Viñales victorious as Marc Marquez strikes late on Martin

Top Gun crossed the line to hold off Marc Marquez and Martin in a thrilling end to the Portuguese GP Sprint

Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) is victorious after an exciting Grande Prémio Tissot de Portugal MotoGP™ Tissot Sprint, coming across the line to take a heroic victory in a monumental moment for his season. Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) ended the race in second after a brave last-lap overtake at turn five on Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) who was unable to show his full potential in a Sprint that was full of twists across a fast and furious 12 laps.

It was a brilliant start to the race from Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) who took the lead on the exit of turn one - storming away on the first lap. Polesitter Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) got swallowed by the front group as the Italian was demoted to P5 following an issue with his rear ride height device. Meanwhile, Marc Marquez was one of the riders who found a way through on Bastianini – jumping into third place after passing Viñales.

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) hit the front of the race – trying to build a comfortable gap quickly. Marc Marquez soon found his way through to pass Viñales, taking second position to the delight of the #93 fans in the grandstand. Marc Marquez kept second position for a handful of laps before making a vital mistake and running wide at the tricky turn five.

Multiple riders crashed in the early stages of the Sprint including Alex Rins (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and Johann Zarco (CASTROL Honda LCR). Before being swiftly followed by Fabio Di Giannantonio and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in a disastrous end to their races.

Aprilia Racing's riders were moving up the field throughout the Sprint as Viñales battled for the win and Aleix Espargaro made his way from 13th on the grid to eighth.

The fastest lap also changed hands throughout the race with Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) soon setting the best lap. Martin was pushing to keep his style as the King of the Sprints – overtaking Marc Marquez and stealing the fastest lap from the rookie.

Bagnaia made a big mistake on the entry to turn one, running wide and re-joining in fourth position in a pivotal moment. This mistake blew the Sprint wide open and created an all-out duel for the second Sprint victory of the year. Viñales expertly held off Martin with nothing separating them in what was turning out to be a nail-biting finish at the Portuguese GP.

However, Martin ran wide with just over two laps to go, which gave Viñales half a second of breathing space, and allowed Marc Marquez to plan his attack. The move from #93 came at turn five in a thrilling and brave move that allowed the eight-time World Champion to secure second place in his second weekend with Ducati.

This battling behind allowed Viñales to take the 12 points and to cross the line to win the MotoGP™ Sprint after a heroic ride for Top Gun. Marc Marquez celebrated a second-place finish, with his mission to return to the top of the Championship becoming one step closer as Martin finished in a subdued third position with his eyes now set towards Sunday's Portuguese GP.

Bagnaia did manage to hold onto fourth place, holding off Miller after a magnificent display of defending. Further down the field after beginning the Sprint from pole position, Bastianini arrived to finish sixth at the line, unable to recover the ground he lost at the start of the Sprint. Meanwhile, Acosta finished in seventh in his second MotoGP™ weekend – ahead of Espargaro and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™), the latter taking the final point in the Sprint.

With the title race narrowed to just two points you do not want to miss the Portuguese GP on Sunday with lights out at 14:00 (UTC)!

Top 10:

1 Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing)  
2 Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) +1.039
3 Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing)  +1.122
4 Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) +4.155
5 Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)  +4.329
6 Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) +4.384
7 Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) +5.088
8 Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +6.161
9 Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) +7.501
10 Raul Fernandez (Trackhouse Racing) +8.484


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