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MotoGP, For a handful of points: numbers of head-to-head between Bagnaia and Martin

Without the Sprint Races, Jorge would be 3rd in the Championship, also behind Bezzecchi. On his own, Pecco won as many as his two opponents combined. None have ever been successful at Phillip Island.

MotoGP: For a handful of points: numbers of head-to-head between Bagnaia and Martin

Jorge Martin was MotoGP king for just one day. Actually, less than one. Reporter Niki Kovacs, in fact, calculated that the Pramac team’s Spanish rider remained leader in the rankings for 23 hours 59 minutes and 32 seconds. That’s how long it took for him to go from his Sprint Race victory on Saturday to his fall on Sunday. The scepter was then returned to Bagnaia, who started the race in Mandalika 7 points behind his opponent and left the circuit with an 18-point lead. Pecco managed a victory again, 56 days after his last success in Austria, recuperating points, which he hadn’t been able to do for 8 races.

But he shouldn’t feel safe yet, because there are still 185 points at stake from here to Valencia and, as Jorge has proven, falling from grace can happen in a blink of an eye. Errors (or rather, a lack of) could be the key to the title, and Martin realized this after his third empty attempt of the year. The first was in Portugal, the second in Austin, always on a Sunday. 

The rankings have suffered, and it couldn’t be otherwise. Bagnaia also knows this well, since he collected five zeros. There are at least two interesting figures to take into account after the GP in Indonesia. The first is Pecco who, alone, has won as much as all the others put together in the rankings. Taking into account only the long races, the world champion has 6 successes on the board, against 3 each for Martin and Bezzecchi. What’s also curious is that, if we take into account only the points of the long race, Jorge would be 3rd in the championship: 21 points behind Bagnaia and 1 behind Bezzecchi.

In one GP, the two riders exchanged places: if Bagnaia had to thank the points in the sprint races for still being in the lead in the world championship after Japan, now it’s Martin who made the best use of Saturday’s races.

As mentioned, nothing is set in stone yet and, in the upcoming five GPs, there could be other revolutions ahead, starting from Phillip Island: a circuit where none of the 3 riders have ever won, in any category. In Australia, Pecco reached the best position of his debut season in the world championship, a 4th place, which was followed by a 2-year haiatus due to Covid, while he climbed onto the podium in 2022 with a 3rd place. Martin, on the other hand, had gotten on the podium at Phillip Island in both the Moto3 and Moto2, while he finished in 7th place in his only GP participation in the premier class. For Bezzecchi, it was only withdrawals in the minor classes, until he ended last year’s race in 4th.

Translated by Leila Myftija

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