Moto GP – Malaysian Grand Prix: Bagnaia winner at Sepang but not yet crowned, Fabio Quartararo limits the damage

The title will be played in Valencia! Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) won the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday after a big battle with his future teammate Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing). But the Italian is “only” 23 points ahead of Fabio Quartararo before the final race of the 2022 season. The Niçois fought like hell to get on the podium after starting from 12th place. It will take a spectacular scenario in two weeks to see the French cap a second row crown, but he responded to Sepang.

Malaysian Grand Prix

Falls, broken finger, weather: Smell of chaos in Sepang

A DAY AGO

It’s a race of giants which we were entitled to, even though the two protagonists started from very far on the grid. In qualifying, Pecco was dropped to 9th, “El Diablo” to 12th. The first, leader for the first time in his life, admitted “felt the pressure“. The second, outgoing champion, declared”want to have fun” and no longer calculate the title. The two made a supersonic start to find themselves in 2nd and 6th place respectively at the first turn.

Bastianini as the spoilsport

The fall of Jorge Martin (Pramac-Ducati) after 6 loops increased the pressure on the contenders. Bagnaia took part at the head of operations, Quartararo was on the podium and 23 points separated them at this moment. It took 25 to cross the checkered flag for the Turinese to beat his competitor to the post.

Pecco Bagnaia, Fabio Quartararo, Getty Image

Credit: Eurosport

Then Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) got involved in the fight for victory at Sepang. Promoted at Ducati alongside Pecco next season, the Italian made life difficult for him, a few weeks after the instructions from the Borgo Panigale team caused a lot of ink to flow in MotoGP. Testing his mind, he got into his wheel, swerving from his trajectory to make him feel his presence before overtaking him on the 10th lap.

Quartararo fought back like hell

Bagnaia, leader for 18 points, could have settled for second place, especially since Quartararo, surrounded by Ducati, saw Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) swoop down on him. But he took risks, worked meticulously in the saddle of Bastianini to take the best three longer loops. Pecco signed its 7th victory in 2022, the first since San Marino on September 4.

The Frenchman resisted Bezzecchi’s comeback and managed his race well. He was promised the worst in Malaysia, with the sequence of two straight lines and hairpins. He responded without error. This podium, he had not climbed since the Austrian Grand Prix in August. The Niçois says that it will take an incredible and improbable combination of circumstances to retain his title in two weeks (imperative victory and 1 point maximum for Bagnaia). But he did not say his last word for all that. Roll on Sunday in Valencia!

Malaysian Grand Prix

Bagnaia on the mat, Quartararo, 12th, does not take advantage of it

YESTERDAY AT 08:04

Malaysian Grand Prix

Martin leading practice 3, Bagnaia on the ground and behind Quartararo, 7th

YESTERDAY AT 06:51

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