Bagnaia wins MotoGP championship, Miller crashes out of finale

Francesco Bagnaia. Picture:

Francesco Bagnaia has won the 2022 MotoGP world championship by finishing a nervous ninth in a Valencia season finale from which factory Ducati team-mate Jack Miller crashed out.

Bagnaia lost a wing when he made contact on just the second lap with his only remaining rival for the title, Fabio Quartararo, by which time eventual race winner Alex Rins had already hit the front.

Rins would, in fact, lead all the way from the start until the chequered flag waved on Lap 27 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo despite qualifying fifth, giving Suzuki its last victory before it leaves MotoGP.

Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder made his way to second place and Jorge Martin completed the podium on a Prima Pramac Ducati.

Behind the #42 GSX-RR as they ran up to the Turn 2 braking zone for the first time had been pole-sitter Martin and Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), while Marc Marquez emerged fourth and Quartararo fifth.

Quartararo followed Marquez to make a daring move on Miller into fourth position at Turn 8, but the Queenslander forced him wide when he hit back on Lap 2 at Turn 2.

Bagnaia literally hit the #20 YZR-M1 when he took advantage of that pass and spent two laps ahead of Quartararo, costing the Frenchman time to try and get into the first position which he needed in order to have any chance of being crowned champion for this year.

However, Bagnaia would come to lose ground as he circulated with a Desmosedici which was missing its right wing due to that contact.

Miller had passed Marquez for third place by the time the Repsol Honda crashed out on Lap 10 at Turn 8, meaning Quartararo inherited fourth position.

Binder was on a charge and passed Quartararo for fourth on Lap 18, then Miller for third on Lap 23, just after which the Queenslander hit the deck at Turn 11.

The #33 RC16 rider then overtook Martin on the penultimate lap but ran out of time to catch Rins (Suzuki Ecstar), who never got much more than a second clear of the field and ultimately prevailed by 0.396s.

Martin was third and Quartararo fourth, from Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM), Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar), and Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Ducati).

Enea Bastianini (Gresini Ducati) finished eighth after a cautious Bagnaia left a big gap for his future team-mate at Turn 2 on Lap 22, with Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha) rounding out the top 10.

Remy Gardner scored three points by finishing 13th, one position behind Tech3 KTM team-mate Raul Fernandez, in his final MotoGP race for the foreseeable future.

Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Ducati) was among those to crash out, while neither Aprilia made the finish and it appeared that technical problems were to blame for the demise of both its riders, Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro.

The final world championship standings read Bagnaia on 265 points, Quartararo on 248, and Bastianini third on 219, with Espargaro slipping to fourth at seven further back.

Miller finishes the season in fifth and Gardner 23rd, the latter one point behind Fernandez.

Gardner is now off to World Superbikes but much of the field is back on-track in Valencia on Tuesday for a one-day post-season test.

Race results: Valencia MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 41:22.250
2 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.396
3 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Prima Pramac Racing Ducati +1.059
4 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +1.911
5 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +7.122
6 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +7.735
7 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +8.524
8 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +12.038
9 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +14.441
10 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +14.676
11 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +17.655
12 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +24.870
13 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +26.546
14 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +26.610
15 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +31.819
16 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha +1’28.870
17 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +1 lap
DNF 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +5 laps
DNF 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Prima Pramac Racing Ducati +12 laps
DNF 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia +12 laps
DNF 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +18 laps
DNF 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +23 laps
DNF 40 Darryn BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha +23 laps
DNF 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia +24 laps

Race winner: 27 laps

Riders’ championship

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 265
5 Jack MILLER AUS 189
6 Brad BINDER RSA 188
7 Alex RINS ESP 173
8 Johann ZARCO FRA 166
9 Jorge MARTIN ESP 152
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 149
11 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 122
12 Luca MARINI ITA 120
13 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 113
14 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA 111
15 Joan MIR ESP 87
17 Alex MARQUEZ ESP 50
18 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 48
21 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 15
23 Remy GARDNER AUS 13
24 Darryn BINDER RSA 12
26 Stefan BRADL GER 2
27 Michele PIRRO ITA 0
28 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA 0
29 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA JPN 0
30 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 0
31 Kazuki WATANABE JPN 0

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