Jorge Martin pips Binder to win Thailand MotoGP

Jorge Martin pips Binder to win Thailand MotoGP

Jorge Martin triumphed against a resolute Brad Binder and Pecco Bagnaia to get back to winning form in a thrilling Thailand MotoGP.

Prima Pramac’s Jorge Martin seemed poised to cut into Bagnaia’s championship lead following his pole position qualifying and MotoGP Sprint victory. He was joined on the front row by KTM’s Brad Binder and Mooney VR46’s Luca Marini for Sunday’s Thailand MotoGP race.

The Pramac Ducati rider was the clear favourite from pole. After the Indonesian MotoGP Sprint Race, Martin was on the losing end of a title race that he briefly led.

However, he turned things around when he arrived in Thailand, winning both of the subsequent full-length races, most of which he led, to cut the lead to just 18 points with Bagnaia.

Crucially, Bagnaia took the second spot after Binder was demoted to third place for going above track limits on the last lap, which allowed Martin to get closer to the Italian in the race for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship title.

With three rounds and six races remaining in this year’s championship campaign, the two are currently separated by 13 points.

Aleix Espargaro started the race second behind Martin, but Binder moved fast to take the advantage by catching up to Bagnaia and passing Marini and then Espargaro by the fourth lap.

Eventually, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder moved up to second and started battling for the lead. Martin and Binder created a 0.5-second gap from everyone who was battling behind.

Martin, under pressure from the South African, started to spread out the lead group. The Spaniard was joined by Binder, Alex Marquez, who was making good early progress on the medium compound tire, and Bagnaia, who maintained his composure even after being pushed down to seventh place by a confident Marc Marquez.

The group of four gradually gained an advantage, with Marini in fifth position doing his teammate Marco Bezzecchi no favors by engaging in a battle that barred them from participating in the lead fight.

By the halfway point, Bagnaia found himself in a more vulnerable position in third after Marquez pushed his Gresini Ducati far too much as it was rounding Turn 10 to skate into retirement.

Binder started suffering from fading tyres similar to previous races, which has hurt his chances of winning. However, the slower than usual pace was helping Binder, who increased the pressure on Martin heading into the last quarter of the race.

With seven and six laps remaining, he made two unsuccessful attempts to grab the lead, but it was sufficient to motivate him to try again when he slid past the leader into Turn 7 with five laps left.

Binder tried to break free but was unable to break free from the Ducati pair’s clutches as Bagnaia grabbed hold of his tail, giving Martin the upper hand.

As the three battled closely for the rest of the lap, Martin went on the defensive in the run up to Turn 12, which allowed opportunistic Bagnaia to pass both riders on the outside. As they approached the final lap, Martin wisely released the brakes to run himself and Bagnaia wide on the exit, giving Binder the opportunity to close the gap between them.

Binder launched an assault, but Martin maintained his Ducati on precise lines, stopping it at the peak to allow it to speed out of Turn 12 and seize the lead from Binder and Bagnaia to the finish.

However, shortly after the checkered flag, Binder was relegated to third after a track limits infraction became apparent. This is the third time this season that Binder has been penalized, having finished outside the podium in both races at Assen.

It means that Bagnaia receives an additional four points for his attempts, but Martin won’t be too upset about it as he managed to make amends for his mistakes in Australia and Indonesia with two different but noteworthy wins in Buriram.

Bezzecchi finished in fourth place behind Binder, roughly eliminating himself from the running for the title. Martin and Bagnaia, who are tied for the lead with 13 points apiece, will ultimately battle it out for the crown this year.

After starting the race as high as second, Espargaro fell back to the bottom of the top ten at one point. However, he bounced back to finish fifth, ahead of Fabio Quartararo, who brought back memories of his 2019 victory battle with Marc Marquez by defeating the Repsol Honda rider in sixth and seventh place, respectively.

VR46 Ducati’s Luca Marini faded to eighth as fellow Ducati riders Johann Zarco and Fabio di Giannantonio rounded the top ten. Franco Morbidelli finished in 11th place, Joan Mir in 12th, Enea Bastianini in 13th, Takaaki Nakagami in 14th, and Raul Fernandez in 15th, rounding out the points.

There were only three DNFs: Marquez, Miguel Oliveira, and Maverick Vinales, the technical retirees.

Riders and teams will have a one-week break before the next round at Sepang in November.

2023 Thailand MotoGP Race Results

1Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP2326 Laps
2Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP23+0.253
3Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC16+0.114 *
4Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP22+2.005
5Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP+4.303
6Fabio Quartararo🇨🇵Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M1+4.550
7Marc Marquez🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V+5.362
8Luca Marini🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP22+6.778
9Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP22+7.569
10Johann Zarco🇨🇵Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP23+9.377
11Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M1+11.168
12Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V+11.990
13Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP23+12.323
14Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V+14.537
15Raul Fernandez🇪🇦CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP+15.093
16Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC16+17.640
17Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC16+21.307
18Pol Espargaro🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC16+21.435
DNFMaverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP
DNFAlex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP22
DNFMiguel Oliveira🇵🇹CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP
WAlex Rins🇪🇦LCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V

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