The Championship has been blown wide open following a drama-filled weekend at the IndianOil Grand Prix of India. A DNF from the Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) coupled with stellar performances from his title rivals has drastically changed the Championship picture. Let's take a look at the state of play following MotoGP™'s first-ever visit to the Buddh International Circuit!
Bagnaia went into the weekend with a 36-point lead over his nearest rival Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing), and with the Spaniard on an incredible run of form, the pressure was on in India. It was a damage limitation job for Pecco in the Tissot Sprint as he was unable to match the pace of Martin. Bagnaia brought home P2 behind the Spaniard with the gap shrinking down to 33. Bagnaia was then embroiled in a tantalising battle with the Pramac rider during the Grand Prix as they scrapped it out for 2nd place. A crash for the factory Ducati rider limited his title defence however as the Italian as he walked away from India with just 9 points scored.
The difference at the top is now only 13 points after Spaniard went on to take 2nd place and 20 crucial points towards his title bid. Together with his Sprint victory, Martin scored higher than anyone else in India as he racked up 32 points ahead of the next round.
Whilst fortune didn't favour Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) during the Tissot Sprint, the Italian is still very much in the Championship picture as well in 3rd. Bezzecchi took full points during the Indian Grand Prix as he took a dominant victory to score 25 points to the 5 he scored in the Sprint. The VR46 man edged himself closer to the leader Bagnaia, but lost ground to the 2nd placed Martin. "Bezz" now sits 31 points behind the Spaniard and 44 behind Bagnaia.
Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) picked up 19 points from the weekend following 4th-place finishes in the Tissot and the Grand Prix. The South African remains 4th in the standings, 100 points adrift of the leader, and 56 from the 3rd-placed Bezzecchi.
It was a nightmare weekend for Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) who walked away from the weekend empty-handed. Whilst the Catalan did maintain 5th place in the standings, he's coming under a world of pressure from Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) who is just 3 points behind the Aprilia rider.
The tables are turning in the 2023 MotoGP™ Championship battle. Can Bagnaia respond to the pressure? We don't have long to wait to find out as MotoGP™ heads to the Mobility Resort Motegi for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan. The action will take place from the 29th of September to the 1st of October so make sure you don't miss a beat on motogp.com!