Francesco Bagnaia confirms himself as MotoGP World Championship leader when there is only one race left until the end of the 2022 season. The Ducati Lenovo Team rider increased his championship lead over Fabio Quartararo to 23 points thanks to another extraordinary victory in the Malaysian GP, held this afternoon at the Sepang International Circuit.
Ninth at the start, the rider from Turin was the protagonist of an incredible start, which saw him taking second place already at the first corner, behind fellow Ducati rider Jorge Martin. On lap seven, however, the Pramac Racing Team rider fell, leaving the race lead to Bagnaia, who then had to hold off a fierce Enea Bastianini. The fight between the two compatriots eventually saw the Ducati Lenovo Team rider triumph and thus achieve his seventh win this season and Ducati's 70th top-class victory. With Bastianini second, the Borgo Panigale manufacturer also brings to 31 the number of podiums scored this year in MotoGP.
On the other hand, Jack Miller finished the race in sixth place. Twenty-first at the end of the first lap after starting on the fifth row, the Australian rider was the protagonist of an incredible comeback that saw him fight for fifth place with Marc Marquez on the final lap. After today's race, Miller occupies fifth position in the overall standings.
In addition to Francesco Bagnaia's success, the Ducati Lenovo Team was able to celebrate another important milestone today: in fact, the official Borgo Panigale team secured the MotoGP team title for the second consecutive year.
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 1st
"I think today's start was probably one of the best of my career. After moving up to second, I tried to manage the race as best I could. In the beginning, Jorge Martin was pushing really hard, but I felt that the rear tyre did not allow me to keep the same pace as him. I stayed calm and waited. The most difficult moment was when Enea Bastianini passed me. When I saw that I was faster, I got back in front and did everything I could to get the win. Today was important since Quartararo was third. There are only two points left to win the title, and in Valencia, we have a really good chance since Fabio will have to win the race, while I can afford even only 14th place, I want to approach the race as if it were a normal race weekend and do my best as always."
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 6th
"Racing in Malaysia is always difficult, and today it was even more challenging starting so far back. After the start, I found myself sandwiched in the first corner, finishing 21st. I kept calm and made several overtakes, trying not to make any mistakes. I managed to get behind Marc Marquez on the last lap and even tried to pass him at Turn 4. I am satisfied with my performance today, also considering the condition of my leg after the Phillip Island crash and yesterday's crash in Q1. Also, it was a great day for the team: we won the team title for the second year in a row, and I am proud to be part of this success."
Luigi Dall'Igna (General Manager of Ducati Corse)
"Today was a tough race: Pecco was very good, and he won above all thanks to his incredible start. He was able to hold off a really competitive Enea, and it was a good challenge between the two. Now we have to try to keep our feet on the ground. We must get to Valencia with the same concentration we have had so far. On the other hand, Jack made an incredible comeback, and if he had been further ahead, he could have achieved something more. Today we won the team title, an additional achievement to what is turning out to be an incredible season. I'm overjoyed because all the guys deserve it."
The Ducati Lenovo Team will return to the track from 4th-6th November in Valencia for the Valencia GP, the final round of the 2022 season that will award the 2022 riders' world title.