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MotoGP Valencia GP: Bagnaia wins title after Martin crashes into Marquez

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia has been crowned 2023 MotoGP world champion, winning the Valencia Grand Prix, after title rival Jorge Martin crashed out in an incident with Marc Marquez.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia and Martin came into the championship decider in Valencia split by 14 points after the latter won the sprint on Saturday.

Ducati rider Bagnaia only needed to finish fifth to seal the deal, and started from pole following a penalty for poleman Maverick Vinales after he ignored the meatball flag in warm-up for a technical issue.

Bagnaia took the lead off the line, with Martin launching up to second from sixth into Turn 2 on the opening lap.

The pair ran close until Martin ran off at Turn 1 when he outbraked himself at the start of lap three, sending him down to eighth.

On lap six it all ended for Martin when he collided with Honda’s Marc Marquez on the eight-time world champion’s final appearance for the team while battling for fifth.

Martin tapped the rear of the Honda as he tried to overtake at Turn 4, sending Marquez into a nasty highside while the Pramac rider went down himself.

Bagnaia could not be beaten in the championship, making him the first Ducati rider in history to win two MotoGP titles and the first back-to-back champion since Marquez in 2019.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing crash

With Martin crashing out of the race and not winning the championship, it is unlikely that he will be promoted to the factory team for 2024.

When Martin crashed out, Bagnaia lost the lead to KTM’s Brad Binder when he looked to see what happened behind him.

Jack Miller on the sister KTM would follow through into second on lap seven and would inherit the lead when team-mate Binder ran off at Turn 11 on lap 14.

Binder dropped to sixth but would recover into the podium fight in the latter stages, while Miller crashed out on lap 19 at Turn 10 while he lead by almost a second.

This released Bagnaia back into the lead, though he would continue to be shadowed by Pramac’s Johann Zarco until the penultimate lap when Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio – who started 11th – scythed through on the Frenchman at Turn 11.

Di Giannantonio tried on several occasions to find a way through on Bagnaia, but the world champion held firm to take his seventh grand prix victory of the season by just 0.176s.

After the race Di Giannantonio was given a three-second penalty for breaching the tyre pressure rule, dropping him from second to fourth and promoting Zarco to second and Binder onto the podium.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

RNF Aprilia’s Raul Fernandez took fifth ahead of Gresini’s Alex Marquez, as Franco Morbidelli’s final Yamaha race ended with him in seventh, while Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, Honda-bound Luca Marini and Vinales rounded out the top 10.

An ill Fabio Quartararo was 11th on the sister factory Yamaha, with LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, RNF stand-in Lorenzo Savadori and Tech3’s Pol Espargaro – who crashed late on – were the last finishers down to 14th.

LCR Honda’s Alex Rins, Ducati’s Enea Bastianini, Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez and VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi also crashed out of the race.

Marc Marquez was taken to the medical centre after his collision with Martin, but quickly returned to his Honda garage having seemingly escape serious injury.

MotoGP Valencia GP - Race results

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Retirement Points
1 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 27

-

      25
2 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 27

+0.176

0.176

0.176     20
3 France J. Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 27

+0.360

0.360

0.184     16
4 South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 27

+2.347

2.347

1.987     13
5 Spain R. Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 27

+4.636

4.636

2.289     11
6 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 27

+4.708

4.708

0.072     10
7 Italy F. Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 27

+4.736

4.736

0.028     9
8 Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 27

+8.014

8.014

3.278     8
9 Italy L. Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 27

+9.486

9.486

1.472     7
10 Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 27

+10.556

10.556

1.070     6
11 France F. Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 27

+12.001

12.001

1.445     5
12 Japan T. Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 27

+21.695

21.695

9.694     4
13 Italy L. Savadori RNF Racing 32 Aprilia 27

+43.297

43.297

21.602     3
14 Spain P. Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 25

+2 Laps

35.223

2 Laps     2
dnf Spain A. Rins Team LCR 42 Honda 19

 

    Retirement  
dnf Australia J. Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 18

 

    Accident  
dnf Italy E. Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 9

 

    Accident  
dnf Spain A. Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 9

 

    Accident  
dnf Spain M. Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 5

 

    Accident  
dnf Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 5

 

    Accident  
dnf Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 0

 

    Accident  

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