The sun shone brightly over the premier class grid as they lined up for the 13-lap sprint race and the hotter conditions brought some diversity in front tyre choice, but it ultimately made little difference as Jorge Martin ran away at the front of the race and had no rival in sight until climbing with them on the podium to celebrate his first sprint victory. Brad Binder saw much more action for the first half of the race but eventually escaped into a lonely second place, with Pecco Bagnaia joining them on the podium after a race-long squabble for third.
Bagnaia had made a solid start from pole position to lead the way initially, while Martin and Jack Miller flew past front row starters Marc Marquez and Marini. Binder also made a trademark launch to go from 10th to 6th in the blink of an eye, ahead of Alex Marquez, Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro, with Johann Zarco completing the top 10 on the opening lap. Despite the good start, Miller might have been a bit overeager on the medium front and crashed out of contention at turn seven on the second lap, allowing Bagnaia and Martin a bit of breathing room at the front. Marquez was quick to reel them in but soon had Binder on his tail, the KTM man getting past Marini, who seemed to struggle to keep up with the leaders early on. Another second back, Espargaro had picked up the lead in the chasing group, ahead of Bezzecchi, Alex Marquez and Zarco, with Viñales losing ground down to 10th. Fabio Quartararo had kept 13th position at the start and managed to recover a couple of position by overtaking his teammate and benefitting from Miller’s misfortune.
Back at front, Martin attacked Bagnaia at turn three at the start of lap four and the Italian could not match his pace, the Pramac rider immediately stretching a one second advantage. Bagnaia also had a hot battle on his tail, where Binder was looking for a way past Marquez and eventually found one when the Spaniard attacked Bagnaia at the Dunlop chicane and it allowed Binder to breeze past both of them. Marquez repeated the move on lap six and the world champion soon dropped behind Marini as well, seemingly struggling to keep up the pace for those few laps. However, these exchanges dropped the trio almost two seconds behind Binder, who in turn was struggling to close the 1.5 second gap to leader Martin.
While Martin and Binder checked out at the front, Bagnaia seemed to pick up the pace once more and was breathing down Marquez’s neck but the Honda man had his measure for the next few laps. Bagnaia eventually slid past Marquez at turn one with four laps remaining and immediately distanced him, leaving Marquez to contend with Marini. The Mooney VR46 rider made quick work of the Honda, who seemed to fade in the closing stages and had Zarco and Bezzecchi not too far behind. Meanwhile, Quartararo had made his way inside the top nine but crashed out once more with four laps remaining.
An untroubled Martin continued to lead going into the final lap by a comfortable two seconds, but the battle for second seemed to warm up slightly, with Bagnaia reeling in Binder, but it was too late and the KTM man took the chequered flag seven tenths ahead of Bagnaia. Marini held back Marquez to take fourth, while a mistake from Zarco allowed the Spaniard some breathing room on the final lap, on his way to fifth. Bezzecchi, Espargaro, Viñales and Takaaki Nakagami completed the top 10.
In the championship standings, Bagnaia increases his advantage to 23 points, while Binder becomes his main rival, Bezzecchi dropping to third, 26 points behind. Martin’s victory promotes him to fourth, 34 points down on Bagnaia.
|12||49||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Ducati||14.125|
I'm sure there was but I…
I'm sure there was but I didn't notice any contact between Peco/Marquez or Binder/Marini. If there was it slight. As usual the ghostly figure of yesterace appeared.
In reply to I'm sure there was but I… by WaveyD1974
Marini said ...
... that there was definitely contact in both cases, said Binder actually clipped him fairly hard. More about that here
if Mr. Emmett will forgive the link.
In reply to Marini said ... by larryt4114
Couldn't really see it…
Couldn't really see it though.