Jorge Martin held his lead from the start to win the sprint race at India’s debut MotoGP on Saturday and close the gap on championship leader Francesco Bagnaia.

Ducati-Pramac rider Martin started second on the grid and jumped into the lead, while a crash on the first corner saw Marco Bezzecchi slip back from pole position.

World champion Bagnaia came second and Marc Marquez completed the podium.

Bezzecchi, who scorched the track in the second qualifying session, was hit from behind by teammate Luca Marini as the riders entered the first corner, with two other competitors bowing out as well as Marini.

Bezzecchi, on Ducati-VR46, climbed back up several places over the course of the sprint to finish fifth.

But the race belonged to Martin, who won the previous MotoGP at Misano, with the Spaniard remaining in control as others slipped away.

Martin, who is now 33 points behind Bagnaia, said he kept up a “good pace” and felt “comfortable”.

Italy’s Bagnaia kept his composure to maintain his second spot.

The riders took to the sprint after a 15-minute wet session following heavy afternoon rain.

The sprint laps were reduced to 11 instead of 12 after riders struggled with hot and humid conditions during Friday’s practice sessions.