The Indian Grand Prix was an absolute first and risks becoming one of the key moments of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship, with world champion Pecco Bagnaia who scored a sensational zero, completely reopening the games with six races to go.
All this on a Sunday which, however, smiled on his great friend Marco Bezzecchi, who celebrated his third career victory in the premier class at the Buddh International Circuit and did so as an absolute dominator.
Already yesterday the driver of the Mooney VR46 had given the sensation that if he hadn’t been rear-ended at the start by his teammate Luca Marini he would have had everything it takes to win the Sprint. An impression that was fully confirmed today, because once again he was blown out of pole position by the two GP23s alongside him on the front row, but then he got rid of both of them even before the first lap was over.
From that moment he started a solitary breakaway, maintaining an absolutely unsustainable pace for the rest of the group, including the two factory Ducatis of Bagnaia and Martin who were following him, who saw their gap constantly increase as the laps went by. , up to the over 8″ with which the Rimini native presented himself under the checkered flag, raising his fingers to the sky probably out of a thought for his friend Filippo Mometto, who passed away a few days ago.
Behind him, however, there was a real fight between Bagnaia and Martin, who had made different choices in terms of tyres, with the reigning world champion having opted for a hard one at the front and a soft one at the rear, while the Madrilenian mounted two mediums.
In the early stages of the race it seemed like he could pay more for the Spaniard’s choice, but then Pecco gave the sensation of having a more stable front, entering turn 8-9 with a beautiful crossing of lines with 9 laps to go. The world champion, however, took too much confidence in this phase and paid dearly for it one lap later, when he ended up with wheels in the air at turn 6, having to say goodbye to the race.
At this point it all seemed too easy for Martin to manage second place, but then his suit opened a few steps from the end, which forced him to slow down to close it again, thus being caught up by the Yamaha of an excellent Fabio Quartararo , who curiously had had a similar experience two years ago in Barcelona.
Indeed, on the last lap “El Diablo” even had the opportunity to try to grab second place, because the Prima Pramac Racing representative went very wide at turn 4, but then managed to exploit the last of his strength to respond and take a very precious place of honor. A real feat if you consider that he was truly exhausted from the heat when he arrived at parc fermé. Now his gap to Bagnaia is only 13 points and Bezzecchi can also hope again at -44.
Even if second place eluded him, Quartararo can still smile, because this is the second Sunday podium of his season after the one in Austin and he finally managed to keep up with the pace of the best for the entire distance. In general, however, it was a good Sunday for Yamaha, which also placed Franco Morbidelli in seventh place.
The battle for fourth place was also very good, involving Brad Binder, once again author of a great comeback from the fifth row, and Joan Mir. In the end the KTM representative prevailed, but the Majorcan can smile, because this was his first race as a protagonist aboard the Honda. And he needed it after a season that up until now had been a nightmare.
Also missing from the top positions is Marc Marquez, who initially settled in fourth position, but then crashed at turn 1 after a few laps. The eight-time world champion didn’t give up and got back on his RC213V, climbing up to ninth place, behind the Aprilia of Maverick Vinales, who was also called to recover from the back after being sent wide at the first braking point.
Things went worse for his teammate Aleix Espargaro, forced to retire due to a technical problem that affected his RS-GP after just 11. Just as Fabio Di Giannantonio raised the flag with just two laps to go. Going back to scroll through the ranking, the top 10 is then completed with sixth place for Johann Zarco and tenth for a growing Raul Fernandez.
Finally, it must be remembered that Alex Marquez and Luca Marini were missing from the grid today due to injuries suffered yesterday: the Gresini Racing Spaniard fractured three ribs in a fall in Q1, while the Mooney VR46 rider suffered a left collarbone in a crash. of the start of the Sprint.