Aleix Espargaro snatched away victory from Francesco Bagnaia on the very final lap at Silverstone to secure his and Aprilia’s first win of 2023.

Espargaro looked comfortable in the early stages of the encounter as he moved into the top six after taking the start from 12th, the Spaniard shadowing team-mate Maverick Vinales as they marched towards the front.

He had managed to move into the podium spots by the time a quarters-distance came about after Marco Bezzecchi crashed out ahead of him while challenging Bagnaia and Vinales ran wide after trying to pull an over-optimistic move on Jack Miller’s KTM entering Copse.

Espargaro soon caught Bagnaia before then stalking the Italian, until matters were complicated somewhat by the arrival of a light rain shower around the second-half of the tour, allowing a recovering Vinales and the KTM of Brad Binder to catch up.

The trio swapped positions behind Bagnaia several times before Espargaro finally managed to break away once again, inflicting heavy pressure on the leading Ducati as the final laps were clicked off.

Espargaro spotted his chance on the final tour and dived down the inside of Bagnaia into Copse, the latter cutting back and attempting to draft back past heading into the rapid Maggotts-Becketts complex – though a determined Espargaro was not to be denied as he swept across the front of Bagnaia.

Espargaro kept things clean across the final few bends to take the chequered flag just 0.215s clear of the reigning premier class world champion, securing his second career victory a year-and-a-half after securing his first in last year’s Argentinean Grand Prix.

Brad Binder managed to snatch away third to complete the rostrum at the death from Miguel Oliveira, the RNF Aprilia rider nearly securing his first rostrum since joining the outfit thanks to setting a scorching pace when the rain was at its heaviest.

Vinales faded in the closing couple of laps to fifth in the end ahead of Jorge Martin, who was a distant sixth after going off at Turn 1 following contact with Binder – the Pramac rider dropping outside the top 20 as a result.

Luca Marini survived late contact with Fabio Quartararo to claim seventh on his VR46-run Ducati – Quartararo being forced to pit for his spare Yamaha after his front fairing detached and got stuck under the bike – while Jack Miller rallied back to eighth after recovering from his earlier moment with Vinales.

Johann Zarco ended up ninth having struggled for outright speed all race, while Raul Fernandez completed a strong day for RNF as he completed the top ten.

Pol Espargaro scored points on his racing return with 12th just behind rookie GasGas team-mate Augusto Fernandez, while Fabio Di Gianantonio also scored in 13th having been the highest rider to pit for wets at the end.

Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo collected the final points for 14th and 15th respectively having both switched to wets, the Yamaha duo separated by just 0.162s.

Marc Marquez was caught out by the brief rain shower and crashed out from 12th to join Repsol Honda team-mate Joan Mir on the sidelines after the latter went down early on, while Enea Bastianini also fell fowl of the conditions just moments after Marquez.

Saturday sprint race victor Alex Marquez meanwhile was forced to call it quits after seemingly suffering a gear linkage failure while running within the top three in the opening stanza.

Bezzecchi’s crash means Bagnaia opens up his series lead to 41 points over Martin, with Bezzecchi having now slipped back to third overall a further six adrift.

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