Jorge Martin pulled off the overtake of the season en route to a superb victory in the German MotoGP Sprint Race at the Sachsenring, his second Saturday success of the year.
The Pramac Ducati rider got stuck into the thick of the action in the early laps, exchanging position - and a little bit of paint - with championship leader Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller, before a well-judged double pass for the lead at the foot of the Waterfall spurred his charge to victory.
Unleashing his full performance on the Ducati GP23, Martin pulled away from the feuding pair behind him to win by more than two seconds over Bagnaia, with Miller completing the podium in third.
Jorge Martin takes up chase to Pecco Bagnaia
Following the sketchy conditions of a damp-to-drying Q2 session earlier in the day, the Sprint Race got underway in dry conditions with pole man Pecco Bagnaia getting away well, but losing out on the hole-shot to Jack Miller on the fast-starting KTM.
After a side-by-side shimmy between the pair as they rounded Turns 2 and 3, Bagnaia nosed ahead to complete the opening lap in front, only to cede it back to Miller after he ducked up the inside of both the Ducati and Martin - up from sixth on the grid - when they ran out wide at Turn 1.
The Aussie attempted to make a break for it, getting the gap between himself and recovered Bagnaia up to 0.4s, but was soon reeled in again, with the defending champion back ahead on lap three after getting superior drive on the plunge down the Waterfall.
It was a trick that Bagnaia would find himself on the receiving end of just a lap later when both he and Miller were passed by Martin as they raced back up to Turn 12, the Spaniard clinging onto his advantage despite his Ducati drifted through the left-hander.
It would prove the pivotal moment, Martin proceeding to pump in a series of fastest laps to put air between himself and Bagnaia, the Italian too preoccupied with the stacked bikes behind him to consider chasing his stablemate down.
With no rebuttal forthcoming, Martin stretched his lead out to more than two seconds by the end, the Spaniard taking the chequered flag for his second victory of the season to go with his Sprint Race success at Le Mans.
Coming less than a week after finishing runner-up to Bagnaia at Mugello, Martin's win sees him leapfrog Marco Bezzecchi for second in the standings. With Bagnaia bringing it home a safe second, the gap between the two sits at 21 points.
Miller held onto third place for his third podium of the season, the Aussie leading home Luca Marini, whose staunch defence against Brad Binder was rewarded with a fourth place finish. The South African had twice passed Marini at Turn 1, only to run wide, with Binder then punished further on the final lap when Johann Zarco muscled through on him for fifth.
In seventh, Bezzecchi endured a quiet race after losing touch with the front pack early on, with fellow satellite Ducati rider Alex Marquez eighth and Aleix Espargaro ninth as the last of the points' scorers.
Elsewhere, Maverick Vinales was a retiree after slipping off at Turn 1, while Marc Marquez - following a crash-strewn weekend leading up to the race - enjoyed a bright start to run as high as fifth before sliding down the order to an eventual 11th.
German MotoGP, Sachsenring | Sprint Race Results
|2023 German MotoGP | Sachsenring, Germany | SPRINT Race Results | Round 7 of 20|
|1||Jorge Martin||ESP||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23|
|2||Pecco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Leonovo Team||Ducati GP23|
|3||Jack Miller||AUS||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16|
|4||Luca Marini||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22|
|5||Johann Zarco||FRA||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23|
|6||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16|
|7||Marco Bezzecchi||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22|
|8||Alex Marquez||ESP||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22|
|9||Aleix Espargaro||ESP||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP|
|10||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Ducati Leonovo Team||Ducati GP23|
|11||Marc Marquez||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V|
|12||Fabio di Giannantonio||ITA||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22|
|13||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1|
|14||Augusto Fernandez||ESP||GasGas Factory Tech 3||KTM RC16|
|15||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1|
|16||Miguel Oliveira||POR||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP|
|17||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda RC213V|
|18||Raul Fernandez||ESP||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP|
|DNF||Maverick Vinales||ESP||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP|
|DNF||Jonas Folger||GER||GasGas Factory Tech 3||KTM RC16|