Championship Fight: Yamaha’s Quartararo Vs Ducati’s Bagnaia
This weekend at the Gp of Aragon would be the 15th round of the MotoGp 2022 season. The fight is heating up between reigning world champion #20 Fabio Quartararo and #63 Francesco Bagnaia. Though the 2022 season started in the same fashion for Bagnaia as in 2021, he played the catch up part quite early in 2022 by mid season.
After the first 10 rds., Bagnaia was on 81 pts and trailing Quartararo by a whopping 91 pts. Then followed it up a string of 4 wins on the trot to score a perfect 100 in the 4 races and got his tally to 181 pts. Meanwhile, Quartararo has had a tough time in those 4 races with a DNF, 8th, 2nd & 5th. This meant that Bagnaia clawed back 61 of that deficit.
In the last 9 races, Bagnaia had either won the race or crashed with 6 wins & 3 crashes. 2 of those crashes came when he was on course for an easy P2 at Le Mans (FRA) and Sachsenring (GER), while he was taken out by LCR Honda’s Nakagami in Catalunya (ESP). Just 30 pts deficit with 6 races to go, one would say it is advantage to Bagnai and Ducati as Quartararo and Yamaha have to fight across the bunch of the Ducati customer bikes as well.
In the last 3 races, Quartararo managed only one podium to the 3 wins for Bagnaia. With almost 6 out of 8 Ducatis on the grid regularly featuring in the battle for the top 5 finishes, it is not that easy for the reigning world champion to defend his crown. The rich run of form of the VR 46 academy rider can be seen below as he took 50% of the race wins in the last 20 Moto Gp races, such has been his dominance over the field. His run as shown below started at Aragon Gp last year – which quite an ominous sign for the things to show up in the upcoming Rd. 15 of the 2022 Moto Gp.
Unlike the 2-rider battle for 2021, Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro joined in the mix and made it a 3 way battle in 2022 by hanging in there and putting up consistent performances. Though he has taken just a single win this season (his only win the Moto Gp class till date), he is 3 pts behind Banaia and 33 behind Quartararo. He is yet to register a DNF in the 2022 season and the only rider to score points in all the 14 races.
Other MotoGp News
Misano Test – post Rd. 14, the teams and riders took to the Misano circuit again for the official 2 days test, wherein we saw the first glimpses of what is in store for the 2023 season. Yamaha had a really positive outing with the increased engine power, and also topping the timesheets across the 2 days.
Marc Marquez returned to action for the first time after Rd. 8 at Mugello in Italy. He got on-board the Honda RC213V in what is a critical 2 days test for the Japanese manufacturer. Though he missed the action for just over 3 months, the 8-times Moto Gp Champion was the quickest of the Honda riders over the 2 days, show how much Honda missed his services.
Rider Line Up for MotoGp 2023
Since our last update on the driver line up, things have moved pretty quickly in the moto gp silly season for 2023. 21 of the available 22 seats have now been confirmed, with the latest being that of LCR Honda confirming Taka Nakagami for 2023. Other announcement over the last week was that of VR46 racing confirming the retention of their current line up of Bezzecchi & Marini. Only 1 seat now left at the re-branded GAS GAS Tech 3 factory racing team. News is that the current Moto 2 leader, Augusto Fernandez, is in hot contention to take that seat. The team’s current rider and reigning Moto 2 champion, Remy Gardener, set to join WSBK series for 2023.