Connect with us


Martin wins Thai sprint to cut Bagnaia MotoGP lead to 18 points




Spain’s Jorge Martin led from pole to chequered flag to win the Thailand MotoGP sprint race on Saturday and reduce the deficit behind championship leader Francesco Bagnaia to 18 points.

Pramac-Ducati rider Martin took his fifth consecutive sprint victory, 0.933 seconds ahead of South Africa’s Brad Binder in second on a KTM, with Italian Luca Marini’s Ducati-VR46 third. Bagnaia was seventh.


Short-format king Martin reached the first corner in the lead and was never headed as Bagnaia suffered a poor start from the second row, dropping back to ninth by the end of the opening lap.

Bagnaia, on the factory Ducati, finally found some pace four laps into the 13-lap dash and although he clawed his way back to seventh he could not make any inroads on Marco Bezzecchi, who finished sixth on his Ducati-VR46.

Honda’s Marc Marquez crossed the line fourth with Aleix Espargaro’s Aprilia in fifth.

“It pretty much went to plan,” said Martin, who realised he had to be wary once the flying Binder, who swept through the field from fifth on the grid, overtook Marini on the seventh lap to move up to second.

“I tried to save tyres at the beginning,” said Martin. “Then I saw Brad overtook Luca so I said: ‘OK, maybe now it’s time to go’.


“I pushed the lead out to 1.9 (seconds) then I tried to manage the tyres until the end.”

Binder started best of all and overtook Bezzecchi and Espargaro to move up to third by the end of the second lap.

The South African thought he might have challenged for the win had he managed to get past Marini quicker.

“The plan today was obviously not to come second but to win of course but, second place, we’ll take it,” said Binder.

The result leaves Bagnaia on 369 points going into Sunday’s 26-lap grand prix where he will again start sixth on the grid with pole-sitter Martin now on 351 after picking up 12 for the sprint victory.


“I missed a little bit the start,” admitted Bagnaia.

“But we managed to close the gap and my feeling was so good on my bike and so finishing seventh when you are so fast and so strong is not good for us.

“So we have to consider that for tomorrow and I have to adjust to improve my pace in the first laps.”

Martin began the weekend 27 points behind with four legs of the 20-race season to go, but he also started from pole a week ago in Australia before his gamble on a soft rear tyre backfired as he slumped to fifth.

With 25 points available for the winners of Sunday’s MotoGP main race the title battle could tighten further before the riders head to Malaysia’s Sepang circuit in two weeks’ time as the championship duel looks likely to go to the wire.


“I think it will be a different race,” said Martin of Sunday’s 26-lap grand prix around the 4.554km Buriram International Circuit. “I expect Pecco (Bagnaia) to improve.”

The final two race weekends of the season are in Qatar and Valencia next month.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Iftikhar Ahmed reveals reason for choosing National T20 over T10 league




Pakistan middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed has explained his decision to prioritize participation in the country’s premier domestic tournament, the National T20, over the Abu Dhabi T10 League. 

Despite being signed by Bangla Tigers for the T10 League starting on December 28, the 33-year-old chose to play domestic cricket for the Peshawar region.

In a statement on the sidelines of the National T20, Iftikhar highlighted his commitment to paying respect to domestic cricketers and Pakistan by opting for the national competition. He emphasized that playing for Pakistan had earned him respect, and as a professional player, he felt it was important to honor the domestic cricket platform.


“I had a contract in the T10 league but I cancelled it to play here in domestic cricket. I have played for Pakistan after playing domestic cricket, and playing for Pakistan is what has earned me respect, so as a player and a professional, I should also pay respect to domestic cricketers and Pakistan (by playing here),” Iftikhar said.

The National T20 is currently ongoing at four venues in Karachi, featuring eighteen teams. The group stage games will conclude on November 28, followed by the Super Eight stage starting from December 1.

On the other hand, the Abu Dhabi T10 League 2023 will involve eight teams, including New York Strikers, Deccan Gladiators, Northern Warriors, Morrisville Samp Army, Delhi Bulls, Team Abu Dhabi, Chennai Braves, and Bangla Tigers. 

The tournament, which will take place at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, will follow a round-robin format in the group stage, leading to the Qualifier 1, Eliminator, Qualifier 2, and the Final.