Noida, Sep 24 (IANS): Marco Bezzecchi became the first MotoGP rider to win the inaugural Grand Prix of India riding the Mooney VR46 Racing Team to the top of the podium at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida on Sunday.
Martin grabs second spot in the last lap cliffhanger; championship leader Bagnaia crashes out with eight laps remaining; Quartararo settles for third place.
Bezzecchi loved everything about India. The track and the fans. Commenting on the fans he said, “I really liked this place the day I landed. I like to celebrate with the fans, I would like to give my heart to the fans. In this part of the world, they are very loud, and I really like to hear the crowd. They enjoyed it, of course, and next year they will have even more fun. So, for me it was fantastic.”
As much as the fans, he was impressed with the track that gave him his second win of the season. “It’s a track that I liked the first time I rode on it. Overall it has been good for me. There was some hard braking, but also some fast parts and chicanes. Physically I felt better with the head, so a change of direction was not a problem like it was in Mizano. Sector three was really fantastic to ride,” he added.
And what a win it was. When the race began, Jorge Martin of Prima Pramac raced off into the lead at the cautious Turn 1. Francesco Bagnaia, the championship leader, also left Bezzecchi in third place.
Bezzecchi, however, regained his top spot. First, he overtook Bagnaia to claim second place and then raced into the lead when an error at Turn 4 sent Martin wide.
Thereafter, Bezzecchi left the pack way behind to fight for the remaining two places on the podium. Bezzecchi was completely unaware of the drama that unfolded behind him. He eventually took the chequered flag eight seconds before the pack.
The fight for the second place was filled with drama, action, tragedy, and suspense and then ended with a nail-biting climax.
It started first between Bagnaia and Martin. The battle between the two lasted for about 13 laps before Bagnaia, leading over Martin in the second spot, crashed out at Turn 4, his third of the season.
Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo suddenly moved to third place giving him hope for a better podium finish. The two riders were engaged in a nail-biting duel in the final lap when Martin once again rode wide at Turn 4, putting Quartararo into the second spot for a moment before Martin snatched back his position two corners later. Martin, looking tired and distressed ended the race on the second step of the podium.
KTM’s Brad Binder finished fourth and Repsol Hondo’s Joan Mir fifth. Eight-time world champion Marc Marquez who was gunning behind Bagnaia and Martin in the fourth for, before he ran wide, finished ninth.
A multi-rider pile-up on Turn 1 led to the restart of the 12-lap Moto2 race after it was red-flagged. That, however, did not stop Pedro Acosta from claiming the title and extending his championship lead.
Acosta raced off to a quick start and maintained approximately 3.5 seconds lead throughout the race for his top podium finish. Riding Marc VDS, his closest rival Tony Arbolino, took the second spot.
There was a toe-to-toe battle for the third place between American Joe Roberts on his Italtrans Racing and Pons Wegow’s Sergio Garcia. However, the Spaniard ran wide into the chicane on the penultimate corner in the final lap to hand over the third spot on the podium to the American rider.
Jaume Masia of Leopard Honda won the Moto3 title without any kind of threat from the pack behind him. Ayumu Sasaki’s Intact GP Husqvarna held on tightly to his second place for most part of the race but gave away the position to Kaito Toba of SIC58 Honda in the closing stages. Sasaki had to settle for third place.