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Martin vs Marquez vs Bagnaia: last lap decider at Le Mans

Martin Vs Marquez Vs Bagnaia: Last Lap Decider At Le MansThree of the biggest names in the sport throw down in France – and this time it’s Martin who writes a victory to remember.

Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) soaked up the pressure and threw down the gauntlet at the Michelin® Grand Prix de France, coming out on top in a three-way fight for glory against Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) that rolled all the way to the final lap. Nearly 300,000 fans streamed into the event over the weekend and they were treated to a proper show as the #89 shadowed Bagnaia, passed him, and then shut every door in Le Mans to pull off a seriously impressive 25-point haul. And just behind him, Marc Marquez did find an open door – or manage to create one. The #93 pulled a last lap divebomb on Bagnaia that got the job done for second, perfectly crafted to demote the reigning Champion to third.

Off the line, Martin made a good start from pole but Bagnaia bettered it, the #1 taking the holeshot from second on the grid. Behind, Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) was threatening but ran in hot at the chicane, leaving teammate Aleix Espargaro to challenge Martin for second on the exit as the #12 Aprilia slotted in just behind Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) in fourth. Marc Marquez, meanwhile, was up to eighth almost immediately, slicing up from his P13 grid slot.

Martin Vs Marquez Vs Bagnaia: Last Lap Decider At Le MansAt the front, Bagnaia had the hammer down but Martin was absolutely glued to him at the front. The two pulled a small gap on the chasing pack led by Espargaro, with Diggia in fourth and rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) looking to attack Viñales. He did so not long after, setting the fastest lap on Lap 2, before another shuffle as DiGiannantonio briefly diced with Espargaro just ahead.

However, the rookie then proved the protagonist of the first drama. Looking for a way through on that duel ahead, he overcooked it into Turn 8 going for a move on the VR46 machine ahead, and then only just avoided tagging both as he slid out. More drama then hit nearly immediately after as Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) slid out as he pushed to try and duel with Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team).

At the front, Bagnaia pounded on. Martin shadowed, equally pitch perfect until one small mistake from both with 19 to go, heading ever so slightly wide. But they gathered it back up as the podium fight behind started to light up, the race split between a duel and a melee.

Diggia was homing in on Espargaro, but Viñales, Marquez and Bastianini lurked. The next move came there as Marquez attacked Viñales but was repelled, and Diggia then had a shot at the #41 Aprilia, also forced to hold station. But a lap later the #49 was through into third, and Viñales then began to line up his teammate. He needed no second invite after the door was just left open, with Marquez then striking straight away too.

Next was Bastianini. The Beast came from a long way back and also went in hot, gathering it back up but Espargaro then taking to the run off before rejoining. Bastianini didn’t make the apex either, but his was a shortcut and he was then given a Long Lap for the time not lost.

Meanwhile, Marquez had picked Viñales’ pocket after the #12 was slightly wide, and the eight-time World Champion was homing in on Diggia. By Lap 16, the #93 made his first attack through Turn 3. The Italian responded and in the shuffle, Viñales almost nearly made his way through too. But it was as you were until a lap later as Marquez went for it again, and this time Diggia ran wide trying to take it back. The #93 and Viñales were both past, and the #49 then got a Long Lap for the time he didn’t lose as he tried to rejoin.

By just under ten laps to go, Bagnaia led Martin, the two still absolutely glued together, but now it was Marquez on the chase. Soon, the chess match had its first big move.

Martin Vs Marquez Vs Bagnaia: Last Lap Decider At Le MansAt Turn 3, Martin attacked. And he got through, but on the cutback Bagnaia judged it to the absolutely millimetre to nudge back ahead. As you were, until a lap later. Same move, different result as this time the #89 was able to hold it. There was a new race leader, but there was also a new fastest lap… from Marquez.

The Gresini was on the factory machine of Bagnaia in what seemed like a flash as it became a leading trio. It seemed Martin was starting to pull out the centimetres as he dug in, but then the #89 was deep into the chicane with three to go, and it was absolutely locked together once again. Bagnaia was close as anything and showed a wheel but couldn’t barge the door open, leaving a six-wheeled fight for the win to roll on.

Over the line for the last lap, Martin and Bagnaia were almost one machine round Turn 1 and 2, but a hail Mary on the brakes from Marquez saw that #93 re-appear in the shot by the time the trio dropped anchor at the chicane. Bagnaia was harrying, impatient and looking for any inch of space to make a move on Martin, but there was none – so Marquez made some instead.

The Gresini divebombed it but divebombed it to perfection, getting it stopped to take over in second as the remaining apexes ticked down. Would Bagnaia be able to respond at the final corner? As Martin gained some breathing space thanks to the duel behind him, the focus shifted to that one final opportunity. But if Marquez had opened the door for himself corners prior, this time he kept it firmly closed.

Martin Vs Marquez Vs Bagnaia: Last Lap Decider At Le MansUp ahead, Martin crossed the line to take one of his most impressive wins to date, soaking up the pressure and making it a serious statement Sunday. His lead goes out to an incredible 38 points – enough to guarantee he leaves the next GP as Championship leader too – and it’s Bagnaia and Marquez on his tail in that order. Marquez’ back-to-back podiums are his first since 2021 and he’s 40 points off the top, but Bagnaia remains second despite that 0 from the Sprint in France.

Behind the podium battle, Bastianini charged back from his Long Lap to get past Viñales late on, with the #12 forced to settle for fifth. Di Giannantonio took P6 ahead of Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing), who pipped Espargaro late on and the Aprilia dropped back to P9.

Between the two was Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), whose tough French GP had a much sweeter conclusion on Sunday. From the back of the grid, the #33 charged through to P8. An honourable mention also goes to a savage ride from Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) in an awesome home GP livery, with the Frenchman making it as far up as sixth before a crash out of contention. Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) completed the top ten.

That’s a wrap on the best-attended Grand Prix in history, and Martin leaves it with a serious and stylish statement win. Next up it’s Barcelona and another chance for the world’s most exciting sport to prove its moniker, so join us for more in two weeks as we go back-to-back with two more classic events from Catalonia to Mugello!Martin Vs Marquez Vs Bagnaia: Last Lap Decider At Le Mans

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