“I studied a lot, I thought Misano was the hardest track for me, but in the end, it turned out together with Germany [Sachsenring Circuit], the best race weekends I’ve ever had. Now I can think of always winning, on every track. And I will continue the season with this mentality.”
Jorge Martin has crafted a true masterpiece at Misano, starting from pole position, a Tissot Sprint win and a Sunday race victory giving himself maximum points and the pleasure of a perfect weekend win trifecta at his rivals’ stomping ground, under a clear sunny sky in Misano Marco Simoncelli World Circuit.
The Spaniard of Prima Pramac Racing crossed the chequered flag leaving a gap of 1.3s over second-place finisher, Marco Bezzecchi of Mooney VR46 Racing Team.
While the current world champion Francesco Bagnaia of the Ducati Lenovo Team fought through excruciating pain, astonishingly claiming an important third place on podium, after he escaped serious injury despite high siding, then being run over by Brad Binder’s KTM motorbike at +163km/h last weekend in Barcelona.
WORLD RANKING? DOESN’T MATTER
Martin is now 36 points behind world champion Francesco Bagnaia, who is the MotoGP overall standings lead holder.
Yet, he doesn’t seem to be looking at world rankings: “I don’t think about it, I’m not an official factory rider and I don’t have their pressure. I have to enjoy this moment, perhaps when I have the opportunity to compete for a Factory team; I will have to live with that responsibility and think about it… Now, I want to have fun and win as many races as possible.”
RACE CRASH INVESTIGATION Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder made a much better start than yesterday and, after passing KTM team-mate Pedrosa, caught up with the Ducati trio. But it counted for nothing when the South African crashed on lap 8, dealing another blow
to his title hopes. Shortly after, team-mate Jack Miller appeared to be taken down by Ducati wild-card Michele Pirro. The incident was reviewed after the race.
Most riders switched to the medium rear tyre for the longer 27-lap grand prix, after choosing the soft tyre for Sprint. Except for the five Hondas, who felt they had nothing to lose by sticking with the soft.
Marc Marquez benefitted from Binder’s fall to reach sixth and was catching the Aprilia Racing of fifth place Maverick Vinales as the laps counted down. But the soft rubber looked to suffer in the final laps, when Marquez lost out on sixth to RNF Aprilia’s Miguel Oliveira and nearly Luca Marini of team Mooney VR46 Ducati, who made a last-lap lunge but ran wide.
The next best Honda was wild-card Stefan Bradl, in 18th. Marquez’s Repsol Honda team-mate Joan Mir crashed out, again. GASGAS Tech3’s Pol Espargaro also joined the DNF list after a fifth accident of the weekend.
PAIN AND JOY
At the end of the race, fans started entering the race starting grid to join the podium celebration. Mechanics and team managers in the Pramac box were cheering in joy “Martinator, Martinator!”.
While world title holder Francesco Bagnaia had a sweet bitter moment, he was clearly in pain as soon as he finished the race, a team manager helped him step off his bike and walk towards his teammates, he seemed exhausted, yet happy he made it this far with his team after luckily avoiding a serious injury.
Marco Bezzecchi enjoyed another podium of the season, especially after racing with an injured left hand, which didn’t stop him from hustling his way up to the podium.
A day of official testing will take place at the circuit on Monday, when Marc Marquez and Fabio Quartararo will get their first taste of the 2024 prototypes from Honda and Yamaha, respectively.
MOTOGP INDIA DEBUT After a weekend off, MotoGP will head for India and its debut at the Buddh International Circuit on September 22-24.
|Race results from the San Marino MotoGP at Misano, round 12 of 20 in the 2023 world championship:|
|1||Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP23)||41m 33.421s|
|2||Marco Bezzecchi||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||+1.350s|
|3||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Lenovo (GP23)||+3.812s|
|4||Dani Pedrosa||SPA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+4.481s|
|5||Maverick Viñales||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP23)||+10.510s|
|6||Miguel Oliveira||POR||RNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)||+12.274s|
|7||Marc Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+13.576s|
|8||Raul Fernandez||SPA||RNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)||+14.091s|
|9||Luca Marini||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||+14.982s|
|10||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP23)||+15.484s|
|11||Alex Marquez||SPA||Gresini Ducati (GP22)||+15.702s|
|12||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP23)||+15.878s|
|13||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+15.898s|
|14||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+23.778s|
|15||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+24.579s|
|16||Augusto Fernandez||SPA||Tech3 GASGAS (RC16)*||+31.230s|
|17||Fabio Di Giannantonio||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP22)||+32.537s|
|18||Stefan Bradl||GER||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+35.330s|
|19||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+43.601s|
|Pol Espargaro||SPA||Tech3 GASGAS (RC16)||DNF|
|Joan Mir||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||DNF|
|Jack Miller||AUS||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||DNF|
|Michele Pirro||ITA||Aruba.it Ducati (GP23)||DNF|
Credit: AIPS Media