The start of the MotoGP race at Le Mans

MotoGP British Grand Prix preview: the season so far

The pinnacle of two-wheeled racing is set to touchdown at Silverstone this weekend for an event brimming with non-stop action and high drama. Reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia may well have extended his championship lead last time out, but that far from illustrates the story of the 2023 season so far. 


Grand Prix of Portugal Despite an early attempt by Marc Marquez aboard the Honda and a mid-race challenge by Jack Miller, it was Ducati and the pacey pair of Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martín who stamped their authority on the first-ever MotoGP Sprint, sending a message to the third-placed Marquez and the rest of the field for the coming season. 

Home hero Miguel Olivera led the Grand Prix early on before Bagnaia snatched the lead. From that point on, the Italian rider didn’t look back storming to a commanding victory ahead of Maverick Viñales and Marco Bezzecchi. The real battle in this race was a six-bike contest for fourth position, one ultimately won by Johan Zarco. 

Bikes on track at MotoGP of Portugal


Grand Prix of ArgentinaAlex Marquez and Franco Morbidelli took turns leading in the opening two laps of the Sprint before Brad Binder took over at the head of the field, the KTM rider having started in P15 and jumped 14 positions in three laps. Marco Bezzecchi, meanwhile, scythed his way through the pack to finish less than a tenth behind Binder and teammate Luca Marini less than a second behind. 

Following on from his form in the Sprint, Bezzechi made his intentions known by taking the lead from the off in a wet Grand Prix, and set about opening a five-second gap. With Sprint winner Binder out on Lap 1, it was left to Bagnaia and Alex Marquez to chase after the Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati. With Bagnaia crashing out on Lap 8 and a resurgent Zarco pipping Marquez to second, Bezzecchi claimed victory to take the lead in the championship. 


Grand Prix of the AmericasÁlex Rins gave Bagnaia a hard time early on, but it was Aleix Espargaró on the Aprilia who’d apply pressure for much of the Sprint, before Rins reclaimed the runner-up spot with 4 laps to go. Bagnaia would eventually take the victory ahead of Rins and Martín who claimed his first podium since the opening round of the season. 

The Grand Prix would be a battle of attrition with pre-race podium favourites Martín and Alex Marquez out on Lap 1, followed by Bagnaia who crashed from the lead on Lap 13. That left Rins to lead Fabio Quartararo and Marini, the Italian getting the better of the French rider with 8 laps to go, but ultimately no one was able to take the top spot away from an imperious Rins. 


Grand Prix of Spain After a multi-bike pile-up on Lap 1, the Sprint was restarted, and it was the KTMs of Binder and Miller who seized the advantage from Martín early on. With nine laps to go, Bagnaia made his move up into the top three and began pressuring Miller, eventually sneaking past when the Australian ran wide on the last lap. Binder took an emphatic victory from Bagnaia and Miller. 

Just like the Sprint, the Grand Prix would be restarted after several riders crashed on the opening lap. In a carbon copy of the Sprint, it was Binder who took the holeshot followed by Miller and Martín. This time, Bagnaia made his move on Martín early with a sensational move round the outside. Despite some mid-race contact with Miller – and a subsequent penalty –  Bagnaia surged past the KTMs in the final laps to win ahead of Binder and Miller, retaking the championship lead in the process.

The KTM factory bikes leading the way at the MotoGP of Spain


Grand Prix of France MotoGP’s 1000th GP wouldn’t disappoint as Bagnaia took control at the start of the Sprint, but Martín and Marc Marquez were in hot pursuit. With 10 laps to go, Martín made a successful bid for the lead and began opening an advantage. Too preoccupied with one another, the duelling pair of Bagnaia and Marquez were both passed by Binder, who started to break away from an enduring and memorable battle. Eventually Martín took the win ahead of Binder, Bagnaia took third and Marini also overhauled Marquez for fourth.

Like the sprint, a frenetic Grand Prix thrilled the sell-out crowd at Le Mans. Marc Marquez snatched the lead at the start followed by Miller and Marini, whilst Martín ran wide and dropped to P10. Miller took the lead from Marc Marquez whilst Viñales and Bagnaia collided and Alex Marquez came together further back. Amidst the mayhem, Martín made his way back up to second and Bezzecchi moved into the lead with 17 laps to go. A scintillating battle between Martín and Marc Marquez would rage for several laps, one which the eight-time champion eventually crashed out of, handing the final podium place to home hero Zarco, who finished behind Martín and Bezzecchi respectively. The young Italian closed to within one point of the championship lead. 


Grand Prix of ItalyWith two retirements from the previous three races, Bagnaia wouldn’t be denied glory on home turf at Mugello. Having taken pole, he stormed to victory in the Sprint despite challenging damp conditions and an early challenge from Martín, as well as late pressure from Bezzechi. The final order would see Martín pip his Prima Pramac Racing teammate Zarco to the line for third, Bezzecchi in second and Bagnaia first. 

The reigning champion would be on similar form in the Grand Prix leading from the off with Martín hanging on to his coattails for the duration. Behind the leading pair though, it was anyone’s game with Marini and the Marquez brothers doing battle. Eventually both Marc and Alex crashed out, leaving Zarco and Marini to go all out for the final podium spot. Zarco would eventually take the third-place spot following Martín and the utterly dominant Bagnaia home. 


Grand Prix of Germany Like the reigning champion one round prior, it would be Martín – who’s pace had been building since Le Mans – who would strike a rich vein of form at Sachsenring. In the Sprint, Bagnaia, Miller and Martín duked it out in the early laps but with 12 laps to go, the Spaniard made a double overtake and began to stretch his legs. With Bagnaia still behind Miller, Martín needed no further invitation to extend a gap he held until the flag. Bagnaia took second and Miller held onto third. 

As the lights went out, Miller led from the off but a mistake at “the waterfall” saw Bagnaia, Martín and Marini stream past. Martín took the lead on Lap 3 and wouldn’t be challenged for another 17 laps, at which point Bagnaia attempted to take charge of proceedings. Undeterred, Martín took the place back three laps later and survived a last corner, penultimate lap nudge from the factory Ducati to win by just six hundredths of a second, closing to within 16 points of the top of the championship table. After a fall for Binder, Zarco had a comfortable run to yet another third-place finish. 


Grand Prix of the NetherlandsBagnaia was back to his brilliant best at the Dutch TT, but his good friend Bezzecchi wasn’t going to let him have it all his own way. The championship leader took the lead from Turn 1 of the Sprint closely followed by Binder and Bezzecchi, but the Mooney VR46 Racing Team rider made quick work of the two ahead to seize the advantage, one he wouldn’t concede until the flag. Bagnaia took second place followed by Binder – who lost his podium spot to Quartararo thanks to a track limits long-lap penalty. 

The start of the Dutch TT would see Binder with the holeshot from the second row, followed by Bagnaia and Bezzecchi. The reigning champion wasted no time in getting past the KTM, however, passing for the lead on Lap 3 and not looking back. With 10 laps to go, Sprint winner Bezzecchi made his way into second but by that point that gap to Bagnaia was too great for him to overcome. In the final race before the Monster Energy British Grand Prix MotoGP™, Bagnaia extended his championship lead with victory over Bezzecchi and Binder. In a cruel post-race twist and a carbon copy of the Sprint, the South African received a track limits penalty, handing the position to fourth-placed Espargaró.


Grand Prix of Great Britain

With eight different winners in the past 10 years, the Monster Energy British Grand Prix MotoGP™ is an unpredictable restart to the season. Will the updated Friday format play a part in proceedings? Will Bagnaia break with recent win history and repeat his 2022 success on British soil, or will we see a new rider on top of the podium this Sunday – either way, the race is not to be missed! Get your tickets now.