grand prix victory of the season.

Binder had to surrender second after exceeding track limits on the final lap, demoting him a spot behind Bagnaia – gifting the factory Ducati rider an important four points.

Heading into the final three rounds, Martin now trails Bagnaia by just 13 points having already cut his lead to 18 with victory in the sprint on Saturday in Thailand.

Marco Bezzecchi remains just in touch in the championship chase, 79 points adrift, after finishing fourth on his VR46 Ducati.

In a carbon copy of the start in the sprint, Martin didn’t get off the line as strong from pole as second-placed Luca Marini on the sister VR46 Ducati.

But Martin was able to outbrake Marini into Turn 1 to take the lead as Aleix Espargaro and Bagnaia slotted in behind.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Espargaro moved into second ahead of Marini at Turn 4 on the opening lap, while Binder took fourth from Bagnaia at Turn 9.

This forced Bagnaia to check up, dropping him behind Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez – who was the only rider on the contra-strategy with the rear tyre, opting for the medium over the hard.

Bagnaia took fifth back from Marquez on lap two briefly, only to be passed again as Martin held a stable three-tenth lead over Espargaro, keeping the pace slow to preserve his rubber.

Binder took third from Marini on lap three as Bagnaia came under fire from Honda’s Marc Marquez, the pair engaging in a nice duel for sixth across laps four and five.

Bagnaia would ultimately get the upper hand on Marquez on lap five, while Binder moved up to second ahead of Espargaro the tour before.

With the pace being as steady as it was, the top 18 on lap seven were covered by just five seconds.

By lap 10, Bagnaia had worked his way up to fourth ahead of Marini, who slipped behind Alex Marquez on the fifth tour.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

A crash for Alex Marquez on lap 13 at Turn 10 cleared the way for Bagnaia to move up to third as the top three pulled eight tenths clear of the pack behind.

It wouldn’t be until lap 20 that the battle at the front kicked into its next phase, with Binder launching his first raid on the lead at Turns 8 and 9 on Martin.

Martin won out in this melee and did so again at Turn 3 on the next tour after Binder ran wide, which also forced Bagnaia to check up in third to avoid contact with the KTM.

Binder made a move stick on Martin on lap 23 at Turn 8, but the Pramac rider didn’t relent and retook the lead two tours later at Turn 3 after the KTM man ran wide.

Bagnaia tried a daring raid around the outside of the pair of them on the brakes into the final corner, but couldn’t pull it off, remaining third.

Martin didn’t allow Binder another chance to come through on the final lap and took the chequered flag to complete the double in Thailand.

On the final lap, Binder ran onto the green run-off area on the exit of Turn 5, which copped him a one-place penalty at the chequered flag, promoting Bagnaia to second.

With 0.253s covering the top three, it marks the fourth-closest podium in premier class history.

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

After a dice with his VR46 team-mate, Bezzecchi took fourth from Aprilia’s Espargaro and the Yamaha of Fabio Quartararo - but post-race Espargaro was demoted to eighth after becoming the first rider to get a penalty under the new tyre pressure rules.

That pushed Quartararo up to fifth and Marc Marquez sixth as Marini took seventh.

Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini) and Pramac’s Johann Zarco rounding out the top 10.

Franco Morbidelli was 11th on the sister Yamaha from Joan Mir on the Honda, Ducati’s Enea Bastianini, LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami and Raul Fernandez (RNF).

Technical issues forced Aprilia duo Maverick Vinales and Miguel Oliveira (RNF) to retire.

MotoGP Thailand GP results

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Retirement Points
1 Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 26

39'40.045

  179.0   25
2 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 26

+0.253

39'40.298

0.253 179.0   20
3 South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 26

+0.114

39'40.159

  179.0   16
4 Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 26

+2.005

39'42.050

1.891 178.9   13
5 France F. Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 26

+4.550

39'44.595

2.545 178.7   11
6 Spain M. Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 26

+5.362

39'45.407

0.812 178.6   10
7 Italy L. Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 26

+6.778

39'46.823

1.416 178.5   9
8 Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 26

+7.303

39'47.348

0.525 178.7   8
9 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 26

+7.569

39'47.614

0.266 178.5   7
10 France J. Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 26

+9.377

39'49.422

1.808 178.3   6
11 Italy F. Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 26

+11.168

39'51.213

1.791 178.2   5
12 Spain J. Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 26

+11.990

39'52.035

0.822 178.1   4
13 Italy E. Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 26

+12.323

39'52.368

0.333 178.1   3
14 Japan T. Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 26

+14.537

39'54.582

2.214 178.0   2
15 Spain R. Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 26

+15.093

39'55.138

0.556 177.9   1
16 Australia J. Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 26

+17.640

39'57.685

2.547 177.7    
17 Spain A. Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 26

+21.307

40'01.352

3.667 177.5    
18 Spain P. Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 26

+21.435

40'01.480

0.128 177.4    
dnf Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 23

+3 Laps

35'57.872

3 Laps 174.7 Mechanical  
dnf Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 12

+14 Laps

18'18.439

11 Laps 179.1 Accident  
dnf Portugal M. Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 6

+20 Laps

9'17.720

6 Laps 176.3 Retirement  

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