Bagnaia wins Portugal MotoGP’s inaugural sprint race, calling it “very fun”

At a brutal Portuguese Grand Prix on Saturday, MotoGP’s first-ever sprint race, world champion Francesco Bagnaia claimed it was “very fun” to win.

Bagnaia finished the race ahead of Jorge Martin, a fellow Ducati rider, and Honda’s Marc Marquez finished third.

This was the first sprint in a novel competition format that will see the riders compete in a 12-lap race for a portion of the points allotted for the championship race on Sunday.

In 2023, there will be a sprint before each of the 21 events.

The 26-year-old Bagnaia remarked, “It was pretty enjoyable. “Because it was a shorter event than a race, it was more intense. We had fresh tires, fewer laps so you could push harder.”

“I am pleased with today since finishing in the top three was a goal, so it’s a fantastic feeling.”

Six-time MotoGP world champion Marquez unexpectedly took the lead over Bagnaia and Martin after struggling in Friday practice and crashing out. This was his 64th career pole position.

“I put forth a lot of effort. Despite only having 12 laps, we performed a fantastic job today “Marquez, whose career has come to a standstill following four operations in recent seasons, stated.

The most significant race of the weekend is tomorrow; it will be more challenging.

Marquez will still start Sunday’s race from the front row despite his doubts. He will be going for his 60th premier class victory, but his first since October 2021.

Enea Bastianini of Ducati and Luca Marini of the Ducati-VR46 satellite team collided violently during this inaugural sprint race in MotoGP history.

In the event, Bastianini’s collarbone was fractured.

“After a collision in today’s Sprint Race, @Bestia23 fractured his right scapula. Enea has been transported to Portimao Hospital for more testing “His team tweeted.

Afterwards, Ducati announced that the 25-year-old would miss both Sunday’s race and next week’s event in Argentina.

After tussling with 2021 champion Fabio Quartararo on Saturday, Honda’s Joan Mir, the 2020 world champion, also failed to finish.

Quartararo, a French rider, criticized the new format.

“A significant accident is imminent. It is a jungle. We are not in a vehicle, nor are we in one that you can touch in the end without a problem, “He spoke with autosport.com.

Physically, it will be difficult, but in 25 laps, you will have a little more time.

After colliding in practice the day before, Spanish veteran Pol Espargaro was taken to the hospital with “serious spinal injuries.”

The session was delayed for over two hours due to the high-speed crash that 31-year-old Espargaro experienced while riding his KTM Tech3 GASGAS bike.

AFP

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