Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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Viñales victorious as Marc Marquez puts a last lap lunge on Martin

Viñales Victorious As Marc Marquez Puts A Last Lap Lunge On MartinThe number 12 takes his first ever Tissot Sprint win, the gloves come off for MM93 and Bagnaia rues an error on a showstopping Saturday.

Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) is a Tissot Sprint winner! A stunning showdown on the Algarve saw the Aprilia rider get his elbows out and then hold off Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing), who had their own battle down to the last lap. That culminated in a classic, brutal but clean lunge from the #93 to slice through into second and take his best Sprint result yet, with Martin relegated to third.

In the standings it’s closer than ever though, with Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) leading for much of the Sprint before heading wide at Turn 1 and able to stay in the battle – but not move up further than fourth.

At lights out, it was a brilliant start to the race from Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) who grabbed the holeshot and started storming away on the first lap. Polesitter Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) got swallowed by the front group as the Italian was demoted to P5 following an issue with his ride height device, meanwhile, Marc Marquez was one of those who found a way through on the number 23 – jumping into third place after passing Viñales too.Viñales Victorious As Marc Marquez Puts A Last Lap Lunge On Martin

Bagnaia was on a march though. He hit the front of the race early, trying to build a comfortable gap and quickly. On the chase, Marc Marquez soon found his way through to pass Viñales, and he held that for a handful of laps. But he wasn’t making headway, then running wide at the tricky Turn 5 as the task grew in size again.

Bagnaia seemed in the clear, over a second up the road from Viñales, with Martin and Marc Marquez not far off the Aprilia either. But then the #1 machine was suddenly sailing off at Turn 1, keeping it together but watching the front group flash past as he rejoined just ahead of Miller.

And so Viñales led the Sprint, with some closer and closer company. But with just over two to go, Martin was wide and that was some breathing space for the Aprilia. His, meanwhile, was being filled by a looming #93.

By the last lap, Viñales seemed to have it under control, and Martin vs Marquez was going to decide second and third places on the podium barring any serious late drama. And there was none – but there was a spectacular, on-the-edge, old skool lunge from a master of the craft.

Viñales Victorious As Marc Marquez Puts A Last Lap Lunge On MartinDown into Turn 5, there wasn’t really an open door and he wasn’t really in perfect striking distance, but Marc Marquez went for it… and he made it stick. Brutal, close, and just clean enough to be worth a handshake in parc ferme, the eight-time World Champion took his best Sprint result, holding Martin off to the line in a drag race too.

After rejoining ahead of Miller, Bagnaia managed to hold the KTM off to the flag, but it was close – and Bastianini was even closer as the trio took P4, P5 and P6.

Rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) wasn’t far off that battle by the flag either. He took P7 and his best Sprint result yet, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) able to recover some positions from a tough qualifying. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) took the final point in the Sprint.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was one crasher, out early but rider ok.

And so, after a Saturday spectacle, a new Sprint winner heads into Sunday with another point to prove too – and from the front row. Viñales could become the first to win with three machines in the MotoGP™ era on Sunday… or there could be another twist in the tale. With the title race narrowed to just two points you do not want to miss the Portuguese GP on Sunday, with lights out at 14:00 (UTC)!Viñales Victorious As Marc Marquez Puts A Last Lap Lunge On Martin

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