MotoGP Portimao: Pecco Bagnaia wins first-ever Sprint Race

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Pecco Bagnaia claimed victory in the first-ever MotoGP Sprint Race at Portimao after getting the better of fellow Ducati racer Jorge Martin on the final lap.

Martin had led a large chunk of the race, but came under intense pressure from the 2022 World Champion and made a slight mistake heading into turn five. Bagnaia took full advantage and crossed the line to become MotoGP’s first Sprint Race winner.

Martin crossed the line in second, with Marc Marquez completing the podium for Repsol Honda. The polesitter for tomorrow’s Grand Prix was in the thick of the action throughout the race, with a stunning double overtake on Jack Miller and Miguel Oliveira on the run into turn one being a particular highlight.

Marquez clinched third spot when Miguel Oliveira ran in too deep on the final lap at turn 10, with the latter dropping down to seventh as a result.

Pecco Bagnaia leads Jorge Martin and Marc Marquez at Portimao

Jack Miller crossed the line in fourth, 0.086s behind Marquez. The Aussie led the race at one stage having carved his way through former teammate Bagnaia, Marquez, Oliveira, and Martin. Miller was the only rider on the soft front tyre.

Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro were fifth and sixth respectively, after going bar-to-bar with each other on multiple occasions. Johann Zarco came home in eighth for Pramac Racing Ducati, whilst Alex Marquez and Fabio Quartararo completed the top 10.

Quartararo had plenty of work to do following contact with Joan Mir on the opening lap. Mir went in too hot at turn 13 and dropped his Repsol Honda into the Frenchman. Quartararo survived, Mir did not.

The drama didn’t end there. Luca Marini crashed at turn five and went straight into factory Ducati rider Enea Bastianini, who hit the ground hard. It’s since been confirmed that Bastianini has suffered a right scapula fracture. As a result, he’ll miss tomorrow’s Grand Prix as well as round two of the 2023 season in Argentina next weekend.

Marco Bezzecchi compounded Mooney VR46 Racing’s bad day when he crashed out of the race on the third lap. Augusto Fernandez also failed to finish the race.

The final point scorers were Raul Fernandez and Brad Binder in 11th and 12th respectively, whilst Alex Rins came home in 13th for LCR Honda. Franco Morbidelli and Takaaki Nakagami finished 14th and 15th.