The 2023 Catalan MotoGP saw intense action and a series of dramatic events on the circuit:
Crashes: The start of the race was marred by a massive crash involving five Ducatis at turn one. Enea Bastianini accidentally hit the rear of Johann Zarco, leading to a chain reaction that also took down Marco Bezzecchi and both Gresini riders. The polesitter, Francesco Bagnaia, also experienced a high-side crash and was subsequently hit by Brad Binder’s KTM in a gut-wrenching incident.
Red Flag & Restart: Due to the severity and number of incidents, race officials deployed a red flag. Upon restarting the race, it was determined that the new race distance would be 23 laps. The factory Ducati riders, presumably Bagnaia and Zarco, could not rejoin due to the earlier events.
Race Action: Jorge Martin took an early lead post-restart, only to be overtaken by Maverick Vinales. Aleix Espargaro then sought to position Aprilia for a 1-2 finish. Despite this, Martin showcased commendable defensive riding.
Further Setbacks: Pol Espargaro suffered a technical issue, marking his second DNF of the weekend. Brad Binder also had to withdraw from the race due to an undisclosed issue.
Battle for the Lead: A thrilling cat-and-mouse chase ensued between Vinales and A. Espargaro. Vinales, initially in the lead, made a minor error which reduced his lead over Espargaro. Miguel Oliveira, initially in podium contention, was overtaken by Martin.
Climax: As the race neared its conclusion, Aleix Espargaro managed to overtake Vinales, even pushing him wide during the manoeuvre. Despite this, Vinales couldn’t reclaim the top spot, and Aleix Espargaro took the victory.
Outcome: The Catalan GP concluded with Aleix Espargaro clinching victory, followed closely by Maverick Vinales. This triumph marked Aprilia’s historic first 1-2 finish in MotoGP.
These events paint a picture of an adrenaline-filled race, with a combination of skill, strategy, and unfortunately, some misfortune for a few riders.