A rundown of the first eight Grands Prix of 2023, with some sporting stats, milestones and fun facts.
It’s been an exciting, record-breaking and history-making start to 2023. Before we return to action for the Monster Energy British Grand Prix at the iconic Silverstone circuit to kick off the next part of the season, let’s have a look through the first eight Grands Prix of the year!
12 riders, eight podiums
So far, 12 riders – more than half of the full-time grid – have been on the Grand Prix podium as the golden era of close competition continues. This is the second highest number in the MotoGP™ era behind only 2020, which saw 13 riders take podiums across the first eight Grands Prix.
The riders who have been on the Grand Prix podium and not the Sprint podium are Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing), Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing), Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing). The only rider who has been on the podium on Saturday and not Sunday is Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Marquez hasn’t scored in a Grand Prix race since his P7 in Malaysia last year.
Prosecco for all!
As they’d already done it in the first five, it remains true that every manufacturer has been on the Grand Prix podium so far in 2023. One achievement already ticked off for the whole season!
There have been four wins for Independent Teams so far in 2023 – two for Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and one each for Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing). In the MotoGP™ era, the only other seasons that have been able to match that after the first eight race weekends are 2003, 2004 and 2020.
Before 2023, there also had only been two events in the MotoGP™ era where Independent Teams locked out the GP podium: Qatar 2004 and Portugal 2020. This season, it’s already happened twice. Argentina saw Bezzecchi wins from Zarco and Alex Marquez, and the French GP was also won by Bezzecchi, this time ahead of Martin and Zarco.
With Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Bezzecchi, it’s the first time there are six wins for Italian riders in the opening eight races since 2006 when Loris Capirossi, Valentino Rossi and Marco Melandri did the honours.
Ducati on a mission
In the first eight events, Ducati have taken seven GP wins: four with Bagnaia, two with Bezzecchi and one with Martin. Honda is the only other manufacturer with at least one win, thanks to Rins’ Americas GP victory.
With Bagnaia and Bezzecchi on the podium in Assen, Ducati is on a streak of 34 MotoGP™ Grand Prix races in a row with at least one rider on the podium.
The Sprint specialists
Reigning Champion Bagnaia is still the rider with most Sprint wins so far this season with three, ahead of Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Martin with two each. Bezzecchi took his maiden Sprint win at the Dutch TT. Bagnaia has finished on the podium on every Sprint, except in Argentina when he crashed, remounted and finished P16.
Portuguese GP: Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) made his 218th premier class start to move into fourth on the all-time list. He equalled MotoGP™ Legends Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden and has since pulled ahead of both – although Pedrosa added another with that stunning wildcard in Jerez. Valentino Rossi leads the way with 372 premier class starts, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (248) and Alex Barros (245), with Aleix fourth on 225.
Argentina GP: Bezzecchi took his first premier class win. There are only eight riders who haven’t yet won a premier class GP: Zarco, A Marquez, Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3), Raul Fernandez (CryptoData RNF MotoGP™ Team), Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3).
Americas GP: Rins became the eighth rider to win with two factories in the MotoGP™ era along with Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Andrea Dovizioso, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Viñales, Max Biaggi and Valentino Rossi.Quartararo moved one above Max Biaggi on the list of Yamaha riders with most premier class podiums. The Frenchman is now solo in sixth, with 29 podiums on a Yamaha.
Spanish GP: Bagnaia drew equal with Max Biaggi in fourth on the list of most successful Italian riders in the premier class. Bagnaia has since overtaken Biaggi and now has 15.
French GP: Le Mans broke MotoGP™’s all-time event attendance record with 278,805 spectators across the GP.
Italian GP: Bagnaia became the first rider to set pole, the fastest lap, lead across the line on every lap and win the race since he himself did it last year at the Spanish GP.
German GP: The 233,196 crowd across the event was the biggest ever at the Sachsenring and made the German GP the highest attended sporting event in Germany.
Dutch TT: Bagnaia took his 15th MotoGP™ win at the Dutch TT and is now tied with MotoGP™ Legend Andrea Dovizioso in third place on the list of the most successful Italian riders in the premier class. MotoGP™ Legend Valentino Rossi leads with 89 wins ahead MotoGP™ Legend Giacomo Agostini (68).
Still up for grabs
Reigning Champion Bagnaia can become the rider with the most victories for Ducati. He is currently second with 15 wins, behind Casey Stoner on 23.
Allez les deux
There have been 98 Grands Prix wins for French riders so far, so France could reach 100 in 2023.With 12 across all classes so far, Quartararo could become the French rider with most wins. Zarco leads on 16.
Quartararo, who has 29 Yamaha podiums, could move up to join MotoGP™ Legend Kenny Roberts in fifth on the list of riders with most podiums with the Iwata marque if he reaches 39.
Zarco could become the fifth French rider to win in the premier class along with Quartararo (11 wins), Régis Laconi (1), Christian Sarron (1) and Pierre Monneret (1). He could also give the honour of being the rider with most premier class podiums without a win (19) back to Colin Edwards, who has 12.
Half century not out
Six riders could hit the milestone of 50 podiums across all classes this year: Bagnaia (48), Miguel Oliveira (41), Binder (41), Alex Marquez (41), Enea Bastianini (40) and Jorge Martin (39).
Two for two
Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) and Oliveira could win with a second manufacturer, following Rins’ suit. Mir has won with Suzuki and now races for Honda, while Oliveira has five premier class wins with KTM and is now at Aprilia.
Three is the magic number
Viñales and Miller could both make MotoGP™ history by winning with three factories. Viñales has won with Suzuki and Yamaha and aims to add Aprilia. Miller has victories with Honda and Ducati and has adapted quickly to the KTM.
Marc Marquez’ mixed fortunes
Marc Marquez currently has 85 Grand Prix wins across all classes, only five shy of MotoGP™ Legend Angel Nieto. If Marquez reaches 90 +1, he will take both third on the list of the most successful riders and become the most successful Spanish rider in history in terms of wins.
With 59 premier class wins, Marc Marquez could become the second most successful rider in premier class history if he betters the 68 wins of Giacomo Agostini. Valentino Rossi leads the way with 89 premier class wins.
When – if? – he wins again, Marc Marquez will become the ninth rider in history with a premier class winning career spanning ten years or more.When – if? – when he wins again, it will be the longest gap between victories for the number 93. It was 581 days between Valencia 2019 and the 2021 German Grand Prix. On race day at Silverstone, it will be 651 days since he won the 2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.
Since the opening race of 2020, there have been 60 Grand Prix races. Marquez has started only 30 of them, 50%, and has finished 20 of them. Nevertheless, he has scored five podiums, including three wins (Germany, Americas and Emilia-Romagna in 2021), and took a Sprint podium in Portimao at the start of 2023. – www.motogp.com