until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Martin wins Portimao MotoGP as Marquez and Bagnaia collide

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Pramac Ducati MotoGP rider Jorge Martin controlled the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao, as his championship rivals Pecco Bagnaia and Marc Marquez collided.

A Turn 5 lunge on Bagnaia by Marquez sent both riders wide, and as Marquez attempted to cut back his and Bagnaia's paths interlinked, removing both riders from contention.

Rookie sensation Pedro Acosta, who had overtaken both, was responsible for most of the other standout moments in the race - and was rewarded by a podium at the last second following a last-lap crash for sprint winner Maverick Vinales.

Martin took the lead off the line and controlled the race in the early stages, with Vinales sticking around as his nearest rival by re-overtaking Bagnaia around the outside of Turn 3 and then benefitting from an early minor mistake for Bastianini.

But Martin never came under major threat from Vinales, who dropped back around the halfway point of the race and then struggled to meaningfully reduce the gap over the rest of the distance, before coming under pressure late on.

Then, starting the final lap, Vinales slowed dramatically on the start-finish straight, letting Bastianini through and going into the Turn 1 run-off before high-siding off his bike as he tried to get back out on track. Aprilia's initial suggestion was a gearbox problem caused it.

This handed Ducati a 1-2 and Acosta a maiden podium - a just reward for an eye-catching race by the Tech3 Gas Gas rookie.

Acosta ran behind fellow KTM RC16 riders Brad Binder and Jack Miller in the early stages, but worked his way past both before picking off Marquez.

He then spent the next stretch of the race shadowing Bagnaia, who seemed to struggle for pace after having been kept busy by Marquez in an opening-lap dogfight.

A Turn 1 lunge didn't work out for Acosta, but with Bagnaia getting no faster, on lap 21 Acosta finally found a way past at Turn 3, aggressively cutting off Bagnaia's attempts to counter-attack.

And this put Bagnaia back in Marquez's sights - eventually leading to a collision reminiscent of the two-time champion's tangle with Vinales at Le Mans last year.

Bagnaia retired on the spot, while Marquez remounted to finish just out of the points in 16th.

It means Bagnaia has been relegated to fourth in the standings, 23 points down on new championship leader Martin.

A relatively quiet race for Binder was ultimately rewarded by fourth place through attrition up ahead, as Miller made it three KTM RC16s in the top five.

VR46 Ducati rider Marco Bezzecchi again went backwards at the start, still seemingly struggling with the Ducati clutch, but fought his way back up to sixth, followed by Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo and Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro - salvaging eighth place after being run out wide at Turn 1 and then hit wide at Turn 7 on the opening lap.

Even with all the attrition, the lead Honda - that of Joan Mir - was only 12th, wrapping up a disappointing weekend on which much more had been expected from the new RC213V.

Before the Bagnaia/Marquez and Vinales incidents, there were crashes for Pramac Ducati's Franco Morbidelli (who collided with Mir), Gresini Ducati's Alex Marquez and RNF Aprilia's Raul Fernandez.

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