Bagnaia wins Portuguese GP, Marquez crashes into Oliveira

Francesco Bagnaia

Francesco Bagnaia. Picture:

Francesco Bagnaia has won the Grand Prix at the Portuguese MotoGP round while Marc Marquez took Miguel Oliveira out of the race in ugly fashion.

The latter two were in the hunt at least for podium positions until the Repsol Honda rider clattered into Oliveira’s RNF Aprilia on Lap 3.

Bagnaia pulled clear due to the incident and the Ducati Team rider would not be headed again, with Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Viñales remaining second thereafter and Marco Bezzecchi (VR46 Ducati) greeting the chequered flag in third after 25 laps around Portimao.

Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) made a last-corner pass for fourth, leaving Alex Marquez (Gresini Ducati) fifth, from Red Bull KTM duo Brad Binder and Jack Miller.

Rounding out the top 10 were Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), and Alex Rins (LCR Honda).

Bagnaia has therefore kicked off his bid for back-to-back MotoGP crowns with maximum points after also winning the first ever Sprint race in the category’s history.

It was a wild opening to the Grand Prix proper, with Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) looking to have taken the lead into the first corner, only for Oliveira to fire in deep but then run wide.

Pole-sitter Marc Marquez was also aggressive at Turn 3 his lunge forced Martin to sit up, opening the door for Oliveira to grab the lead after all.

Martin emerged in second place, from Bagnaia and Marc Marquez, before the 2022 world champion made his move.

Bagnaia passed Martin into Turn 1 on Lap 2 then picked off Oliveira for first place at Turn 13, but worse was to befall those two on Lap 3.

Marc Marquez outbraked himself at Turn 3, clipping Martin and then making heavy contact with Oliveira which took both the #93 Honda and #88 Aprilia down.

Bagnaia skipped about one second clear while Viñales assumed second place and Miller third, with Martin down to 16th after being forced wide in an incident which will be reviewed post-race.

UPDATE: Marquez penalised

Bezzecchi passed Miller for third on Lap 6 and Alex Marquez for fourth on Lap 7 when the Queenslander ran wide at Turn 5, by which time Viñales had caught up to Bagnaia.

‘Top Gun’ tailed ‘Pecco’ for several laps before the factory Ducati man stretched the gap to a full second by the end of Lap 15, and another 1.5s over third placed Bezzecchi.

The gap between Bagnaia and Viñales fluctuated somewhat but was one second again with five laps remaining, as Bezzecchi held a comfortable third.

Alex Marquez, meanwhile, was in a battle for fourth spot initially with Miller and then with the other Red Bull KTM of Brad Binder, as Espargaro and Zarco diced for seventh position.

Binder finally passed Alex Marquez for good on Lap 24, only for Zarco to pass both of the KTMs on the final lap.

However, the Pramac rider was not done, squeezing past fellow Ducati pilot Alex Marquez as they rounded Turn 15 for the last time to snatch fourth.

Up front, Bagnaia cruised home on the final lap, with Viñales securing second and Bezzecchi third.

Quartararo’s eighth came after he lost multiple positions off the start for the second afternoon in a row, then ran on the cusp of the top 10 for much of the race.

Joan Mir (Repsol Honda) finished 11th, from Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda), Augusto Fernandez (GasGas Tech3), and Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha).

Raul Fernandez (RNF Aprilia) and Luca Marini (VR46 Ducati) crashed out, as did Martin just after clawing his way back into top 10, while Fabio Di Giannantonio retired his Gresini Ducati at the end of Lap 10.

Round 2 will be held at Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo circuit next weekend (March 31-April 2, local time).

Championship points to follow

Race results: Grand Prix race

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 1 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 41:25.401
2 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia +0.687
3 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +2.726
4 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Prima Pramac Racing Ducati +8.060
5 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +8.125
6 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +8.247
7 43 Jack MILLER AUS Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +8.381
8 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +8.543
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia +9.294
10 42 Alex RINS ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +11.591
11 36 Joan MIR ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +16.992
12 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +17.448
13 37 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 KTM +21.723
14 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +27.050
DNF 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia +2 laps
DNF 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +4 laps
DNF 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Prima Pramac Racing Ducati +6 laps
DNF 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +15 laps
DNF 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia +23 laps
DNF 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +23 laps

Race winner: 25 laps

Riders’ championship

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 37
2 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 25
4 Johann ZARCO FRA 15
5 Jack MILLER AUS 15
8 Brad BINDER RSA 10
9 Jorge MARTIN ESP 9
12 Alex RINS ESP 6
13 Joan MIR ESP 5
14 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 4
15 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP 3
16 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 3
19 Luca MARINI ITA 0

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