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MotoGP Title Finale: Francesco Bagnaia Wins In Valencia; Conquers Second MotoGP World Title As Jorge Martin Crashes Out

The title showdown was marred by an unfortunate race-ending collision involving Jorge Martin and Marc Marquez,
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By Yashraj Singh

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3 mins read

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Published on November 26, 2023

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Highlights

  • Francesco Bagnaia won his second MotoGP world title in a row leading from the front as he won the Valencian Grand Prix.
  • His chief title rival Jorge Martin suffered a catastrophic race as he pushed hard to get back on terms with Pecco.
  • Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio pushed the champion all the way claiming second place ahead of Pramac’s Johan Zarco.

In a riveting finale, the 26-year-old Ducati superstar, Francesco Bagnaia, emerged victorious in Valencia to secure the 2023 MotoGP championship. The title showdown was marred by an unfortunate race-ending collision involving Jorge Martin and Marc Marquez, spelling the end of Martin's aspirations and confirming Bagnaia's championship reign in an unexpected turn of events.

 

Bagnaia had the championship within reach and inherited pole position following a penalty incurred by Maverick Vinales due to a technical issue in Sunday morning's warm-up session. As the lights went out, Bagnaia bolted off the line, while Martin swiftly zipped past the factory KTMs, positioning himself right behind his chief rival Bagnaia early in the race.

 

Also Read: MotoGP Title Finale Sprint: Jorge Martin Secures Ninth Sprint Race Victory In Valencia

However, Martin's valiant charge to challenge Bagnaia was interrupted by a critical misjudgment. As Martin tucked in closely behind Bagnaia down the main straight, aiming to capitalise on the slipstream, a misjudged braking attempt into Turn 1 saw Martin overshoot the corner, rejoining the field further down in eighth position.

Undeterred by this setback, Martin displayed his unwavering resilience, clawing his way up the order. Yet, his ambitions were terminally halted when he attempted an overtake on Marquez, leading to an unfortunate collision between the two riders, abruptly and tragically ending their races and, in turn, Martin's championship aspirations as well as Marquez’ Honda career.

The intensity of the championship race saw Bagnaia briefly losing focus, allowing Brad Binder and Jack Miller from the KTM stable to momentarily snatch the lead. Nonetheless, neither KTM rider managed to sustain their positions ahead of Bagnaia for an extended period.

Binder, after a surge, committed a braking error at Turn 11, resulting in an unofficial penalty with an extra loop around the circuit. This setback saw Binder slip down the order, while Miller, who had charged into the lead, encountered a crash on lap 19 at Turn 10, gifting Bagnaia the lead once more.

 

The battle for victory reached its zenith when Gresini's Fabio Di Giannantonio staged a remarkable comeback, advancing through the field to challenge Bagnaia in the closing laps. Despite Di Giannantonio's relentless pursuit, Bagnaia showcased nerves of a steely champion, successfully fending off Di Giannantonio's attempts to snatch victory, ultimately triumphing by a mere 0.176 seconds.

 

Also Read: MotoGP Title Finale Qualifying: Vinales On Pole In Valencia; Bagnaia Qualifies Second

 

Amidst the thrilling front-runners, Johann Zarco, bidding adieu to Pramac Ducati, secured the final spot on the podium. Binder, after a tumultuous race, settled for fourth, followed by Raul Fernandez and Alex Marquez in fifth and sixth positions, respectively.

 

The culmination of the race marked poignant farewells, with Franco Morbidelli bidding adieu to Yamaha, Marc Marquez to Honda, Johan Zarco to Pramac Racing and Pol Espargaro to GasGas. Aleix Espargaro, Luca Marini, and Vinales rounded off the top 10 in a race filled with moments of brilliance and heart-wrenching crashes.

 

The list of non–finishers were as follows: Pol Espargaro, Enea Bastianini, Jorge Martin, Marc Marquez, Marco Bezzecchi, Augusto Fernandez, Jack Miller and Alex Rins.

 

Also Read: Pramac Racing Becomes First Ever Satellite Team To Win World Championship

Marquez, after the collision with Martin, was swiftly evaluated at the medical centre and returned to the Honda garage seemingly unscathed.

 

Bagnaia's triumph secured his second consecutive MotoGP title, etching his name in history as the first Ducati rider to achieve such a feat. His back-to-back championship accolades mirrored the accomplishment previously attained only by his great mentor Valentino Rossi as well as Marc Marquez.

 

In the wake of Martin's unfortunate crash and Bagnaia's championship clinch, the prospect of Martin's promotion to the factory team for the 2024 season remains uncertain. Nonetheless, Bagnaia's masterful performance and ultimate victory fortified his status as the 2023 MotoGP world champion and the only Ducati double champion, concluding the season in a captivating and dramatic fashion.

 

 

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