Bagnaia wins Malaysian MotoGP as title fight goes down to the wire

2022 Malaysian MotoGP Bagnaia and Quartararo

The Malaysian round of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship saw factory Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia clinch his seventh victory of the season, making him the second Ducati rider after Casey Stoner to do so. As a result, he’s now stretched his title lead to 23 points over Fabio Quartararo, who finished third to take the title fight down to the finale in Valencia.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro and Gresini Ducati rider Enea Bastianini, with their 46 and 47 point deficit, respectively, are now firmly out of the title race. 

  • Bagnaia stretches title lead to 23 points
  • Bastianini second
  • Quartararo finishes third to keep title fight alive

Ducati Dominance

While a mixed qualifying session saw Bagnaia start from ninth on the grid, the race was a whole different ball game for the Italian. A flawless start saw him cut through the pack to find himself in second place at Turn 2 of the first lap itself. Poleman Jorge Martin led the race in the initial stages before crashing out, handing Bagnaia the lead.

Bagnaia’s future teammate Bastianini overtook him around half race distance and the Ducati duo tussled for a fair few laps before Bagnaia took the lead, for good this time around. 

Marini’s first DNF in MotoGP

While Luca Marini’s season hasn’t been as headline-grabbing as his teammate, MotoGP rookie and podium finisher, Marco Bezzecchi (who finished fourth this time around), Marini has, to his credit, always finished a MotoGP race, until now. An electronic glitch with his front start device ensured it remained locked in place and didn’t disengage, forcing Valentino Rossi’s half-brother to retire.

Victorious last time around in Australia, Suzuki’s Alex Rins finished fifth, after qualifying in the same position as well. The other rider who was on the podium last time around but was unable to replicate that in the end result here was Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez, who ultimately crossed the chequered flag in seventh place. 

2022 MotoGP championship standings

With Bagnaia’s 23-point advantage ensuring he is firmly in lead of the title race, it will all come down to a last-round showdown at Valencia on November 6. To retain his title Quartararo will need to win, while Bagnaia finishes 14th or below. For Bagnaia to become Ducati’s first World Champion in fifteen years, after Casey Stoner, all he needs to do is finish 13th or higher.

2022 Malaysian MotoGP results

2022 Malaysian MotoGP results
Position Rider Team
1 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo
2 Enea Bastianini Gresini Ducati
3 Fabio Quartararo Monster Yamaha
4 Marco Bezzecchi VR46 Ducati
5 Alex Rins Suzuki
6 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo
7 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda
8 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM
9 Johann Zarco Pramac Ducati
10 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing
11 Franco Morbidelli Monster Yamaha
12 Cal Crutchlow WithU Yamaha
13 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM
14 Pol Espargaro Repsol Honda
15 Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM
16 Maverick Vinales Aprilia Racing
17 Alex Marquez LCR Honda
18 Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM
19 Joan Mir Suzuki
NC Darryn Binder WithU Yamaha
NC Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Ducati
NC Jorge Martin Pramac Ducati
NC Tetsuta Nagashima LCR Honda Idemitsu
NC Luca Marini VR46 Ducati

from Autocar India

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