Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia fired his Ducati to an historic MotoGP title on Sunday, in entrance of 170,380 followers on the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain.
He turns into the primary Italian to win the premier class because the nice Valentino Rossi in 2009, the primary Ducati rider to take the crown since Casey Stoner in 2007, and the primary Italian to clinch the title on an Italian bike because the legendary Giacomo Agostini, 5 a long time in the past in 1972.
Just a number of quick months in the past, such a victory appeared extra fantasy than chance.
Going into the summer time break the Italian trailed Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo by 91 factors, however a collection of disastrous showings by the 2021 champion and masterful wins by Bagnaia – seven in complete throughout the season – noticed the hole evaporate.
Quartararo wanted to win in Valencia and hope Bagnaia scored fewer than two factors. The Yamaha rider launched into the race decided to satisfy his facet of the cut price.
A breathless first few laps noticed he and Bagnaia locked collectively, exchanging locations with shut passes. At one level the 2 bikes clashed, sending one of many Ducati’s aerodynamic wings spinning into the gravel.
Bagnaia then settled into the pack behind his rival, who was struggling to comply with the leaders. Around him riders skittled out of the race, with Marc Marquez, Jack Miller and Johan Zarco amongst these despatched sprawling.
Suzuki’s Alex Rins ultimately took the win. The Japanese manufacturing unit introduced a shock withdrawal from MotoGP racing earlier this yr, and as a final waltz this was as flawlessly executed as they may have wished.
Rins, with footage of his Suzuki teammates on his helmet and good luck messages from Suzuki followers adorning his staff’s storage, crossed the road forward of KTM’s Brad Binder and Ducati’s Jorge Martin.
Quartararo slumped onto the tank of his Yamaha as he crossed the road in fourth. Bagnaia’s ninth place was greater than sufficient to make him champion.
“It’s the best day of my life,” Bagnaia informed MotoGP.com in Parc Fermé.
“I was struggling a lot. My mission was to be in the top five, but I didn’t know why, after the first three or four laps I started to struggle very much with the front of the bike, it was impossible to control. But then the most important thing is that we won, and we are the world champion and it’s a really great day, I’m very happy.”