until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


The unofficial 2023 MotoGP 'sprint championship' results

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

There might still be a MotoGP championship to decide thanks to Jorge Martin’s ninth sprint race victory of the year at Valencia on Saturday, reducing Pecco Bagnaia's points lead to only 14 points again ahead of Sunday's title decider, but it’ll come as little surprise that the Pramac Ducati racer has already clinched one 2023 title - albeit an unofficial one.

Martin has been absolutely dominant in sprint races throughout 2023, something that's in keeping with pre-season expectations for a rider who is able to combine both exceptional one-lap pace with a clean but aggressive riding style.

But while Martin might be a clear winner in The Race's unofficial sprint standings ahead of title rival Bagnaia, there's a few surprises a little further behind them.

Unofficial 2023 'MotoGP sprint championship'

(difference to actual current championship position in brackets)

1 Jorge Martin 168 (+1)
2 Pecco Bagnaia 140 (-1)
3 Brad Binder 109 (+1)
4 Marco Bezzecchi 87 (-1)
5 Luca Marini 54 (+3)
6 Maverick Vinales 54 (+1)
7 Alex Marquez 50 (+2)
8 Aleix Espargaro 48 (-2)
9 Jack Miller 47 (+2)
10 Marc Marquez 38 (+3)
11 Johann Zarco 37 (-6)
12 Fabio Di Giannantonio 19 (=)
13 Fabio Quartararo 19 (-2)
14 Miguel Oliveira 14 (+2)
15 Enea Bastianini 13 (=)
16 Alex Rins 9 (+2)
17 Franco Morbidelli 7 (-3)
18 Pol Espargaro 4 (+4)
19 Augusto Fernandez 3 (-2)
20 Raul Fernandez 1 (=)

Ties settled on countback to best result, then second-best where needed

Besides Martin and Bagnaia (who between them won more than half of the 20 sprint races) four more riders have won sprints in 2023, with multiple winners Brad Binder and Alex Marquez joining the list alongside Marco Bezzecchi and Aleix Espargaro - with Binder and Espargaro the only non-Ducati sprint winners.

Gains and loses

While Bagnaia might still be leading the standings with one race to go - and is still the favourite thanks to his healthy lead - it’s clear that it’s the sprint races that have allowed Martin to stay in contact right until the very end of the season.

Behind them, it’s KTM rider Brad Binder who has arguably benefitted the most from the sprints out of the series’ frontrunners, as he places third position in the unofficial standings - something of a surprise given the KTM racer’s reputation for late charges through the field.

Others rewarded by the sprints include outgoing VR46 Ducati rider Luca Marini - set to join Honda next year - whose three sprint podiums move him up three places in the standings to a strong fifth place overall.

His jump of three places is one matched perhaps less surprisingly by Marc Marquez, who has utilised the sprints this year for his best results, while Pol Espargaro makes a four-place jump - testament to his lack of physical fitness for a full race distance.

On the losing side, there was a clear frontrunner, with Martin's Pramac Racing team-mate Johann Zarco dropping six places and outside of the top 10 from fifth in the current riders' standings. That reflects just how difficult the veteran has found it to adapt his late-race pace to the shorter and more aggressive races.

Of the regular 2023 MotoGP riders, Honda riders Taka Nakagami and Joan Mir - whose season was confirmed as having come to an early conclusion earlier on Saturday - were the only two not to score points.

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