News 25 Sep 2023

Dominant performance from Bezzecchi to take Indian GP

Bagnaia crashes out, Acosta and Masia win in Moto2 and Moto3.

Image: Supplied.

Mooney VR46 Racing Team’s Marco Bezzecchi delivered a dominant performance at the Buddh International Circuit on Sunday to capture the Indian MotoGP victory, as championship leader Francesco Bagnaia crashed out. In Moto2, Pedro Acosta stood tall as Jaume Masia stormed to the win in Moto3.

From pole position, Bezzecchi was eager to make amends for a first turn incident in the sprint race with teammate Luca Marini that set him back on Saturday, and wasted no time in making his way to the lead.

No one was able to rival the Italian’s pace throughout the outing, and he ultimately took a commanding 8.649s victory ahead of Martin (Prima Pramac Racing. Martin’s second place didn’t come without its share of challenges however, as he was forced to lose time to third-placed Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) to fix the zip on his leathers.

Additionally, sprint race winner Martin ran wide while braking after the back straight on the last lap, allowing Quartararo the chance to come through. The number 89 retaliated with an aggressive move around the outside and was able to keep the charging number 20 at bay til the chequered flag. Third marked a positive uplift for Quartararo and Yamaha, while it was revealed Martin was struggling with dehydration in the hot and humid conditions.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder edged Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) for fourth, with a top-five result for Mir is a timely boost ahead of Honda’s upcoming home GP at Motegi.

In sixth was Prima Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco, as Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha), Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing Team), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) – who remounted from a crash while in podium contention – and Raul Fernandez completed the top 10.

Defending champion Bagnaia lost the front while running second on lap 14, ruling him out of the race. Marini didn’t compete on Sunday after suffering a broken collarbone in the sprint and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was 14th after being left at the back of the field following an off-track excursion on lap one, at turn one.

Bagnaia’s lead in the MotoGP World Championship standings is now cut to just 13 points ahead of Martin, with Bezzecchi third and 44 points from the top of the standings.

Image: Supplied.

It was another Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) clinic in India, the Moto2 World Championship leader taking a comfortable 3.543s victory to extend his advantage at the top of the standings.

A promising weekend saw an uplift from Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s Tony Arbolino, who finished second, while American Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) edged Sergio Garcia (Pons Wegow Los40) late in the race for the final spot on the podium.

Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Team’s Manuel Gonzalez completed the top five, ultimately 7.903s from the lead at the conclusion of the 12-lap bout, which was restarted following a multi-rider fall at the opening corner.

Acosta’s lead in the standings is now 39 points ahead of Arbolino, while Dixon is a distant third and 90 points back after crashing out of contention from pole position in India.

Image: Supplied.

In what was a more spaced-out Moto3 encounter than usual, Leopard Racing’s Masia was dominant on his way to a 5.477s victory.

It was a welcome return to the podium for SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Kaito Toba in second, the Japanese rider capitalising on the last lap from contact between Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP pair Ayumu Sasaki and Colin Veijer – the latter being brought down. Sasaki rode on to finish third.

Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) took the checkers in fourth, while David Alonso (GasGas Aspar Team) rounded out the top five. Australia’s Joel Kelso (CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP) suffered a fall with 15 laps to go which ruled him out of contention.

Masia’s victory now sees him level on points with Holgado in the 2023 Moto3 World Championship standings, with Sasaki third and just a single point back.

Detailed results