After an aggressive overtake on Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin took off to win the French Grand Prix sprint ahead of Brad Binder and the Italian. Johann Zarco took sixth place when Fabio Quartararo saw the points slip away from him after falling four laps from goal.
Jorge Martin confirms his return to business! Fourth in the Spanish Grand Prix after two consecutive retirements, the driver of the Pramac team left victory to no one in the sprint race contested within the framework of the French Grand Prix. As soon as the lights went out, Francesco Bagnaia got off to the best start but Jorge Martin braked close to being a suicide bomber at the Dunlop chicane to settle just behind the reigning world champion. While the leading peloton quickly lost Jack Miller to a fall, it was at the start of the fourth lap that Jorge Martin took his chance to pass Francesco Bagnaia with forceps, again at the Dunlop chicane. Immediately taking an eight-tenths lead over a Ducati rider lacking in rhythm on the first loops, the Spaniard was not seen again until the finish. Behind, Johann Zarco very quickly took ninth place from Maverick Viñales.
Martin was not seen again
Fabio Quartararo, meanwhile, did not get off to an ideal start to finish in 16th place. However, “El Diablo” seized his chance to pass Takaaki Nakagami and then take advantage of incidents ahead of him to move up to eleventh place at the expense of his Yamaha teammate Franco Morbidelli. Behind Jorge Martin, the fight raged with Marc Marquez trying to pass Francesco Bagnaia on the inside at the second corner of the Circuit Bugatti… but the two drivers got in the way and it was Brad Binder who pulled the chestnuts out of the fire . The KTM rider grabbed second place and raised his voice to quickly get out of reach. For the podium, Marc Marquez could believe it when he was able to take the advantage over Francesco Bagnaia. However, after also giving in to Luca Marini, the Ducati rider was able to find his rhythm and climb back to the podium.
Zarco encouraging, Quartararo frustrated
However, the rise of Johann Zarco could have changed the game. The Pramac driver, solid at the end of the race, fails just a stone’s throw from Marc Marquez and has to settle for sixth place. A result which can be an encouragement before the Grand Prix this Sunday. Not very successful in the sprint exercise this season, Fabio Quartararo thought he could finish in the points when he moved up to eighth place. But, forcing too much on a reluctant Yamaha, “El Diablo” ended up having a fault with four laps to go and ended a complicated day with a little more frustration. Calming the game on the last laps, Jorge Martin won with a little less than two seconds ahead of Brad Binder when Francesco Bagnaia failed a little less than three seconds from the winner but remained solidly leading the championship as the race approached. a 1000th Grand Prix in the history of MotoGP which promises to be lively.
MOTOGP / FRENCH GRAND PRIX
Sprint classification – 13 laps (54.405km) – Saturday May 13, 2023
1- Jorge Martin (ESP/Ducati Pramac) in 19’59”037
2- Brad Binder (AFS / KTM) at 1”840
3- Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati) at 2”632
4- Luca Marini (ITA/Ducati VR46) at 3”418
5- Marc Marquez (ESP / Honda) at 3”541
6- Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati Pramac) at 4”483
7- Marco Bezzecchi (ITA/Ducati VR46) at 5”224
8- Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Aprilia) at 6”359
9- Maverick Viñales (ESP/Aprilia) at 8”336
10- Takaaki Nakagami (JAP/Honda LCR) à 9”439
Ranking of the drivers’ world championship
1- Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati) 94 points
2- Brad Binder (AFS/KTM) 71
3- Marco Bezzecchi (ITA/Ducati VR46) 68
4- Jorge Martin (ESP/Ducati Pramac) 60
5- Luca Marini (ITA/Ducati VR46) 54
6- Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati Pramac) 50
11- Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha) 40