MotoGP: Jorge Martin wins sprint race at Indian Grand Prix – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The historic debut of Indian MotoGP witnessed Jorge Martin‘s stellar performance as he led from the start to clinch victory in the sprint race. Martin’s triumph not only marked a momentous occasion in the annals of Indian MotoGP but also narrowed the gap on championship leader Francesco Bagnaia.
Riding under the Ducati-Pramac banner, Martin commenced the race from the second position on the grid but swiftly vaulted into the lead. The race got off to a dramatic start when pole-sitter Marco Bezzecchi tumbled down the order due to a first-corner mishap.
The reigning world champion, Francesco Bagnaia, secured the second spot on the podium, while the legendary Marc Marquez completed the triumphant trio at the Buddh International Circuit, situated on the outskirts of New Delhi.
The initial incident involved a collision between Bezzecchi’s Ducati-VR46 and his teammate Luca Marini, leading to crashes for both riders, in addition to Stefan Bradl and Pol Espargaro.

Nonetheless, the day rightfully belonged to Jorge Martin, who had previously celebrated victory at the Misano MotoGP. The Spaniard displayed unwavering composure throughout the race, even as others faltered.
Reflecting on the challenges, Martin shared, “The moments before the race were difficult because there was a lot of time in the box, and it was difficult to concentrate. But finally, everything went well. I had a great start, and that was my plan. I gained half a second in the first lap, and then I tried to push more to increase the gap.”
In response to concerns about high temperatures during Friday’s practice sessions, the race was shortened by a lap. Nevertheless, Martin found the race conditions highly favourable.
“With the low temperature, it was nice to ride,” he remarked with satisfaction. “I am the best so far in my career but hope to keep improving.”
Playfully, championship leader Francesco Bagnaia responded, “Hope not.”

Despite his initial setback, Marco Bezzecchi exhibited resilience by climbing several positions during the sprint race, ultimately finishing in fifth place. He expressed a degree of disappointment with the result despite his noteworthy braking prowess.
Francesco Bagnaia, who continues to lead the championship with 292 points, offered his perspective on the race’s outcome, stating, “It was a good race. It’s never frustrating when you finish on the podium for sure. Following Jorge was too much. He has the best advantage while braking.”
With respect to the sweltering weather conditions, Bagnaia commented, “For me, the temperature is not a problem honestly… I don’t suffer too much in the hot conditions.”
The sprint race underwent rescheduling to accommodate a 15-minute wet session due to heavy afternoon rainfall. Several riders, including Aleix Espargaro, Johann Zarco, and Joan Mir, were unable to finish due to the presence of wet patches on the course.
In an unfortunate development, Alex Marquez, currently ranked ninth in the standings, experienced a crash during the first qualifying session. He fractured two ribs as a result and was subsequently ruled out of both the sprint race and Sunday’s Grand Prix. Marquez received medical attention and underwent scans at a local hospital.


(With inputs from AFP)

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