After winning the sprint, Francesco Bagnaia did it again by winning the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday. France’s Johann Zarco and Fabio Quartaro finished fourth and eighth.
Unlike Fabio Quartararo, Marc Marquez or Valentino Rossi before him, Francesco Bagnaia chose to wear the No. 1, which has disappeared from the MotoGP grid since 2012. The Italian fully assumed the rank of world champion on Sunday at the seasonal opener in Portimao. Winner of the first sprint in history on Saturday, Bagnaia did it again on Sunday in long format, for the first Grand Prix of 2023.
The Ducati rider, caught at the start by Miguel Oliveira and Jorge Martin, made short work of the two enthusiasts from the second lap, one after the other. He handled it well because soon after, Marc Marquez sent off the Spaniard and thrashed the Portuguese in the back.
Bagnaia escaped the strike and escaped. Maverick Viñales only managed to hang on behind him. But in one episode, on the thirteenth, the current world champion dug a hole beyond repair, and then contented himself with managing it to the finish.
Zarco’s last crazy rideIf the places on the podium (Bagnaia, Vinales, Bezzecchi) were clearly assigned from the sixth of the twenty-five laps, the fight raged behind the places of honor. Two laps from the end, Johan Zarco brought up the back of a group of furious five, behind the KTMs of Jack Miller and Brad Bender, the Ducati of Alex Marquez and the Aprilia of Alex Espargaro.
After unleashed, the Frenchman passed Espargaro and then, in a final spin of madness, both Marques’ KTM and Ducati teams to finish the race and claim fourth on the line.
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In the fifteenth after another confused start, Fabio Quartararo managed to move up to ninth. Two laps from the end, he caught up to this car in a fight for fourth place.
When Zarco unleashed his big attack, the Yamaha rider failed to take the lead but managed to pass Espargaro for eighth place. A long way from last year’s rival, Francesco Bagnaia.