Martin wins France MotoGP Sprint, Miller crashes
Sunday 14th May, 2023 - 12:00am
Jorge Martin has won the French MotoGP Sprint while Jack Miller crashed out of the podium places in the opening laps.
Prima Pramac Racing’s Martin passed struggling Ducati stablemate Francesco Bagnaia in the early stages and never looked back, at times enjoying a lead of more than two seconds during the 13-lapper at Le Mans.
While Miller threw away a possible podium, his Red Bull KTM team-mate Brad Binder hauled his way to second place, with championship leader Bagnaia mounting something of a recovery as he finished third on his Ducati Team entry.
Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Ducati) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) rounded out the top five but Fabio Quartararo’s bad day got even worse when he crashed his Monster Energy Yamaha on Lap 10.
Bagnaia had converted pole position into the early lead while Martin braked late at the Turn 3/Turn 4 chicane and filed into second place for Lap 1, ahead of Miller.
Marc Marquez lost ground when the lights went out but passed Marini for fourth at La Musee (Turn 7), while Binder emerged in sixth position from the opening corners.
Miller crashed out of third at La Musee on Lap 2, meaning Binder’s pass on Marini moments later at Garage Vert was for fourth position.
Martin was in front when he overtook Bagnaia at Turn 3/Turn 4 on Lap 4, before Marquez attacked the factory Ducati rider at the same location on the following lap.
He could not get the move done then and they slowed each other up to the point that Binder passed both as they descended towards La Chapelle, meaning the KTM rider was into second place as Martin skipped 1.3s clear in first spot.
Marquez did succeed with a forceful move on Bagnaia at Turn 3 on Lap 6 and Marini followed, before the 2022 world champion found a burst of pace.
Bagnaia re-passed Marini for fourth later that same lap at Garage Vert, and eventually got back ahead of Marquez when he swept under the #93 Honda at Turn 1 on Lap 10.
Marquez was back to fifth position when Marini outbraked him into Turn 3 on Lap 11, as Martin circulated two seconds to the good and Binder still enjoyed margin over Bagnaia.
The latter chipped away at the deficit to second-placed Binder but never seriously threatened, meaning a podium of the #89 Ducati Desmosedici in first, the #33 KTM RC16 in second, and the #1 Ducati Desmosedici in third.
After Marini and Marquez came Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Ducati) in sixth at the chequered flag, ahead of Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Ducati), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing), and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda).
Quartararo had only qualified 13th and dropped as low as 16th, on Lap 1, but had made his way to eighth before he folded the front of his YZR-M1 at Chemin aux Boeufs on Lap 10.
He joined fellow crashers Miller and Tech3 GasGas duo Augusto Fernandez and Jonas Folger as DNFs.
After Sunday’s Warm Up, the Grand Prix race takes place at 22:00 AEST.
Race results: Sprint race
|1||89||Jorge MARTIN||ESP||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati||19:59.037|
|2||33||Brad BINDER||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+1.840|
|3||1||Francesco BAGNAIA||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||+2.632|
|4||10||Luca MARINI||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||+3.418|
|5||93||Marc MARQUEZ||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||+3.541|
|6||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati||+4.483|
|7||72||Marco BEZZECCHI||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||+5.224|
|8||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ESP||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||+6.359|
|9||12||Maverick VIÑALES||ESP||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||+8.336|
|10||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||+9.439|
|11||42||Alex RINS||ESP||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||+12.388|
|12||49||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||ITA||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||+14.125|
|13||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||+15.121|
|14||36||Joan MIR||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||+15.383|
|15||73||Alex MARQUEZ||ESP||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||+15.591|
|16||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||+19.415|
|17||32||Lorenzo SAVADORI||ITA||CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team||Aprilia||+26.992|
|DNF||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||+4 laps|
|DNF||94||Jonas FOLGER||GER||GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3||KTM||+5 laps|
|DNF||37||Augusto FERNANDEZ||ESP||GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3||KTM||+8 laps|
|DNF||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+12 laps|
Race winner: 13 laps
|15||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||ITA||17|
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