इंडियन आवाज़     01 Dec 2023 04:00:03      انڈین آواز

Martin claims the Tissot Sprint, Bezzecchi take pole at the Grand Prix of India


Harpal Singh Bedi

Jorge Martin wheelied his way to the chequered flag after bagging the 11-lap Tissot Sprint in Grand Prix of India at at the Buddh International Circuit.

 Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia finished second ,while eight -time world champion Marc Marquez was placed third to earn his second podium of the season

Earlier Mooney VR46 Racing Team rider Marco Bezzecchi had set the qualifying time at one minute, 43.9470 becoming clear favourite for the Tissot Sprint and the marque event on Sunday.

Martin, however, had predicted the scenario after Saturday’s practice sessions. And it turned out as he predicted. Starting number one on the grid, Bezzecchi teammate Luca Marini’s erroneous braking on Turn 1, pushed the Italian off the track, and five others out of the race. While Bezzecchi was pushed down to the 17th position, Martin sped away maintaining the lead throughout the sprint.

“I didn’t need to put my 100% today. Just trying to concentrate on the turn. My main target was to increase the gap and understand the conditions. We have some margin to fight back with Marco tomorrow,” Martin said after winning the Tissot Sprint.

Jorge Martin had bagged the Sprint podium and 12 points. Meanwhile, championship leader Francesco Bagnaia finished second with 9 points and eight-time world champion Marc Marquez rode to third spot on the podium. This was former champion’s second podium of the season.

However, it was Marco who defined the exhilarating speed associated with the sport. From being pushed to 17th in the opening lap, he fought for the fifth place in the 10th lap. He successfully pipped Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo for the position.

Marco set the qualifying time at one minute, 43.9470. In an evenly fought Qualifying 2 battle, the riders went full throttle hunting to grab the pole position in India’s first-ever MotoGP Grand Prix. He came out with flying colours registering the best time to grab his third pole of the season.

Jorge Martin astride Prima Pramac claimed the second spot on the grid finishing 0.043 seconds slower than Bezzecchi. Martin, who has five podium finishes in the last eight races, will look to keep his consistency intact on Sunday.

Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia with 283 points ended up third on the grid after clocking Qualifying 2 in one minute, 44.2030 seconds. While Bezzecchi’s teammate Luca Marini placed himself fourth on the starting grid after with the timing one minute, 44.2150 seconds.

Joan Mir and Marc Marquez, who rode relentlessly at the Buddh International Circuit, managed to enter Qualifying 2 for the first time this season. The factory Honda duo’s hard work paid off as they will settle themselves fifth and sixth on the grid.

Marc’s youngser brother Alex Marquez riding Gresini Racing could crashed out on turn 6 during Qualifying 1 leaving him with injuries to his right hand and ribs. He may start provisionally 12th on the grid. He was taken to the medical centre for a check-up.

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