Bagnaia sees championship lead eaten into again after sprint win for Martin

Jorge Martin makes it three consecutive MotoGP sprint wins after taking victory ahead of Brad Binder at Motegi.
Jorge Martin, Ducati MotoGP Motegi 2023
Jorge Martin, Ducati MotoGP Motegi 2023

Martin made a brilliant start from pole as he led into turn one, however, the same could not be said about Francesco Bagnaia who was overtaken by both factory KTM riders.

Keen to not let Martin get away, Binder came straight through on Miller for second at turn 11.

After coming under early pressure from Marc Marquez, Bagnaia managed to hold the Honda rider at bay before closing in on Miller for third.

With Marquez now losing pace on lap six, the closest battle inside the top five was concerning third as Bagnaia continued to catch Miller.

At the front, Martin held a comfortable lead of six tenths as he and Binder exchanged personal best lap times.

Taking part in his first MotoGP sprint, Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow was given a Long Lap penalty at the beginning of lap seven.

Marquez, who was under intense pressure from several riders, lost fifth to Bezzecchi on the run to turn eight.

But both riders ran wide which allowed Johann Zarco to swoop through. Bezzecchi was the big loser from the mistake as he dropped down to eighth.

Bezzecchi’s error dropped him behind Aleix Espargaro who had to retire from the race a lap later due to a technical issue. 

Further forward, Bagnaia was hounding Miller and attempted to make his way through on lap 10.

But Miller’s defence was fierce as he held off the world champion under braking at turn 11.

The KTM rider managed to do the same at turn three at the beginning of lap 11 before committing a mistake at the same turn 11 which allowed the world champion through.

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