Motorcycling-Martin wins dramatic home Spanish GP sprint

By Thomson Reuters Apr 27, 2024 | 10:00 AM

JEREZ, Spain (Reuters) – Jorge Martin of Pramac Racing won sprint in front of adoring home fans at a crash-filled Spanish GP to extend his lead at the top of the championship, as reigning MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia’s Saturday went from bad to worse after a crash.

Spanish 19-year-old rookie Pedro Acosta continued his stunning debut season with Red Bull GasGas Tech3 to secure a second-place finish, with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo also capitalizing on crashes to grab points to come third.

“Hopefully we can enjoy today because winning here in Jerez is amazing, and I’m really, really happy,” Martin said.

Quartararo put on a gritty performance at the Circuito de Jerez, which witnessed as many as nine crashes, to finish third after starting 23rd on the grid.

“The track was really tricky, of course, many crashes in the front, but I managed to get the first podium of the year on the sprint,” Quartararo said.

“Thanks to all the fans to be here and hopefully tomorrow we can make a great race, at least to enjoy like today.”

Brad Binder of KTM got off to a flying start as he passed pole-sitter and six-times MotoGP champion Marc Marquez but was involved in a crash on turn one, resulting in Bagnaia and VR46 Racing’s Marco Bezzecchi crashing out.

Ducati’s Bagnaia had finished seventh in qualifying earlier on Saturday.

It was all heartbreak for home hero Marquez, who looked on course to win his first sprint but crashed out of the lead, managing to come seventh.

(Reporting by Pearl Josephine Nazare in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Chiranjit Ojha; Editing by Christian Radnedge)