Historic triumph for Bagnaia in dramatic decider!

8 Min Read

Pecco crowned Champion with Ducati in a tense decider which saw the title contenders make contact

The Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia has won the 2022 MotoGP™ World Championship by finishing ninth in the final race of the season at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana – a first such title for the man mentored by Valentino Rossi. Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo started the Grand Prix needing nothing less than victory to have any hope of a second straight crown but finished a fighting fourth in a contest won by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins – one more victory for the Hamamatsu manufacturer. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) rounded out the podium after 27 laps around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Early contact between Bagnaia and Quartararo

Rins qualified on the middle of Row 2 but made a brilliant start and led the field to the first corner, ahead of pole-sitter Martin and Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team). Quartararo took a wide berth at the Turn 2 braking zone, emerging behind Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and in a battle for fifth with none other than Bagnaia. When Marquez attacked Miller for third on the opening lap, Quartararo squeezed his Yamaha down the inside of the Australian’s Ducati at Turn 8 as well, and he was up to fourth.

Miller hit back at the start of Lap 2, forcing Quartararo to pick up his YZR-M1 at Turn 2 with a pass which incentivised Bagnaia to also have a look. The title contenders made contact which pulled a wing off the factory-entered Ducati, but Bagnaia was ahead of his key rival. It stayed that way until Lap 4, when Quartararo was down his inside at Turn 6 and back into fifth position – but facing a task to catch the top four.