Francesco Bagnaia of Ducati Lenovo Team emerged victorious at the Grande Prémio Tissot de Portugal, held at the 4,592m long Portimao Algarve International Circuit. The Italian rider secured the win with a time of 19 minutes, 52.862 seconds, and an average speed of 166.3 km/h. Bagnaia’s performance showcased the prowess of the Ducati motorcycle, dominating the race from start to finish.
The 55.104 km race had fans at the edge of their seats as Bagnaia crossed the finish line in 19’52.862, reaching an average speed of 166.3 km/h. Martin came in a close second with a time of 19’53.169, while Marquez finished third, clocking in at 19’54.379.
The race featured some exceptional performances, including Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jack Miller who secured the fourth position, closely followed by Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro in fifth and sixth positions, respectively. Miguel Oliveira of CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team rounded off the top seven.
In the post-race interviews, an elated Bagnaia expressed his joy at the thrilling experience, “I enjoyed it, sincerely. It was fun, it was very fun! It was difficult with the wind because it was the first time we had the wind going in the opposite direction, compared to the test and yesterday. But I had fun, I enjoyed it a lot and I had in mind that the race was long, so I took my time in the first part of the race.”
Bagnaia further explained his strategy, “Then in the last part, I just tried to push and I saw that Jorge had better traction but had more problems than me with the front end. So I just used this kind of the things I was better at to overtake. I was thinking it was shorter, but finally it took a long time, but I enjoyed it a lot!”
Despite losing the first position to Bagnaia on the last lap, Jorge Martin remained optimistic, “For sure I’m happy with the 2nd place. But for sure, I would like to have that first position! I made a mistake on the last lap and Pecco overtook me, but he was super fast in the last two laps. I have been struggling all weekend with the soft rear, so I hope tomorrow we have a little bit more. But yeah, I’m confident, I led for many laps, so I’m gaining some confidence back and think we are ready for tomorrow!”
Marc Marquez, who claimed the third spot, discussed the physical challenges of the race, “It was physical. I used all my physical side to compensate, especially in the braking points and especially to go into the corners sliding because in the Sprint, you can do this. It’s only twelve laps, and then I used a lot of energy, but I need to recover the time somewhere.”
Marquez expressed his gratitude to his team, “Where I can recover time is in the braking points, and there I am taking a lot of risks. But yeah, today we did an amazing job. I want to congratulate the team because yesterday we were late at night, checking the small details. They even said to me ‘OK the bike is like this but you can improve this and this in your riding style.’ Sometimes to say this to a guy who has won many races and many championships is difficult, but we have the confidence in each other, and this helps me a lot. This morning I was concentrated. It’s not a bad way to start the season, but tomorrow is the most important race which will be a bit more difficult, but in a short time we can do it.”
The Grande Prêmio Tissot de Portugal did not end well for some racers, as a few failed to finish the race. Marco Bezzecchi of Mooney VR46 Racing Team, Enea Bastianini of Ducati Lenovo Team, and Luca Marini of Mooney VR46 Racing Team were not classified due to incomplete laps. Unfortunately, Joan Mir of Repsol Honda Team did not finish the first lap.
As the dust settles on this exhilarating race, fans and racers alike are already looking forward to the next challenge. With the 2023 MotoGP season off to an incredible start, the anticipation is palpable as riders prepare for their next opportunity to claim victory.
Bagnaia’s win has set a high bar for the upcoming races, and as the riders continue to push their limits, the MotoGP season promises to be a rollercoaster of intense competition, skillful maneuvers, and unforgettable moments.
With the likes of Bagnaia, Martin, and Marquez already showcasing their prowess on the track, it is evident that the MotoGP world has an action-packed season in store. As teams continue to strategize, fine-tune their bikes, and support their riders, the stage is set for a breathtaking display of talent and sportsmanship.
As we move ahead in the season, it will be fascinating to see how the racers adapt and evolve, taking on new challenges and pushing themselves to greater heights. The Grande Prêmio Tissot de Portugal has given us a glimpse of what’s to come, and fans around the globe are eagerly awaiting the next thrilling installment of MotoGP action.