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MotoGP: Portimao – Martin returns to victory as Bagnaia and Marquez clash!

The Spaniard rode a strong race, beating rival Enea Bastianini to the line, while Pedro Acosta took a dream podium in just his second MotoGP start.
It's incredible to see the turnaround Jorge Martin has made at the Algarve circuit – from a nearly career-ending crash in 2021, to winning this year's feature race and taking the lead in the championship.

It's certainly the start Martin was looking for as he still has his eye on Bastianini's factory Ducati seat.
The race was eventful to say the least, with a few key talking points – the collision between Marc Marquez and Pecco Bagnaia, Maverick Viñales' gearbox failure and Pedro Acosta's impressive podium finish.
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Despite the fact that Marquez quickly got going on his Ducati, it probably didn't occur to everyone that the drama with Bagnaia would start just two rounds into the season. The two champions collided at turn five with three laps to go, when Marquez attempted an overtake but went slightly too wide, while Bagnaia made an ambitious attempt to overtake Marquez again but didn't expect to break his line would cover, resulting in a collision. Marquez came back into the race and brought the bike home in 16th, while Bagnaia did not finish the race.

Maverick Viñales, meanwhile, suffered setbacks, despite having been on a roll all weekend. After winning the Sprint race a day earlier, he chased Jorge Martin for the lead and followed him for most of the race before experiencing gearbox problems.

On the final lap, Viñales' Aprilia got stuck in neutral and went wide on the run-off in the first two corners, his engine suddenly shifting into first gear and resulting in a sudden highside, eliminating him from the race altogether .

It was a dream Grand Prix for Pedro Acosta as he rode a very strong race and became the top KTM finisher of the weekend, and better yet, a podium finisher. He positioned himself as one of the youngest riders ever to achieve a premier-class podium finish, becoming the third-youngest at 19 years and 304 days, just behind Eduardo Salatino and Randy Mamola.
The young rookie rode with impressive composure and masterfully battled through the field against his fellow KTM stablemates and even established champions like Bagnaia and Marquez. Following his impressive performance, Red Bull KTM duo Brad Binder and Jack Miller rounded out the top five with fourth and fifth places respectively.

Martin's win puts him at the top of the championship standings with 60 points, ahead of Brad Binder with 18 points. Bastianini is third with 39 points, while Bagnaia is two points behind him. Finally, Acosta closes the top five with 28 points for his podium.

After another eventful weekend, we now have to wait three weeks for the upcoming Grand Prix of The Americas. Can Marc Marquez, the king of COTA, finally win again? Or will the circuit's other favorite, Alex Rins, surprise us for the second year in a row? Stay tuned and find out!
Featured image – miniature: Motorsport Images, Fig. 1: Jaco Veenstra
Author – Liam van de Seijp

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