Bagnaia Wins Valencia GP to Claim Back-to-Back MotoGP Titles

Estimated read time 2 min read

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia has been crowned 2023 MotoGP world champion after a thrilling Valencia Grand Prix that saw his title rival Jorge Martin crash out in a dramatic incident with Marc Marquez. Bagnaia entered the championship decider in Valencia with a 14-point lead over Martin following Martin’s victory in the sprint race on Saturday. The Ducati rider needed only to finish fifth to secure the championship, and he started from pole position after a penalty for poleman Maverick Vinales. Bagnaia took the lead off the line, with Martin quickly moving up to second. The two riders remained close until Martin ran off at Turn 1 on lap three, dropping him to eighth position.

On lap six, Martin’s championship hopes took a major blow when he collided with Marquez, who was making his final appearance for the Honda team. Martin tapped the rear of Marquez’s bike as he tried to overtake at Turn 4, sending both riders down in a highside crash. With Martin out of the race, Bagnaia was free to coast to victory and secure his second consecutive MotoGP title. He becomes the first Ducati rider to win two MotoGP titles and the first rider to win back-to-back championships since Marquez in 2019.

“It’s an incredible feeling to win the championship again,” said Bagnaia. “I’m so happy for my team and everyone who has supported me throughout the season.”

The race was not without its further drama. Miller crashed out while leading on lap 19, handing the lead to Bagnaia. Di Giannantonio then moved into second place on the penultimate lap and looked set to challenge Bagnaia for victory. However, Di Giannantonio was given a three-second penalty after the race for breaching the tire pressure rule, dropping him to fourth place. The penalty promoted Zarco to second and Binder onto the podium. Fernandez took fifth ahead of Alex Marquez, with Morbidelli in seventh, Espargaro in eighth, Marini in ninth, and Vinales in tenth.

Fabio Quartararo, who was struggling with illness, finished in eleventh place. Nakagami, Savadori, and Pol Espargaro were the last finishers, while Rins, Bastianini, Augusto Fernandez, and Bezzecchi all crashed out of the race. Marc Marquez was taken to the medical center after his collision with Martin but was quickly released after it was determined that he had not suffered any serious injuries.

The 2024 MotoGP season will begin on March 10, 2024, with the season opener in Qatar.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours