Pole-starter Marco Bezzecchi emerged victorious at the first-ever MotoGP in India, held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, just outside of New Delhi. Bezzecchi, riding for Mooney VR46 Racing Team, dominated the race to claim victory in a near-flawless performance. However, the reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia crashed out after slipping on a turn.
Jorge Martin, who secured victory in the sprint race on Saturday, managed to hold on to second place, while Fabio Quartararo finished a close third. Bezzecchi, riding a Ducati-VR46, completed the race in 36 minutes and 59.157 seconds, celebrating his third win of the season in front of an exuberant crowd.
The race was marred by disappointment for Bagnaia, who lost control of his Ducati, causing the bike to somersault. Despite the crash, Bagnaia continues to lead the world championship with 292 points, although his lead was slightly diminished in this 13th race of the 20-race season. Martin currently sits in second place with 279 points, followed by Bezzecchi with 248 points.
In an interview with reporters, Bezzecchi acknowledged that the race was challenging due to the heat, but he felt comfortable on the bike. He also revealed that his motivation to bounce back from a crash in the first lap of the sprint race on Saturday fueled his determination to achieve victory.
Bezzecchi expressed his delight at winning the first MotoGP held in India, describing the experience as “fantastic.” He praised the location, the people, and the track, stating that he liked them from the moment he arrived.
The Buddh International Circuit, which hosted Formula One races for three years starting in 2011, has now secured a seven-year deal with MotoGP’s commercial rights holder, Dorna Sports, to host races in India.
The race witnessed a thrilling last lap tussle between Spain’s Martin and Quartararo. Martin, Bagnaia’s closest contender in the title race, faced a fierce challenge from Quartararo but managed to secure second place. Quartararo, a Yamaha rider, admitted that the last lap was incredibly difficult and highlighted the team’s need to work on improving their performance.
Martin had a strong start to the race, taking the lead from his second position on the grid. Bezzecchi quickly overtook Bagnaia with a clean maneuver at a corner and built a significant lead of over three seconds within the first five laps. While the battle for second and third place remained intense between Martin and Bagnaia, Marc Marquez slipped down the order after slipping on turn one in the sixth lap.
Bagnaia managed to pass Martin on lap 13, but his hopes of a podium finish were dashed by his crash. Meanwhile, Bezzecchi continued to surge ahead and ultimately claimed victory.
The race was reduced to 21 laps from the original 24 laps following complaints from riders about the heat and humidity during Friday’s practice sessions.
In other races, Jaume Masia won the MotoGP3 race after securing pole position, bringing him level with title rival Daniel Holgado on 174 points. Kaito Toba finished in second place, achieving his first podium since 2022, while Ayumu Sasaki came in third after a last-lap battle.
In the Moto2 race, Spain’s Pedro Acosta emerged victorious, extending his lead at the top of the overall standings with a total of 236 points.