By Will Burgess
This Sunday, a Champion could be crowned.
After a self-admitted poor performance in Thailand followed by a DNF wipeout in Australia, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha), who had previously been leading the 2022 MotoGP season at 91 points, has now moved to 14 points behind Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo).
It is now shaping up to be a showdown between P1 “Pecco” at 233 points, and P2 “El Diablo” at 219, while this Sunday may also see Bagnaia awarded World Champion if Quartararo doesn’t make the podium at Sepang International, as he simply won’t be able to make the points difference to catch up this season.
MotoGP.com has entertained a number of additional ways Bagnaia might play as Champion in the Valencia season finale:
Bagnaia [could become] World Champion in Malaysia if…—MotoGP.com
– He wins and Quartararo doesn’t finish on the podium
– He finishes P2, Quartararo doesn’t finish better than P7 and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) doesn’t win
– He finishes P3, Quartararo doesn’t finish better than P11 and Espargaro doesn’t finish on the podium
– He finishes P4, Quartararo doesn’t finish better than P14 and Espargaro doesn’t finish on the podium
– He finishes P5, Quartararo fails to score any points and Espargaro doesn’t finish on the podium
To add some additional pressure, should Pecco make Champion in 2022 this would mark the first Italian victory since 2009 when “The Doctor” Valentino Rosssi took the title last. Meanwhile the Ducati team last won a MotoGP World Championship in 2007—with Casey Stoner—and would undeniably shatter a practically fifteen year dominance of Japanese superbike engineering claiming victory since.
It just goes to show, even in 2022, you don’t need a Doctor to find a healthy sense of competition in the MotoGP circuit!
Cover photo: The Sepang International Circuit of Sepang District in Selangor, Malaysia.
Will Burgess is a journalist with Adrenaline Powersports Mag