Marco Bezzecchi of the Mooney VR46 Racing team creates history as he clinches the win at the first ever Indian GP
A historical weekend comes to an end as Marco Bezzecchi takes the chequered flag winning the inaugural IndianOil Grand Prix of India and scores his fourth victory of the season! Jorge Martin and Fabio Quartararo rounded up the rest of the podium places finishing 2nd and 3rd after a closely fought battle on the last lap! In the Moto2 class, Pedro Acosta of Red Bull KTM Ajo put on a stellar show and took the win. In Moto3 Jaume Masia of Leopard Racing took top honours. With this, the first ever BharatGP comes to a close and calling it a success would be a gross understatement.
The Moto3 race was a nailbiter right from the start with winner Jaume Masia of Leopard Racing sealing the deal right from when the lights went out. Taking the holeshot, Jaume maintained the lead throughout the race and most of the action was happening right behind him. The battle for second and third place was raging on between Intact GP Husqvarna’s Ayumu Sasaki, his teammate Collin Veijer and SIC58 Honda’s Kaito Toba. Sasaki maintained second place for the longest time and fought off the advances from Toba valiantly until the end when his teammate Veijer tried to take advantage of the dogfight ahead and gain two positions. In doing so he made contact with Sasaki and crashed out which in turn allowed Toba to take second place and Ssaki had to settle for third place. After this thrilling race, Masia is now tied for points with Championship leader Holgado.
Moto3 championship standings after Bharat GP:
Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) - 174 points
Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) - 174 points
Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) - 173 points
The Moto2 race flagged off with a lot of drama as a T1 incident caused a multiple rider pileup in the very first lap and saw the race get red-flagged. After this, the already shortened race distance was cut down even further to 12 laps. Pedro Acosta of Red Bull KTM Ajo dominated the race right from the start and went on to win the race furthering his championship lead. Acosta’s title rival, Tony Arbolino of ELF Marc VDS Racing Team, who in the first race got off to a great start and was in P1 before the race got red-flagged, put on a stellar show and finished on the second step of the podium, 3.5s behind the winner.
Joe Roberts of the Italtrans Racing Team showcased immense consistency and made full use of Pons Wegow Los40’s Garcia's small error of running wide in the pen ultimate corner and took the third step of the podium. In doing so Garcia had to settle for a fourth place finish.
Moto2 championship standings after Bharat GP:
Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) - 236 points
Tony Arbolino (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) - 197 points
Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) - 146 points
If you felt the other two races were intense, the main feature race really took things to the next level. With an intense start, Mooney VR46 Racing team’s Marco Bezzecchi put on a masterclass of riding right from lights out, taking the holeshot. After flagoff, Bezzecchi had to fight off a few advances from championship leader Francesco Bagnaia after which he was pretty much alone, leading the pack. Towards the end of the race, Bez had opened up the gap between him and the next rider by well over 8 seconds. Bagnaia and Jorge Martin had a bit of a dogfight going on and Pecco (Francesco Bagnaia) had settled into comfortable second place and had even managed to open up the points gap between himself and Jorge Martin who was trailing in third. But then, out of the blue, Pecco tucked the front and crashed out of the Bharat GP and gave up all hope of being able to score a podium at the first ever Grand Prix of India. Pecco crashing out also meant that the points gap between him and Martin would now be closer than ever before and all Martin had to do was finish in second place. And that is exactly what Jorge Martin of Prima Pramac Ducati did. Although it was not easy at all. Martin was really suffering in Indian weather and that showed in his riding. Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha put on a stellar show and kept trading places with Martin until finally settling for a respectable third place with Martin on the second step of the podium.
Marc Marquez of the Repsol Honda Team had an interesting ride managing to reach as high as fifth position until a lowside saw him fall to the absolute back of the pack. He picked up the bike and continued riding and managed to find his way to ninth place. Even his teammate Joan Mir seems to be finding his rhythm and managed a respectable fifth place finish.
Commenting on a stellar win at the first ever Bharat GP, Marco Bezzecchi said, “It wasn't easy, for sure. It was really, really tough. The heat and everything. But, you know, I felt good on the bike. And after yesterday, I was really motivated to bounce back. Because I think that also yesterday, I could do a bit better. I don't know how but for sure, better than fifth. And so when I started I knew that Jorge and Pecco probably would pass me because they have something more in the start. So I keep myself calm, and I try to stay just close to them. And after, once I've got the possibility I pass in front. I was a bit aggressive, but I had to do it. And then after that I just tried to make my pace, tried to push while managing the tire in the best way that I could and I felt amazing on the bike. So I’m very, very, happy.”
When asked about the race and how difficult it must’ve been, Fabio Quartararo said, “Yeah, it was really difficult to be honest. Especially in the last lap. But you know, during the race I was always one second one and a half, two seconds up from the front guys that was Pecco and Jorge because Marco was really far away. But last lap I could clearly see where was our weak point more and more so especially we have to work on that part and hopefully we can we can make a step next year because is one thing that we cannot really fight with them. We can hold the pace, but we cannot really really fight”
Commenting on the race today, Marc Marquez said, “We were fifth today for that reason. I take that extra risk. Today I know that the extra risk was the first 10 laps,in the first 10 laps. I was able to follow Ducati riders, so I took that risk. Unfortunately, I went a bit wide on turn one. But most importantly, I continued the race and as I said earlier the target was to finish races, do the laps and I achieved that target and the pace was similar to Quartararo who finished third.”
MotoGP championship standings after Bharat GP:
Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) - 292 points
Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati) - 279 points
Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) - 248 points
With the first ever Bharat GP comes to a close. The IndianOil Grand Prix of India was a great success and it was great to see all the teams and riders really enjoy riding on the Buddh International Circuit. Now we eagerly await the return of the MotoGP to India, which should kick off on October 6, 2024, according to the provisional calendar. Now that MotoGP is here in India, should the WSBK championship make its way to our country as well? Let us know in the comments box below.