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Drama on the Algarve: Martin wins, Acosta makes history as Bagnaia and Marquez collide

Drama On The Algarve: Martin Wins, Acosta Makes History As Bagnaia And Marquez CollideHeadlines, history and adrenaline on the rollercoaster: Martin takes the Championship lead as the storylines overflow in Portugal.

The 2024 Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal was a stunning lights to flag win for Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) as the number #89 took the victory and the Championship lead with it. But this is the world’s most exciting sport, and there are no single sentence explanations to cover 25 laps of MotoGP™ on the rollercoaster. Martin won, and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) chased him close all the way until a heartbreaking last lap technical issue. Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) came though to take second and his first podium of the year. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech 3) made history as the third youngest podium finisher in premier class history with an incredible charge past Champions past and present. And?

11 World Championships went toe-to-toe, and all of them slid off into the runoff. Riders ok, but in one of the most dramatic incidents for some time, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) collided with only a handful of laps to go. The FIM MotoGP™ Stewards officially deem it a racing incident, but it seems a moment that will be debriefed for weeks, months, if not years to come.

But back to the start. It was a stunning launch from Martin to take the holeshot, with Bastianini slotting in behind as Bagnaia shot up a place. Viñales initially dropped to fourth then fought back, round the outside of the reigning Champion. Bastianini was then slightly wide and Viñales headed through, with the two Ducatis then shuffling. Marc Marquez tried his luck with a move through too, but it settled down slightly after the adrenaline spike with Martin leading Viñales, Bastianini, Bagnaia and Marc Marquez.Drama On The Algarve: Martin Wins, Acosta Makes History As Bagnaia And Marquez Collide

Martin looked to be trying to break, but Viñales responded to stay in touch, and likewise Bastianini. What was a seven tenth gap became five and then three as the Aprilia dug in. Bastianini was holding station in third ahead of Bagnaia and Marc Marquez, with an RC-16 war raging on their tail.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) led teammate Jack Miller led Acosta, but the gloves were off and the South African made his move as Miller was then sent a little wide at Turn 1. His teammate was through, and so was Acosta – before the rookie then also attacked Binder at the same place not long after. The charge to history was on.

From there, it was target lock on Marc Marquez. And he homed in and did the same with a brutal move at Turn 1, pitched perfectly to make his way past but not open the door enough to allow the eight-time World Champion to reply.

At the front, Martin marched on, and so did Viñales as he shadowed. Bastianini held station, close enough to be cooking something up, as behind another titanic battle erupted.

Acosta’s charge didn’t stop at Marc Marquez as the rookie homed in on the reigning Champion next. He chose Turn 1 again, but the rear slipped once, then twice, and he headed just wide enough getting it back under control to let Pecco back through. Not long after, Acosta was able to get past Bagnaia once again, and that left the reigning Champion to go toe-to-toe with Marc Marquez. And then came the drama.Drama On The Algarve: Martin Wins, Acosta Makes History As Bagnaia And Marquez Collide

Marquez went for one attempt but the door was shut. This time he wasn’t going to try and push it open a la Sprint, either. Four laps to go saw the Gresini remain an absolute shadow, but Bagnaia gained a little breathing space next time round. Just enough that when the #93 did strike, it was another absolute lunge – and it nearly did work. But Bagnaia is Bagnaia and the reigning Champion had anticipated, took back the inside line as tightly as possible… and that was that. The two diverged on the same space, and two into one doesn’t fit. Contact made, they both slid out as the crowd erupted.

Meanwhile, the rider sweeping past to take that fourth place? Acosta. But there was another twist in the tale for another rider up ahead, with fourth about to become premier class history.

Crossing the line for the last lap, Martin had enough in hand to bet on. But Viñales was suddenly slowing, hanging off the bike and then looking down as he headed into the run off. A late technical issue made it a heartbreaking end to the GP race for the Sprint winner, as he then crashed out as it said no more. And that put Acosta on the podium after his gung-ho charge for glory.

Up ahead, Bastianini was close to Martin, but not close enough to strike. The #89 achieved the 89th victory for Ducati in style, winning holeshot to flag despite the drama and the tension in the chase. Bastianini, after a tougher Qatar GP and Sprint in Portugal, gets that podium to begin his count for the season, and then comes Acosta.

The number #31 is the third youngest premier class podium finisher of all time, getting it done in only his second race to join an exclusive club. Acosta was also the first over the line of the trio of KTM/GASGAS RC16s, with Binder taking fourth and Miller fifth.

Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) took P6 and was able to stay ahead of Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™), who took P7 after a weekend getting straight through to Q2 too. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) managed to come through to P8, ahead of home hero Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse Racing) in ninth. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) completed the top ten but by hundredths ahead of Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3). Find full results below.

So the dust settles on Sunday evening. Or does it? One incident can become a whole storyline, or a move re-calculated. Or just the calm, certain desire to make sure that when next time comes, you’re coming out on top. The best rivalries build between those on a level that enables them to take each other on – and still back themselves.

Next up? Next up it’s the Circuit of the Americas. Only three riders have ever won a MotoGP™ race in Austin, and only one of them has done it seven times. The rider who’ll most want to stop him making that eight is the same who defeated the eight-time World Champion on the way to his first ever MotoGP™ victory – and the only rider to take back-to-back MotoGP™ crowns alongside his mentor, Valentino Rossi, and that very same Marc Marquez. Join us for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas – hopefully we don’t need to ask twice.Drama On The Algarve: Martin Wins, Acosta Makes History As Bagnaia And Marquez Collide

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