With Jorge Martin's devastating crash at the Valencia MotoGP on Sunday, Francesco Bagnaia clinched the MotoGP world championship. Bagnaia, on his Ducati, was in the lead of the race, unaware of Martin's mishap. After Martin's Ducati-Pramac collided with Marc Marquez's Honda, both riders went tumbling. Martin went away raising his hands in frustration while Marquez, a six-time champion, limped out in his final race for Honda.
Bagnaia, who had the advantage of starting from pole when Maverick Vinales was penalised before the race, made a brilliant start and led the way into the first turn. But his rival for the championship, Martin, also got off to a strong start and was in second place after turn two having moved up from sixth. On lap 3, Martin was getting ready to make a move, but he was caught in the slipstream of the series leader and went wide. Martin made a mistake and fell to eighth, but he quickly recovered and passed Vinales to move up to sixth. Unfortunately, Martin's championship dreams were immediately crushed when he crashed just two corners later, hitting the rear of Marc Marquez's bike. Marquez was thrown from his Repsol Honda and with Martin out of the race, Bagnaia's lead was given up to the two factory KTM riders, with Brad Binder taking the lead.
MotoGP Valencia GP: Race Result
Binder's luck changed for the worst on lap 14 when he ran off the track at turn 10 and lost five spots. Miller was about to secure KTM's first victory in a difficult year until he made a crucial mistake that caused a crash at turn 11.
— MotoGP (@MotoGP) November 26, 2023
Bagnaia regained the lead after this mistake, but Zarco has been persistent in his pursuit of a second victory this season. The fastest rider, Di Giannantonio, quickly passed Binder and then closed the gap on the front-runners. Di Giannantonio passed Zarco for second place and then set his sights on Bagnaia for the possible victory on the final lap.
|Fabio Di Giannantonio
|Red Bull KTM
|Mooney VR46 Ducati
|Red Bull KTM
Remarkably, this triumph represented the second straight year that Bagnaia secured the title on the last day. Despite Martin closing the margin to only 14 points with a Saturday victory in the sprint race, Bagnaia's consistency ensured his championship triumph.