2023 MotoGP crown will now go right down to the wire in Valencia GP finale

Bagnaia finishes fifth in Valencia GP Sprint race, Bastianini seventeenth

Francesco Bagnaia took the chequered flag in fifth place in the final Sprint race of the year, held today at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste. Bagnaia started from the middle of the front row of the grid in second place after two excellent qualifying sessions and got the holeshot to lead into Turn 1 but at the end of the opening lap, following a series of frenetic passing moves between the frontrunners, he found himself in fifth where he eventually finished the race. A win for the other title contender Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) means that the battle for the 2023 MotoGP crown will now go right down to the wire tomorrow in the Valencia GP finale, where Bagnaia still maintains a 14-point lead over the Spaniard.

Enea Bastianini was out of luck in today’s Sprint race. After being unable to get through into Q2, Enea started from 15th on the grid but found himself down in 21st at the end of lap 1 after the lowering device did not deactivate. He eventually finished 17th.

Bagnaia and Bastianini will be out on track for ten minutes of warm-up at 10.40 CET, while the Valencia GP, the 2023 MotoGP title decider, will start at 15.00.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 5th
“Unfortunately, we messed with the choice of the rear tyre, medium was not the best today. We tried it this morning and I was fast with the medium and my feeling was very good. With that tyre we would have been fighting for victory, I feel sure. We lost a good opportunity, but we must be positive because the pace is good, the setup is good and the feeling is good. I was expecting to be leading and pushing but I was losing time in every acceleration. Like always we have a good possibility, if Jorge wins, I only need to finish top 5, but we have the pace to be on the podium which is good.”

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 17th
“The problem was with the start of Jack because I was behind him and when I saw his problem, I had to take avoid action and braked and when I arrived at the first corner very slowly, it was impossible for me to remove the front device and I did all the lap with the device on. It was very difficult; I eventually took it off at Turn 11 and lost a lot of time. I tried to do my race without pushing a lot because it was important to finish. Also, the choice of medium rear today was not the right one. All the grid was faster than me with the medium, but we saw extra grip today with the riders who chose the soft. Now we will work to end the season in the best possible way tomorrow.”

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