Motor sports fans will be treated to a finale of the MotoGP world championship in the form of an apotheosis, Sunday November 26, in Valencia (Spain). This Saturday, the Italian Francesco Bagnaia had the opportunity to win a second world crown in two years in the sprint race. But the victory of his runner-up in the ranking, the Spaniard Jorge Martin, during this mini-Grand Prix where points are distributed revives the suspense for the title.

Thanks to this success, Jorge Martin (Ducati-Pramac), 25, reduced the gap to 14 units with the championship leader, Francesco Bagnaia, only 5th on Saturday. The Spaniard, who started in sixth position, put in a masterful race to win and put pressure on the 26-year-old Italian before Sunday’s Grand Prix.

“I tried the medium tire and it worked,” Martin explained after his victory. “I pushed my limits, I gave everything I could today. It was win or fall, but I managed to win so I’m happy,” the Spaniard continued to the applause of his fans, who shouted in unison “si se puede” (“yes, it is possible “).

25 points at stake on Sunday

Martin, as is often the case, got off to a great start to enter the first corner in third position, just behind Bagnaia. On the second lap, the Italian failed to brake, dropping him from second to fifth place and the Spaniard took advantage of the opportunity, as did his compatriot Marc Marquez.

Returning to the wheel of the South African leader Brad Binder (KTM) and the Spaniard Maverick Vinales (Aprilia), Martin opened the throttle wide in the eighth of 13 laps: he first overtook his compatriot in the first corner, before taking advantage of an error from Binder to take control and never let go again.

Six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez, who is competing in his final weekend with Honda, made a nice comeback to take third place after starting ninth. Vinales, who started from pole position, finished fourth.

Behind this quartet, Bagnaia managed his race to maintain his fifth place, resisting well the attacks of his compatriot Fabio Di Giannantonio (Ducati-Gresini), who had deprived him of victory, Sunday, November 19, in Qatar, by overtaking him three laps from the finish.

With a 14-length lead, the Turinese still has a comfortable mattress before the Grand Prix, where 25 points will be at stake on Sunday. To retain his world title, he will have to finish at least fifth in the event of further success for Martin, a goal a priori within his reach.

The French did not shine during this sprint since Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac), although third and therefore on the first row on the grid, finished only 9th. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), world champion in 2021, fell while overtaking Bagnaia while in fifth position.