Martin wins France MotoGP Sprint, Miller crashes

Jorge Martin won the French MotoGP Sprint. Picture:

Jorge Martin won the French MotoGP Sprint. Picture:

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

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
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

Riders’ championship

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 94
2 Brad BINDER RSA 71
4 Jorge MARTIN ESP 60
5 Luca MARINI ITA 54
6 Johann ZARCO FRA 50
7 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 49
8 Jack MILLER AUS 49
9 Alex RINS ESP 47
10 Alex MARQUEZ ESP 41
14 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 21
16 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP 17
17 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 14
18 Dani PEDROSA ESP 13
19 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 12
20 Joan MIR ESP 5
21 Michele PIRRO ITA 5
22 Jonas FOLGER GER 4
24 Stefan BRADL GER 2
25 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 0
27 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA 0

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