Magic Marquez converts 92nd career pole to debut Sprint podium

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Portugal, March 27, 2023: Marc Marquez surprised even himself as he secured a record-breaking pole and converted it into a history-making podium in the first MotoGP Sprint.

Saturday, March 25, saw history made as the MotoGP World Championship contested its first-ever Sprint race. The morning started with pure excitement and elation for the Repsol Honda Team as Marc Marquez went through Q1 with just a single run, bettering the lap record set by Jack Miller the previous day. This was then converted into a truly spectacular performance in Q2 as Marquez again improved on the lap record to take a sensational pole position. Repsol Honda Team teammate Joan Mir narrowly missed out on the second transfer spot and secured 14th on the grid for his MotoGP debut on the Honda RC213V.

Tension filled the air as the MotoGP class lined up for the Sprint race, an incredible 12-lap contest awaiting them. From pole position, Marquez got an explosive start as he and his Repsol Honda Team RC213V rocketed off the line to lead the first lap. Defending well for the opening laps, the #93 was able to maintain his position in the leading group and waited as the riders ahead battled. In the final moments of the race, Oliveira and Miller opened a gap and the eight-time World Champion was able to attack – moving up into third.

With his 64th premier class pole, Marquez’s 1’37.226 set a new outright lap record around the Portuguese circuit. This is Marc Marquez’s first pole position since the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix and his first pole in dry conditions since the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix – some 1,253 days ago. Marc Marquez heads into Sunday with seven World Championship points, third in the World Championship standings.

From 14th on the grid Mir was immediately locked into a tense battle with the riders around him. Recovering positions and already showing a pace faster than those ahead, the #36 began to pick his way forward and passed several riders on the opening lap. Unfortunately Turn 13 would see Mir’s race come to an end as he lost the front, colliding with Fabio Quartararo as a result.

Racing continues tomorrow, Sunday, March 26, as the Portuguese Grand Prix is scheduled to run at 15:00 Local Time. This will be a full-distance race, 25 laps where Marc Marquez will again start in the pole position.

Marc Marquez – Third

“Well, today was really a surprising day but it was a great day, it helped to restore a lot of confidence for myself and the team. Starting with the pole, honestly, I don’t know how I was able to find this time – it was much faster than I had been before. It’s a good advantage to start from pole position and we were able to fight in the Sprint race. When I saw Oliveira and Miller go wide, I knew this was my chance and I attacked. The new format is very demanding, but I think this short race was a good show for the fans. Tomorrow is what really counts and will show where we are more I think.”

Joan Mir– DNF

“Starting in 14th is a lottery, you have a lot of riders around you who are very eager to recover positions as quickly as possible. It was a very aggressive start to the race because of this, I think if we were starting up higher then we could show our true pace. We have good pace for the race tomorrow, so this makes me feel more confident if everything is more calm at the start. I also want to apologise to Fabio for the contact.”

Portuguese GP – Sprint Race

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 BAGNAIA Francesco 1 ITA 12 Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 19’52.862
2 MARTIN Jorge 89 SPA 9 Pramac Racing Ducati 0.307
3 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 7 Repsol Honda Team Honda 1.517
4 MILLER Jack 43 AUS 6 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.603
5 VINALES Maverick 12 SPA 5 Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1.854
6 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 4 Aprilia Racing Aprilia 2.106
7 OLIVEIRA Miguel 88 POR 3 RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia 2.94
8 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 2 Pramac Racing Ducati 5.595
9 MARQUEZ Alex 73 SPA 1 Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 5.711
10 QUARTARARO Fabio 20 FRA 0 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 5.924
11 FERNANDEZ Raul 25 SPA 0 RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia 8.16
12 BINDER Brad 33 RSA 0 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 8.384
13 RINS Alex 42 SPA 0 LCR Honda Honda 11.288
14 MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA 0 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 17.138
15 NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN 0 LCR Honda Honda 18.128
16 DI GIANNANTONIO Fabio 49 ITA 0 Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 21.235
17 BEZZECCHI Marco 72 ITA DNF Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati DNF
18 BASTIANINI Enea 23 ITA DNF Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati DNF
19 MARINI Luca 10 ITA DNF Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati DNF
20 MIR Joan 36 SPA DNF Repsol Honda Team Honda DNF
21 FERNANDEZ Augusto 37 SPA DNF Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing KTM DNF

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor
1 BAGNAIA Francesco 1 ITA 12 Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati
2 MARTIN Jorge 89 SPA 9 Pramac Racing Ducati
3 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 7 Repsol Honda Team Honda
4 MILLER Jack 43 AUS

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