Jorge Martin wins the MotoGP sprint in Qatar

Jorge Martin wins the MotoGP sprint in Qatar
Jorge Martin wins the MotoGP night sprint in Qatar
Image: APA/AFP/Karim Jaafar

The Spanish Ducati rider won on Saturday at the Lusail International Circuit ahead of the Italians Fabio Di Giannantonio and Luca Marini. Since world champion Francesco Bagnaia only came in fifth, he lost seven points to Martin in the overall standings and is only seven points ahead of the penultimate Grand Prix of the season on Sunday (6 p.m./live ServusTV).

Martin gave Ducati man Bagnaia a fierce fight in the early laps. The Spaniard passed the Italian at the start, and the two drivers touched each other slightly in the first corner before the world champion countered. However, Martin overtook his World Championship rival again shortly afterwards and a short time later also overtook Alex Marquez and qualifying winner Marini, who were in the lead. As a result, the 25-year-old confidently achieved his eighth sprint success this year. “The victory today was very important, we gained points. Tomorrow will be a great day, hopefully there will be more,” said a satisfied Martin at the finish.

Miguel Oliveira broke his shoulder blade after a fall

Brad Binder finished seventh as the best KTM rider, Augusto Fernandez (GasGas) secured a championship point in ninth, while Jack Miller came away empty-handed in twelfth. Portuguese Miguel Oliveira broke his right shoulder blade in a crash on the first lap and will miss Sunday. It is the 28-year-old’s third injury this season after tendon problems in his right leg and a fracture of his left upper arm. In each case competitors were involved in the accident; on Saturday Oliveira collided with Aleix Espargaro. The Spaniard suffered a fracture to the head of his left fibula. Starting on Sunday is questionable.

The World Cup final will take place next weekend in Valencia, and the decision about the title will only be made there.

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