The Monster Energy British Grand Prix (Round 9 of the 2023 MotoGPTM World Championship) saw Aprilia Racing's Aleix Espargaro earn a dramatic, last-lap win, the second of his career at this level. The Spaniard narrowly beat the reigning champion and current leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo team), while Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) made it three different bike manufacturers on the podium to provide further evidence of the MICHELIN Power range's exceptional versatility.
Espargaro dominated in the dry on Day 1 but had to settle for a lowly twelfth on the grid in the extremely wet qualifying session. Sunday's race begun without rain, but threatening clouds made tire choice complex, especially as the riders had had little time to sample these conditions during the week. Most of the riders opted for soft and medium MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear, however, although Binder made a last-minute switch to two mediums.
Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) leapt from third at lights-out to lead out of Turn 1 but relinquished his position to Bagnaia on the second of the afternoon's 20 laps. The Italian then remained in control until the last lap, by which time Espargaro was sitting on his tail. With rain back on the menu, the Aprilia pounced at the last moment to conclude a superb fightback and collect the second MotoGPTM victory of his career. Clearly comfortable in the conditions, the Aprilia rider found himself in a position to attack thanks to his quick, consistent pace, while his trust in his tires helped him to stay out of trouble on the slippery track and thwart Bagnaia by just 215 thousandths of a second!
Late rain ensured an entertaining finale, with five riders taking advantage of the grip provided by their MICHELIN Power Slicks in the damp to challenge for the win. Binder held off Miguel Oliveira (4th, CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) to secure third, and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) ended up fifth.
Pole-winner Marco Bezzecchi (VR46 Racing Team) was eliminated by a mistake on Lap 7 while in second position, and Saturday's Sprint victor Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing Team) retired with a technical issue.
The meeting's constantly changing weather allowed the MICHELIN Power Slick and Power Rain ranges to showcase their performance in both wet and dry conditions.
Bagnaia (214 points) is now 41 points clear of Prima Pramac Racing's Jorge Martin in the provisional Riders' classification, with third-placed Bezzecchi a further six points adrift.
For the first time in the history of the series, Silverstone hosted FIM ENEL MotoETM World Championship action and both races were declared wet. Randy Krummenacher (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE) was first past the flag in the first, while the second was won by Mattia Casdei (HP Pons Los40). Jordi Torres (Openbank Aspar Team) still tops the standings.
Next round: CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, Red Bull Ring, Austria (August 18-20).