#PECCOvsMARTIN: the duel is on
2 contenders. 2 weekends. 2 Sprints. 2 races. 1 crown.
Tuesday, 14 November 2023
The fight for the 2023 FIM MotoGP™ World Championship is now a duel: #PECCOvsMARTIN. In the red corner it’s reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), looking to become the first rider to successfully defend the #1 plate since Mick Doohan. The riders who have since defended the crown, Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez, never chose to run the number 1. Bagnaia would also be the first rider to successfully defend the crown at all since Marc Marquez in 2019.
In the purple corner, it’s Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing), looking to take his maiden MotoGP™ World Championship and become a two-time World Champion. Where Bagnaia has a Moto2™ crown on his way to the premier class, Martin has one from Moto3™. Both, incidentally, taken in the same season (2018).
So far in 2023, we’ve raced for a maximum of 654* points. Bagnaia has taken 412, and Martin 398. The reigning Champion has six Grand Prix wins to Martin’s four, but Martin has seven Tissot Sprint wins to Bagnaia’s four. There are now a maximum of 74 points remaining and the two are split by just 14.
Depending what happens in the Tissot Sprint at Lusail, Bagnaia could wrap up the crown on Sunday… but it looks likely to go to the wire. Until then, fans can show their support for #TeamPecco or #TeamMartin across social media, and they’ll see their messages pop up here. The rest of the grid also made their bets…
There’s also a very special edition of MotoGP™ Stories to take a look into the rivals’ shared past, as teammates in Moto3™ no less. It’s out today, Tuesday the 14th of November. Click below to head over and watch the full episode on motogp.com!
Now it’s time for the Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar this weekend as the first of the two remaining weekends sees another 37 points go up for grabs. So tune in for another history-making Grand Prix at the new-look Lusail International Circuit, which kicks off with the pre-event Press Conference with, you guessed it, Bagnaia and Martin. That’s at the earlier time of 14:00 local (GMT+3) on Thursday.
The track action starts on Friday before the Tissot Sprint at 20:00 on Saturday, exactly 24 hours before we could see our first match point as the lights go out for the Grand Prix race at 20:00 on Sunday. See you there!
*The Australian GP offered a maximum score of 25 after weather obliged the cancellation of the Tissot Sprint