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2023 MotoGP World Championship
2023 Valencian Community Grand Prix
Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Sunday, 26 November 2023
Mooney VR46 Racing Team's Luca Marini has a chance to finish in the top five of the MotoGP Championship as the season draws to a close at the Valencian Community Grand Prix
on Sunday, November 26.
The Italian claimed only his second podium of the 2023 campaign when he finished 4.408 seconds behind Qatar Grand Prix winner Fabio Di Giannantonio in P3, having held off the challenge of Maverick Vinales, Brad Binder and Alex Marquez.
Marini closed within four points of Aprilia Racing's Aleix Espargaro (6th) in the riders' standings, while Prima Pramac Racing's Johann Zarco is just a further six points clear in fifth place.
Image copyright: Getty Images
The 26-year-old is already guaranteed to finish in the top 10 for the first time in his career, but having two riders in the top five would be quite the achievement for Mooney VR46 Racing Team.
Marini was delighted with his performance in Lusail after also claiming P3 in the sprint race, although he admitted his battle with Binder and Marquez cost him a potential maiden win in the premier class.
"I'm happy, a really solid weekend crowned by the double podium, a reward for the whole team who is doing a great job.
"The choice of the soft (tyre) was not random, the objective was to start very strong, maintain the position and open a gap. Unfortunately 'Pecco' [Bagnaia] started very strong and in the slipstream, the first laps, I was struggling.
"The temperature was very high, I tried to do my best and manage the tyres as best I could. It's a shame to have wasted so much time fighting with Alex and Brad because we let 'Pecco' and Fabio go.
"At the end I gave it my all and what of the tyres I was able to conserved was the key."
2023 Qatar Grand Prix results:
Winner: Fabio Di Giannantonio - Gresini Racing
Second Place: Francesco Bagnaia - Ducati Lenovo Team
Third Place: Luca Marini - Mooney VR46 Racing Team
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