Bagnaia takes title blow as Martin halves the gap at the top

The Italian's 5th place Sprint result saw his lead slashed from 14 to 7 points with the Qatar Grand Prix just around the corner

Saturday's action at the Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar threw up plenty of talking points with the Championship battle getting closer and closer. Find out more in 10 things you need to know ahead of race day at the Lusail International Circuit!

1. Jorge Martin has qualified fifth for his worst qualifying result since he qualified sixth in Indonesia, won the Sprint but crashed out from the lead on Sunday. He took an incredible eighth Tissot Sprint win of the year and on Sunday, will be aiming to take his fifth Grand Prix win of the season.

2. Francesco Bagnaia finished fifth in the Sprint to see his lead cut to just seven points. He will be aiming to re-extend that on Sunday and if he wins, it would be his seventh GP win of the season which would equal his personal record in MotoGP™ set last year.

3. This is Ducati’s 15th successive pole in MotoGP™ (since Le Mans), extending their record run. This is the 59th successive GP where there is at least one Ducati rider within the top three in qualifying and Ducati’s 17th pole position this season, setting a new record of the most poles in a single premier class season.

4. This is Ducati’s second 1-2-3-4-5-6 in qualifying after last time in Malaysia. Ducati becomes the first manufacturer to do it in back-to-back premier class races since Honda in Jerez and Mugello in 1998.

5. Luca Marini has qualified on pole position for the second time along with Indonesia earlier this year, setting a new all-time lap record at Lusail. In addition, this is his seventh top three in qualifying so far this season. He finished third in the Sprint and will be aiming to take his second MotoGP™ podium or even his maiden MotoGP™ win.

6. Somewhat a formality as the only rookie on the full-time Entry List this season, Augusto Fernandez is now nevertheless, officially and mathematically, the Rookie of the Year in 2023.

7. Prima Pramac Racing need to finish the GP more than 66 points ahead of their closest rivals to win the Team's Championship. They’re currently 107 ahead of Ducati Lenovo Team and 109 clear of Mooney VR46 Racing Team.

8. Prima Pramac Racing need to finish the GP more than 66 points ahead of Mooney VR46 Racing Team to win the Best Independent Team trophy.

9. Marco Bezzecchi is confirmed as third overall this year.

10. Fabio Di Giannantonio has qualified second for his second-best qualifying result in MotoGP™ after Italy last year when he qualified on pole position. He finished second in the Sprint and will be aiming to take his second MotoGP™ podium (along with Australia when he finished third) or even his maiden MotoGP™ win.

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