Ducati one step closer to MotoGP triple crown
The recent 2022 Petronas Grand Prix of Malaysia MotoGP round at Sepang saw Ducati clinching the team’s world title.
For the second year in a row now, Ducati has been a dominant force in MotoGP with this back-to-back team title wins as well as the constructor’s title for the past three years. This time around, they’re closer than ever to winning the ultimate MotoGP triple crown and that’s all up to their factory rider, Francesco Bagnaia, as they head to the final round of the year.
*Image credit: Ducati
Bagnaia vs Quartararo, Ducati vs Yamaha
The battle for the rider’s world championship crown is now a two-horse race between Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s defending world champion, Fabio Quartararo.
Last weekend’s race at Sepang saw one heck of a nail-biting race between Francesco Bagnaia and Gresini Racing MotoGP’s Enea Bastianini who also happens to be Bagnaia’s future teammate come 2023. Bagnaia got the win, but it wasn’t enough to clinch the rider’s world championship title as Fabio Quartararo crossed the chequered flag in third place.
The gap in points between these two is 23 points, and the last race will offer only 25 points max to anyone who crosses the finishing line in first place.
*Image credit: MotoGP
14th or higher for Bagnaia to seal the deal
The final MotoGP race of 2022 will take place in Valencia, Spain on November 6th and it’ll be a tall mountain to climb for Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo to defend his championship title as Bagnaia concluded the Sepang round with a lead of 23 points.
This means that in order for Bagnaia to become the MotoGP world champion (and Ducati’s dream of winning the elusive triple crown), the Ducati factory rider only has to finish the race in 14th or higher. The only way for Quartararo to win the title is if he wins the race in Valencia and Bagnaia crashes out or finishes out of the points (below 15th).
It’s been a long wait since the last time a Ducati rider was crowned world champion, which was Casey Stoner way back in 2007. That 15-year wait might just end next month if and only if Bagnaia plays his cards right.
*Image credit: MotoGP
The tension is higher than ever, but the odds are in Ducati’s favour. But then again, this is MotoGP and anything can happen. Remember 2006 when the late Nicky Hayden secured his first-ever world championship title in the last race after Valentino Rossi crashed out?