News 27 Nov 2023

Bagnaia secures back-to-back MotoGP titles with Valencia win

Aldeguer victorious in Moto2 as Sasaki lands Moto3 top step at 2023 finals.

Image: Supplied.

Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia successfully defended his MotoGP World Championship with a victory at the 2023 season finals at Valencia, while title-rival Jorge Martin crashed out of contention after making contact with Marc Marquez and Australia’s Jack Miller fell while leading.

Bagnaia grabbed the early lead ahead of sprint race winner Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) who made a good jump from the second row to slot into P2. However, on lap three, Martin ran wide at turn one to avoid making major contact with Bagnaia, forcing the number 89 back to P8.

The determined Martin began to make his way back through the field, but on lap six made contact with Marc Marquez – who was third in Saturday’s sprint race – into turn four, ultimately crashing out of the race while the Repsol Honda rider was brought down hard in his last outing with the team.

At this point, KTM Racing Team’s Brad Binder had taken over at the head of the field from Bagnaia, with teammate Miller soon finding his way through into second. The South African led until lap 14 when a mistake dropped him back P6, with Miller then inheriting the lead.

Miller held position at the front of the field until disaster struck with nine laps to go and he suffered a high-speed fall from P1, handing Bagnaia the lead once more.

From there Bagnaia withstood a late charge from outbound Gresini Racing rider Fabio Di Giannantonio to take the win, while a three-second penalty for a tyre pressure infringement dropped the number 49 from second to fourth, behind LCR Honda-bound Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) and Binder.

Crypto Data RNF MotoGP Team’s Raul Fernandez completed the top five, closely followed by Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing) and Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha), while Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), Luca Marini – who has formally parted ways with the Mooney VR46 ahead of an expected Repsol Honda Team announcement – and fastest qualifier Maverick Vinales featured in positions eight to 10.

Bagnaia ultimately won the 2023 MotoGP World Championship by 39 points ahead of Martin, while Marco Bezzecchi – who suffered an early fall in Sunday’s race – was third for the year.

Image: Supplied.

CAG SpeedUp’s Fermin Aldeguer dominated the Moto2 encounter at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit to take his fourth consecutive intermediate class victory.

The number 54 delivered an immense pace and consistency to win by a comfortable 3.986s ahead of Pons Wegow Los40’s Aron Canet, while Alonso Lopez (CAG SpeedUP) completed the top three.

OnlyFans American Racing Team’s Marcus finished the bout in P4, ahead of fifth-placed Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia). Moto2 world champion Pedro Acosta was shuffled back in the early stages and ultimately completed the encounter in P12.

Acosta’s margin of victory in the 2023 Moto2 World Championship was 83 points ahead of Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), while Aldeguer’s late-season form moved him into the bronze position.

Image: Supplied.

Overcoming the heartache of missing out on the Moto3 World Championship in Qatar, Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) rebounded in the best possible way with his first victory of the season at Valencia.

He delivered a faultless last lap to withstand pressure David Alonso (GasGas Aspar) as the leading group of five also featured Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team), Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) and Deniz Oncu (Red Bull KTM Ajo).

Australia’s Joel Kelso (CFMOTO Pruestel GP) finished seventh, as Moto3 world champion Jaume Masia took the checkers 13th, with Masia’s championship-winning margin six points ahead of Sasaki, while Alonso secured P3 in his rookie season.

Detailed results