Jorge Martin dominated proceedings in the Thailand Grand Prix sprint race to secure his fifth successive short MotoGP race win, while Francesco Bagnaia struggled to seventh.  

The Pramac Ducati rider didn’t get the cleanest getaway from pole and was challenged into the first bend by VR46’s Luca Marini, though the Spaniard was having none of it and boldly swept around the outside to hold the leadership.

From then on Martin put in his usual sprint masterclass by building up a lead in the early stages to enjoy an advantage of over a second just prior to mid-distance, before then managing things across the closing tours.

Having established himself as somewhat of a Saturday expert, Martin eventually took the chequered flag just under a second clear of KTM’s Brad Binder to secure his fifth-straight sprint victory. His success also moves to just 18 points adrift of the series lead, after Bagnaia could manage only seventh.

Binder meanwhile spent most of the race staring at the back of Marini, who was struggling to hang onto Martin’s coattails. Bin tried and tried over the opening half of the encounter before finally finding a way past the Italian with an assured move at the final bend.

From then on he kept a narrow but consistent gap behind to claim the runners-up result, while Marini came home to complete the rostrum.

The battle for fourth between Aleix Espargaro and Marc Marquez came right down to the wire meanwhile. Espargaro looked to have the spot sewn up with a lap to go as he chased down the podium men, though a mistake at the start of the final lap dropped him back behind Marquez.

The Aprilia man dived through on the Honda pilot at Turn 7 in his attempt to regain the spot, though Marquez wouldn’t go down without a fight. He subsequently fired his RC213V to the inside of Espargaro at the final corner, the six-time premier class champion achieving just enough drive on the exit to cross the line fourth.

Marco Bezzecchi was sixth having struggled for energy in the latter stages with his collarbone injury, the VR46 man dropping behind Marquez before coming under pressure from a resurgent Bagnaia. The factory Ducati man was unable to do anything about his countryman though, and followed him home in seventh.

Bagnaia had dropped as low as ninth early on after making a poor start from sixth, and from thereon struggled to make much impact on the men ahead. An opportunistic move to claim seventh after the battling Alex Marquez and Johann Zarco ran wide was the only time he managed to clear another machine all race.

Gresini’s Alex Marquez ended up eighth, while Australian GP victor Johann Zarco claimed the final point for ninth ahead of KTM’s Jack Miller, who did well to move forward from 15th on the grid.

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo was the Aussie’s final victim in the closing laps as he was forced to make do with 11th just ahead of Honda’s Joan Mir.

The other Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli struggled to move forward and ended up 15th ahead of GasGas’ Pol Espargaro and RNF Aprilia’s Miguel Oliveira.

Maverick Vinales had a tough afternoon as he failed to recover from 18th following a shocking start, the Aprilia racer’s woes compounded by a late long-lap penalty for a track limits infringement.

LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami was the final classified finisher in 19th having remounted from a crash at Turn 12 early on, while Fabio Di Gianantonio and Augusto Fernandez also failed to make the end. Phillip Island podium finisher Di Gianantonio was forced to retire with a technical problem on his Ducati, while Fernandez binned his GasGas KTM RC16 at the final bend.

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