The Spaniard Jorge Martin (Ducati-Pramac) won the sprint of the MotoGP Qatar Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the season, and reduced the gap to 7 points with the championship leader, the Italian Francesco Bagnaia ( Ducati), only fifth on Saturday. The Madrilenian, who started in fifth position, had a superb race and gained seven lengths from the Turinese, who started fourth and who never seemed in the running during the race, contested at night on the Lusail circuit.
“I knew I had the potential to win. I got off to a good start, then I went a little wide but then I managed to overtake all the other drivers and when I was in the lead I was very fast,” explained Martin. Bagnaia, who had a small chance of being crowned world champion for the second consecutive year in Qatar, can no longer win the title in the Gulf and everything will therefore be decided next weekend, during the last Garnd Prix of the season in Valencia.
Martin, who appeared very nervous and not at ease on Friday during practice and Saturday afternoon during qualifying, was able to keep a cool head in the evening to win with authority and put pressure on the title holder. “Winning today was important to reduce the gap so that's good, but tomorrow (Sunday) will still be the big moment of the weekend with the Grand Prix so I hope I can continue to reduce the gap,” said affirmed the Spaniard.
After a good start which saw him take third, the Pramac driver went a little wide in a corner and lost two places. But it didn't take long for him to resume his march forward. In the second lap, he first overtook Marc Marquez (Honda) before making a superb overtake on Bagnaia on the inside by delaying his braking as much as possible and even touching his opponent, who was also overtaken by Fabio Di Giannantonio ( Ducati-Gresini) in the process.
At the end of the fifth lap, shortly before halfway, Martin then overtook Alex Marquez (Ducati-Gresini) and Luca Marini (Ducati-VR46) to take control and never let go. He gradually widened the gap on his competitors, but trembled in the last minutes where he had to resist the unexpected return of Di Giannantonio, who finally failed to less than four tenths, while Bagnaia finished almost four seconds of the winner.
The Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), who started in 14th position, made a good comeback to finish eighth, while his compatriot Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac), who started in sixth place, finished 10th while being overtaken. on the finish line by the Spaniard Augusto Fernandez (GasGas-Tech3), who snatched the last point at stake during this sprint.