The MotoGP World Championship 2023 was almost sentenced after second place this Sunday in Italian Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia (Ducati), leader, in the race won by his countryman Fabio di Giannantonio. The advantage of the defending champion was further extended by the collapse of the Spaniard Jorge Martin (Ducati), who paid for a bad start and finished tenth after not finding the rhythm at the front.
You need a breakthrough in the GP of the Valencian Community, which will take place at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Cheste next week, with cameras on RTVE as a witness. There will also be a sprint race, with many points at stake, to reduce the 21-point deficit with which the Spaniard left Los Angeles.
The two title rivals started Sunday separated by just seven points, thanks to the brilliant Martín’s victory in the sprint race last Saturday. They both started from the second starting line, but at the same time, Baganaia It was like a shot to the head in the first corner; the one from San Sebastián de los Reyes (Madrid) suffered a skid.
Bagnaia began shooting without opposition, although closely followed by Luca Marini and the two pilots of Gresini Racing, Di Giannantonio and Alex Marquez, all Ducatis. Martín was forced to fight the drivers of the’second platoon’, his compatriots Marc Márquez (Honda) and Maverick Viñales (Aprillia).
The man from Madrid tried to pick up the pace following his teammate’s wake, Johann Zarco, but he walked on a curve, which allowed him to gain a position by chance. In that way, Martín can chase Márquez, and he overtook him on the fourth lap of the race, reaching sixth place, but that’s where his debacle began.
Lap after lap, more and more pilots passed him: Mavercik Viñales, Fabio Cartararo, and Joan Mir. With five laps left, he was hit by the Italian Enea Bastianini-Bagnaia’s teammate, believed to be a rival for a place in the official Ducati team.
The last five laps were a struggle for the Spaniard, as ‘Pecco’ tried to escape the attacks of Di Giannantonio, the only one who could follow him to the end.
With three laps to go, Di Giannantonio passed to take the lead, and Bagnaia tried to regain position at the corner of the main straight but made a mistake and went off the curb. Luckily for him, the distance to Marina, who was behind, was enough to maintain second place.
Bagnaia added 20 points, and Martín added 6. The leader thus defends 21 points in the last GP in Valencia, a distance that can only be bridged by a miracle. The Spaniard crossed the finish line, looking at his rear tire and shaking his head.