Bagnaia wins maiden MotoGP title as Ducati end 15-year drought

Nov 07, 2022 322

Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia won his maiden MotoGP world championship at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix on Sunday after Fabio Quartararo failed to overhaul him in the standings. Defending champion Quartararo was 23 points behind Bagnaia going into the final race. The Yamaha rider needed nothing less than a victory to leapfrog the Italian but finished fourth in a race won by Suzuki's Alex Rins.

Despite an early collision, Bagnaia finished ninth, enough to retain his lead in the championship and give Ducati their first title since Casey Stoner won it in 2007, ending 15 years of dominance by Japanese manufacturers. "The hardest race of my life! My mission was to be in the top five... but I started to struggle after three-four laps, the front of my bike was impossible to control," Bagnaia said. "But the most important thing is we won... we are world champions. It's a really great day."

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