Aleix Espargaro takes top honours in Silverstone thriller

Gaurav Davare
The battle for the win went down to the final lap

Leave it to the classic British weather to serve up an exciting 2023 MotoGP British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Sure, it wasn’t an all-out wet race, but the unpredictable conditions saw many shock exits as well as a sensational fight for the lead between five riders that went down to the final lap. Aleix Espargaro triumphed in the end, taking his and Aprilia’s second ever MotoGP win ahead of the Ducati of Francesco Bagnaia and KTM’s Brad Binder.

How the race transpired

Off the line, the factory KTM of Jack Miller rocketed into the lead, but it only lasted two sectors as polesitter Marco Bezzecchi took it back and Bagnaia, starting fourth made quick work to be second at the end of the opening lap. But Bagnaia didn’t stop there as the reigning champion took the lead from the VR46 Racing rider.

There was still a lot of race to go, as Bezzecchi kept the pressure on, but before he could mount a serious move, he crashed out of the race. While this was a great post summer break present for Bagnaia in the context of the title race, the two factory Aprilia’s of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales were hunting him down and taking chunks of his race lead.

Amongst all of this, there was one final twist in the tale, where the classic British weather came into play as a brief spell of rain and the intense battling up front meant the KTM of Brad Binder joined the fight for the win and had even taken second place initially. In the final five laps of the race, even RNF Racing Aprilia’s Miguel Oliveira, who started 16th was in the mix and had also taken second at one point in the race. 

In the end, it all came down to the final lap and Aleix Espargaro showed some serious grit with a fantastic move around long-time race leader Bagnaia around the Maggots and Becketts section to take the lead and eventual victory, starting 12th on the grid.

While Bagnaia may have lost the battle for the win at Silverstone, it was a massive win in the title race as difficult races for both Prima Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin and VR46 Racing’s Marco Bezzecchi, means Bagnaia has extended his lead to 41 points over Jorge Martin.

MotoGP will head next to the Red Bull Ring in Austria for the Austrian Grand Prix, scheduled to run between August 18-20.

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