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Thursday May 23, 2024

Bagnaia wins season-opening Portuguese MotoGP

By AFP
March 27, 2023

PORTIMAO: World champion Francesco Bagnaia won Sunday’s season-opening Portuguese MotoGP after a costly mistake by pole-sitter Marc Marquez.

Ducati star Bagnaia coasted across the line from Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales in the Algarve to follow up his win in MotoGP’s inaugural sprint 24 hours earlier. Marquez crashed and wiped out home favourite Miguel Oliveira in the early stages to leave the way clear for Bagnaia to get his championship defence off to a perfect start.

As the six-time former world champion awaits a time-penalty next weekend in Argentina, Bagnaia leaves Portimao with a maximum 37 points from the first of the 21-race season. “That’s the start me and my team wanted,” the Italian told motogp.com.

“We have to keep going like this.” Bagnaia’s compatriot Marco Bezzecchi, riding Ducati’s satellite VR46 bike, came in third to complete the podium.