Motorcycle Racing

Bagnaia gifted win after Martin crashes from lead

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Francesco Bagnaia moved to the top of the MotoGP standings with victory in the German Grand Prix after title rival Jorge Martin crashed out while holding a comfortable lead.

Martin had looked set to take top honours at the Sachsenring from pole position after repassing Bagnaia early on in the race, but an error with just two laps to the finish handed the top spot and the championship lead to reigning champion Bagnaia.

Marc Marquez came through from 13th on the grid to take second position, with brother and Gresini team-mate Alex Marquez completing the podium spots.

At the start of the race, Bagnaia was immediately on the move, jumping from fifth to third into Turn 1 behind polesitter Martin and second-placed Miguel Oliveira.

At the end of the opening lap, Bagnaia sent his Ducati GP24 up the inside of Oliveira at the final turn to claim second, before replicating the same pass on Martin on the following tour to grab the lead.

However, instead of pulling away at the front, Bagnaia chose to save his tyre at this stage, allowing both Martin and a charging Franco Morbidelli to demote him back to third.

It wasn’t until lap 15, the halfway point of the race, that Bagnaia picked up the pace again, repeating his Turn 13-pass on Morbidelli to retake second and set-up a duel with Martin.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Martin was 1.1s clear of him at this stage, but Bagnaia quickly set about hunting down the championship leader at the 3.3km Sachsenring circuit.

Although Bagnaia was able to bring the gap down to seven tenths, Martin was able to up the pace himself and was running comfortably out in front when he lost the front of his Pramac GP24 at Turn 1 on the start of lap 29 and crashed out of the race in spectacular fashion.

Bagnaia inherited the top spot as a result of Martin’s error and went on to take the chequered flag with a margin of 3.8s to clinch his fourth successive grand prix win and seventh overall of 2024.

The result completely changes the complexion of the championship, handing Bagnaia a 10-point lead over Martin going into the summer break.

Marquez put in an incredible recovery from the fifth row of the grid to claim second on a track where he has won eight times in the premier class.

Still nursing pain in his rib cage following a highside in practice, Marquez had a coming-together with Morbidelli at Turn 1 for what was then a battle for fourth, but he was able to…

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