When the 2023 MotoGP season is over, the Motegi round is likely to be seen as one of the turning points. Either because this is the place where Pecco Bagnaia and his team fixed their problems with the Ducati GP23 and stopped Jorge Martin's momentum in its tracks, or because he couldn't, and Martin would go on to sweep the title.
It is still too early to say which of those two versions of events will transpire, and the sprint race at Motegi did little to clarify the picture. Jorge Martin was unstoppable, shattering the pole record, beating the race lap record by over a second (though the sprint races don't count toward setting race lap records), and leading from start to finish, after shaking off a brief challenge from Brad Binder. But Pecco Bagnaia looked a lot better than he has done in recent races, finishing third and limiting the damage to Martin.