Jorge Martín wins the sprint and takes the fight for the MotoGP title until Sunday

Bagnaia finishes fifth and leads the Spaniard by 14 points

Marc Márquez takes the podium


The Spanish rider Jorge Martín (Ducati) has won this Saturday the victory in the sprint race of the Grand Prix of the Valencian Community, the last round of the motorcycle World Championship, which tightens the fight for the title with the Italian Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), who will have to defend 14 points ahead of the Madrid native on Sunday.

With an excellent performance, Martín did his part and signed a spectacular victory – ninth in the 2023 sprint – starting sixth, which allowed him to cancel the ‘Pecco’ match ball on Saturday and reach Sunday with options. Now, only 14 units separate the transalpine from the Spanish.

To be crowned champion of the premier category, the one from San Sebastián de los Reyes would have to win Sunday’s race and Bagnaia – who will start second – would have to finish sixth or worse. If he won and ‘Pecco’ was fifth, both would be tied on points and the Italian would retain the title by number of victories.

As soon as the traffic lights went out, ‘Martinator’ showed his cards and went from sixth starting position to third in just a few meters, putting himself behind his great rival. Just one lap later, he overtook ‘Pecco’, although they both slipped in and allowed both South African Brad Binder (KTM) and Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda) to pass them.

Bagnaia, conservative, then chose not to risk, while Martín rose to second place on lap 8, before taking the lead on lap 10. The pressure passed to the current world champion, who was still fifth, but the positions did not change anymore until the checkered flag.

Also powerful was the performance of eight-time champion Marc Márquez, who achieved third place in the Grand Prix of his farewell to Repsol Honda. In addition, Maverick Viñales (Aprilia), who started from pole, finished fourth.

For his part, Alex Márquez (Ducati) was eighth; Augusto Fernández (KTM) finished tenth, just ahead of Raúl Fernández (Aprilia); Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) finished thirteenth; Pol Espargaró (KTM) sixteenth; and Alex Rins (Honda), nineteenth. Joan Mir (Repsol Honda) did not participate due to his heavy fall in free practice on Friday.