MotoGP Jerez: Pecco Bagnaia beats Brad Binder to take Spanish Grand Prix victory

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Francesco Bagnaia has retaken the lead of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship after claiming victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.

The reigning champion had an eventful race, mainly consisting of an entertaining battle with Red Bull KTM Racing duo Brad Binder and Jack Miller, plus fellow Ducati rider Jorge Martin.

At on stage, in a controversial move by stewards, Bagnaia was forced to give second place back to Miller after a hard move on the Aussie at turn six. Bagnaia apologised immediately upon corner exit, but Miller responded by waving his arm in anger.

Undeterred, Bagnaia got back on with the job at hand and gradually closed in on Binder. Bagnaia posted the fastest lap of the race with five laps remaining and made his move on the following lap at Lorenzo Corner.

Pecco Bagnaia, Brad Binder and Jack Miller on the podium at Jerez

Binder tried his best to stay in touch with Bagnaia and the scene was set for yet another final corner Jerez clash. It wasn’t to be however and Bagnaia crossed the line to claim his second GP win of the season. Bagnaia now leads the championship by 22 points.

Meanwhile, Binder was forced to settle for second but moves up into third place in the championship, 25 points adrift of Bagnaia. The South African won the sprint race on Saturday afternoon.

Miller ensured that KTM enjoyed a double podium finish. Earlier in the race, after being pushed out by Bagnaia, Miller pulled a tough move of his own on Martin at the final corner. Martin was visibly annoyed by the move, shaking his head has a result. Unlike Bagnaia, Miller did not receive any reprimand.

Martin finished the race in fourth, whilst polesitter Aleix Espargaro completed the top five for Aprilia. Luca Marini was sixth onboard the Mooney VR46 Ducati, ahead of Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami. Fabio Quartararo fought back from a disastrous series of events to complete the top 10.

Moments before disaster...Quartararo inbetween Oliveira and Bezzecchi at Jerez

The original race was red flagged at the end of the opening lap following a turn two incident involving Fabio Quartararo and Miguel Oliveira.

The former found himself in the middle of Oliveira and Marco Bezzecchi heading into the second corner, and as the gap closed between the trio of riders, Quartararo appeared to clip Oliveira first, and then Bezzecchi before falling.

Quartararo took Oliveira down with him into the gravel. Quartararo appeared motionless for a period of time before limping away with the help of the marshals. Meanwhile, Oliveira was taken to the medical centre in an ambulance, with marshals holding his left arm up in the air. The Portuguese rider was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder.

Quartararo was given a long lap penalty for irresponsible riding; however, he was the forced to repeat the penalty after running slightly wide and outside of the perimeters of the penalty area.

Monster Energy Yamaha teammate Franco Morbidelli was 11th after also taking two Long Lap Penalties. Morbidelli was penalised for his involvement in a multi-rider incident at turn two on the opening lap of the sprint race.

Fabio Quartararo ahead of Augusto Fernandez at Jerez

Rookie Augusto Fernandez came home in 13th for GASGAS Tech3 Racing, whilst Honda wildcard entrant Stefan Bradl and RNF Racing Aprilia’s Raul Fernandez secured the final two points on offer.

Iker Lecuona, standing in for the injured Marc Marquez at Repsol Honda, and Jonas Folger were the final two riders to finish the race. Maverick Vinales failed to complete the fail lap after his chain fell off his Aprilia RS-GP.

Honda’s woes continued with Alex Rins crashing at turn nine after losing the front of his RC213V. One lap later, Repsol Honda’s Joan Mir went down at the same corner after recording his fourth crash of the weekend.

Johann Zarco suffered a big crash at turn five on lap 17, with the Frenchman falling out of fifth position. Moments later, former championship leader Bezzecchi fell out of contention at turn six.

Brad Binder came out on top in a thrilling battle with Red Bull KTM teammate Jack Miller at Jerez to win his second sprint race of the 2023 MotoGP season.

Binder and Miller battled hard throughout the restarted race, with the South African making his move on the penultimate lap through turns six and seven. Binder was see smoking the tyres as he was visibly pushing his RC16 and his Michelin rear to the very limit.

The number 33 had timed his move to perfection, immediately opening up a comfortable gap in the lead. Binder crossed the line with an advantage of 0.428s to reigning champion Pecco Bagnaia, who took advantage of a mistake by Miller at turn six on the final lap.

Red Bull KTM celebrate sprint race victory at Jerez

Miller held off Jorge Martin to complete the sprint race podium, whilst Miguel Oliveira was the leading Aprilia rider in fifth. The returning Dani Pedrosa continued to shine on the third Red Bull KTM, crossing the line just 1.738s behind the race winner. Pedrosa also set the fastest lap of the race; 1:37.927.

Maverick Vinales got the better of Johann Zarco on the final lap to finish seventh, whilst Mooney VR46 Ducati duo Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini completed the top 10. A single point for Bezzecchi means he leads the championship by three points to Bagnaia.

Fabio di Giannantonio was 11th for Gresini Racing Ducati, whilst Fabio Quartararo’s problems continued in 12th. Alex Rins and Raul Fernandez were 13th and 14th respectively, whilst Honda wildcard entrant Stefen Bradl came home in 15th.

Franco Morbidelli, Augusto Fernandez, Iker Lecuona (replacing Marc Marquez at Repsol Honda), and Jonas Folger were the final riders to finish the race.

Lap one crash at Jerez - Morbidelli, A Marquez, Bezzecchi and Augusto Fernandez

The original race was red flagged on the opening lap following a multi-rider incident at turn two. Contact between Alex Marquez and Morbidelli triggered the incident, with Bezzecchi being knocked off his Ducati after running into the stricken Yamaha M1. Augusto Fernandez also went down whilst trying to avoid the collision ahead of him.

Despite a few knocks for the riders involved, all four of them were able to participate in the restarted sprint race, which was reduced to 11 laps.

Alex Marquez crashed out of the restarted race at turn two, whilst Takaaki Nakagami went down moments later at turn nine.

Marco Bezzecchi's Mooney VR46 Ducati on fire at Jerez

Polesitter Aleix Espargaro fell at turn nine on lap six, whilst Joan Mir lost the front of his Repsol Honda RC213V at turn six two laps later. Mir has failed to finish three of the four sprint races held in 2023.

Enea Bastianini has opted not to race this weekend after taking part in Friday’s practice sessions. The Italian has missed the last two rounds after suffering a broken collarbone in the season opener at Portimao.

“I’m sorry to have to withdraw,” Bastianini tweeted. “Yesterday I grit my teeth but this morning I realised I’m not in a position to drive. It makes no sense to take unnecessary risks. But it was right to try to understand how much is missing to be competitive again.”