Marco Bezzecchi won the inaugural IndianOil Grand Prix of India, riding Mooney VR46 Racing Team to the top of the podium at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, UP.
Jorge Martín of Prima Pramac raced off into the lead at the cautious Turn 1. Francesco Bagnaia, the championship leader, also left Bezzecchi to P3, but Bezzecchi soon regained his top spot, first overtaking Bagnaia to claim P2 and then racing into the lead when an error at Turn 4 sent Martín wide.
Thereafter, Bezzecchi left the pack way behind to fight for the remaining two places on the podium. He was completely unaware of the drama that unfolded behind him and eventually took the chequered flag eight seconds before the pack.
The fight for P2 was filled with drama, action, tragedy, suspense and a nail-biting climax. It started first between Bagnaia and Martín. The battle between the two lasted for about 13 laps before Bagnaia, leading over Martín in P2, crashed out at Turn 4 — his third of the season.
Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo moved to P3, which gave him hope for a better podium finish. The two riders were engaged in a nail-biting duel in the final lap when Martín once again rode wide at Turn 4, putting Quartararo into the second spot for a moment before snatching back his position two corners later. Looking tired and distressed, Martín ultimately finished the race on the second step of the podium.
KTM’s Brad Binder finished P4, while Repsol Hondo’s Joan Mir finished P5. Eight-time World Champion Marc Márquez, who was gunning behind Bagnaia and Martín before he ran wide, finished P9.
Marco Bezzecchi spoke after the race, commenting:
“I really liked this place the day I landed. I like to celebrate with the fans, I would like to give my heart to the fans. In this part of the world, they are very loud, and I really like to hear the crowd. They enjoyed it, of course and next year they will have even more fun. So, for me it was fantastic. It’s a track that I liked the first time I rode on it. Overall it has been good for me. There was some hard braking, but also some fast parts and chicanes. Physically I felt better with the head, so change of direction was not a problem, like it was in Mizano. Sector three was really fantastic to ride.“