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MotoGP championship leader Martin hit with Dutch grid penalty

Championship leader Jorge Martin was hit with a three-place grid penalty for Sunday's Dutch MotoGP in Assen.

Martin, who finished second behind defending world champion Francesco Bagnaia in Saturday's sprint "has been handed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday's race," race organisers announced.

"The World Championship leader was adjudged to have been riding slowly on the racing line and disturbing Raul Fernandez" in Saturday's second qualifying session, where the starting line-up gets determined.

Martin will "therefore launch from P5 instead of his P2 qualifying position," the website said.

This is the NEW #MotoGP grid for the race ??

Maverick is in 2nd, @alexmarquez73 now in the first row and @marcmarquez93 in the second... You don't want to miss it! ??#DutchGP ????

Meanwhile, "Pecco" Bagnaia will seek to shrink Martin's lead in the championship which has slowly been whittled away.

The Italian factory Ducati rider drew his line in the sand over the first two days of racing at the Assen circuit known as "the Cathedral".

Bagnaia is now just 15 points behind Martin, who rides a Prima Pramac Ducati.

A flying Bagnaia broke the lap record both on Friday and Saturday and other riders including Martin have admitted that he would be hard to catch.

Bagnaia will now start on pole position, followed by Maverick Vinales on an Aprilia, Alex Marquez on a Gresini Ducati and Fabio Di Giannantonio on a VR46 Ducati ahead of Martin.

Meanwhile, veteran rider Aleix Espargaro on an Aprilia pulled out of the race after crashing hard in the latter stages of Saturday's sprint race.

The Spaniard broke a bone in his right hand and decided not to compete in his last race at the Assen circuit.

Espargaro "has made the