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Next Event Starts in:
3hrs 24min - MotoGP Qualifying
May 14, 2024
Stewart Lyons


Jorge Martin dominated the headlines in a qualifying session that saw Marc Marquez and Brad Binder not even making it through to Q2. After struggling in recent races Jack Miller returned to form making it through to Q2, though that is where his impact finished, qualifying in eleventh.

For Martin it was the first sub 1:30 MotoGP lap at Le Mans that put him on pole. Bagnaia was close behind in second. Vinales continued his good start to the season, putting a tough weekend at Jerez behind him by completing the front row.

It could have been a little different for Bastianini who had broken the lap record in Q1. His first flying laps in Q2 were on used tyres leaving him eight-tenths off Martin’s pace. But as the session was coming to an end Bastianini was on for a lap quicker than Martin’s. Only for Martin to crash, quickly followed by Bagnaia. With yellow flags flying Bastianini was forced to lift off with the lap time deleted.

In a chaotic end to the session Espargaro and Miller also went down, meaning hardly any riders managed to improve their times. Bezzecchi was one to improve, grabbing fifth behind teammate Di Giannantonio. Espargaro completed the second row.


Bagnaia had a terrible start, a wheelie off the line halted his forward progress and he dropped back to fifteenth at the end of lap one. He outbraked himself shortly after and came into the pits with an apparent issue, potentially caused by using his second bike after the crash at the end of qualifying.

Marc Marquez was one rider to benefit from the Bagnaia start, moving himself from thirteenth to fourth after the first lap. Bezzecchi also took advantage, cementing a solid start into second place for the first few laps.

Jorge Martin continued his pace from Q2 and built a comfortable gap at the front right from the first lap and was never challenged, cruising to another sprint victory. Bezzecchi crashed from a solid second place with four laps to go, continuing a tough start to the season. Bezzecchi’s crash allowed Marc Marquez and Vinales to complete the podium places.

Espargaro’s best performance of the season in qualifying and race was made harder with a double long lap penalty for a jump start. Even with that Espargaro was able to finish a respectable fifth. Jack Miller started well but gradually dropped down the order being overtaken for the top KTM position by Acosta who finished sixth.

Bastianini had a similar pace to Martin and will be a threat come race day should he get off to a good start. He did manage to fight his way back from a difficult start to end up in fourth place.


The race started with a determined Bagnaia flying into turn one in first and maintaining that position for the first part of the race, with Martin in hot pursuit. Elsewhere Bezzecchi made a bad start dropping down from his second-row start.

Rookie Acosta, having made a miraculous save in the sprint race, could not repeat the feat as he went down on lap three, nearly taking out Di Giannantonio. That marked the first sprint or race that Acosta had not scored points all season. This crash was quickly followed on the next lap with a Bastiannini overtake on a recovering Bezzecchi only for Bezzecchi to fall at the next corner, making it a weekend of non-finishes for Bezzecchi.

Up front Bagnaia was keeping Martin at arm’s length with the latter controlling his pace by dropping back and recatching in an effort to protect his front tyre. Espargaro was continuing his strong weekend pace in third until on lap ten Di Giannantonio made his move past him. Espargaro was then overtaken by teammate Vinales and Marc Marquez.

The backward progress for Espargaro continued a couple of laps later as Bastiannini made a move. Unfortunately for both, the move was somewhat ambitious forcing Espargaro off and leading to Bastiannini cutting the next corner, an offense that found him with a long lap penalty. 

Quartararo crashed out on lap seventeen, from an impressive sixth place, the former World Champion pushing past the limit on a struggling bike. Miller was the next to fall, again from a good position as Miller was a top ten contender.

Marc Marquez was continuing his progress through the field pushing and forcing his way up into third position. With Bagnaia and Martin both saving tyres and preparing for an end-of-race showdown, Marc Marquez was closing fast.

With Martin now actively trying to pass Bagnaia the two’s tussling gave Marc Marquez the advantage he needed to catch up onto the rear tyre of the now second-placed Bagnaia. Martin, having passed, looked to break free, but a mistake dropped him back into the clutches of Bagnaia and Marc Marquez. 

On the last lap, Martin showed his quality, not allowing Bagnaia the chance to get back in front. Marc Marquez, not happy with a third place, threw his bike aggressively down the inside of Bagnaia with two corners to go. Bagnaia was blocked off and had no answer allowing Marc Marquez to pick a successive second place.

Martin’s win further stretches his lead in the World Championship to twenty-eight points. The chasing pack is led by Bastianini (fourth in the race), closely followed by Bagnaia, Acosta, Vinales (fifth in the race), and Marquez. Second to sixth are separated by just seven points.

Next up for the MotoGP paddock is Catalunya from the 24th to the 26th of May.

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