After a tantalisingly tense Malaysian GP, it’s now between the Italian and Frenchman for 2022 MotoGP™ World Championship glory
The compelling 2022 MotoGP™ World Championship title race will be decided at the final round in Valencia for the first time since 2017. Francesco Bagnaia vs reigning World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Ducati Lenovo Team vs Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™.
Heading into the 20-lap Malaysian GP, it was a tall order for either rider to mount a podium fight after a difficult Saturday afternoon in qualifying. Bagnaia crashed twice – once in FP3, then again in Q2 – and had to settle for a P9 start. Quartararo didn’t fare any better. The Frenchman crashed in FP4, fracturing his finger, and struggled to P12 in Q2.
However, both Bagnaia and Quartararo got lightning starts and put themselves right in the mix from the off. Pecco fended off Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) to win for the seventh time in 2022, while Quartararo rode the wheels off of his Yamaha to claim P3.
So what does this now mean heading to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo? Well, the maths is fairly simple. Pecco’s 23-point lead means Quartararo needs a win to stand any chance of retaining the title. No matter what happens to Bagnaia, if Quartararo doesn’t win, the title will be heading to Pecco and Ducati.
If Quartararo is victorious at the final round though, then Bagnaia will need to finish P14 or higher to win his first premier class title and become a two-time World Champion. P14 will give him two points, which could spectacularly see the duo finish level on points if Quartararo does claim the 25-point haul. If that were to be the case, Bagnaia’s superior race wins – 7 to what would be Quartararo’s 4 – would see him become World Champion.
The odds are in Pecco’s favour, but nothing is settled. Anything can happen in Valencia as we get set for the decider at the beginning of November. Bagnaia vs Quartararo, who are you backing for the 2022 crown?