Alex Marquez wins British MotoGP sprint race

Alex Marquez wins British MotoGP sprint race

Gresini Ducati rider Alex Marquez won the British MotoGP sprint race at Silverstone.

Alex Marquez won his first MotoGP race in the Sprint at Silverstone after maintaining his self-confidence on a wet but drying circuit at the British Grand Prix.

On the last lap, Marco Bezzecchi put pressure on the Gresini Ducati rider by cutting Marquez’s lead to four tenths as he quickly closed in on the front-runner. But even as raindrops started to fall again, Marquez maintained his composure to win the satellite Desmosedici’s first premier class race by 0.366 seconds.

The 22 bikes were fitted with wet tyres, but after qualifying on Saturday morning on a circuit that was completely soaked, the rain stopped during Moto3 qualifying and by the time MotoGP’s sprint race kicked off, the track appeared to be almost dry.

Jack Miller, who started second on the grid had a strong launch aboard his KTM but polesitter Marco Bezzecchi was able to keep Miller at bay through Abbey before giving up the lead at Village.

Nevertheless, despite a multi-corner battle with Jorge Martin who had worked to rise up the order from ninth on the grid, the KTM rider would still be in the lead at the end of the opening lap.

Martin swiftly dropped behind teammate Ducati riders Bezzecchi and Marquez after Miller got past his rivals on the start-finish straight. Later on, Marquez got past Bezzecchi as he approached the Maggots/Becketts.

Both of them quickly made their way past Miller after that, Bezzecchi at Vale and Marquez at Stowe.

A Ducati 1-2 was practically set in stone after that, but Marquez made a strong start and took the lead with a one-second margin on the fourth lap. He maintained that margin, responding nearly instantly whenever VR46 rider Bezzecchi made any form of progress.

While Bezzecchi did come near to overtaking Martin on the penultimate lap, it was too little too late as Marquez won by a margin of 0.366 seconds, placing Bezzecchi back into second place in the overall standings.

Miller’s brief stint in the top three spots behind them would not last, as the pair of factory Aprilias that were making their way through quickly took the lead over the Australian.

Aleix Espargaro appeared on track to finish fourth, but was overtaken by Johann Zarco of Pramac Ducati on the final lap. Maverick Vinales finished third for Aprilia, securing himself his best GP weekend points total since the Circuit of the Americas back in April.

Before that, Zarco had forced Miller to the side at Stowe, which allowed Martin to make his move additionally. Martin eventually secured sixth place.

Miller finished in seventh place, followed by a pair of KTM RC16 riders: rookie Augusto Fernandez riding a Gas Gas-branded machine and who had previously placed as high as third on the opening lap and Brad Binder riding the other works KTM bike.

Pecco Bagnaia who is now leading the championship, finished a disappointing 14th after never finishing worse than sixth in a sprint before this race and having placed on seven podiums in his previous eight attempts.

Bagnaia got messed up on the first lap, particularly as he raced side by side with Zarco at Stowe, but he just didn’t seem to have the pace to score anyhow. Nevertheless, he still holds a 27-point lead over Bezzecchi and 31-point lead over Martin.

The two Yamahas and four Hondas, which made up the six Japanese bikes in the field, held the final six spots for a significant part of the race.

That wasn’t exactly how it turned out as Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli battled his way up to 15th place following a duel with returning Tech3 Gas Gas rider Pol Espargaro, while Joan Mir just barely edged Marc Marquez to take over as the lead Honda rider in 17th place.

Nevertheless, Morbidelli and Mir were about 17 and 19 seconds away from earning even a single point, as Morbidelli’s teammate and 2021 world champion Fabio Quartararo came in second-to-last in 21st.

2023 BRITISH MOTOGP, SILVERSTONE – SPRINT RACE RESULTS

POSRIDERNATTEAMTIME/DIFF
1Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)21m 52.317s
2Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.366s
3Maverick ViƱalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+3.374s
4Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP23)+5.671s
5Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+6.068s
6Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)+7.294s
7Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)+9.415s
8Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*+9.850s
9Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+10.435s
10Miguel OliveiraPORRNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+11.247s
11Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+17.365s
12Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP22)+20.063s
13Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+24.352s
14Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+25.527s
15Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+27.191s
16Pol EspargaroSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)+27.693s
17Joan MirSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+29.062s
18Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+29.326s
19Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+29.627s
20Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+29.909s
21Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+30.326s

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