Born on 14 January 1997 in Turin, Italy
Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati failed to make it to the chequered flag five times this season, but fortunately for the Italian he also made it to the chequered flag ahead of his rivals on seven occasions to ensure he was crowned 2022 FIM MotoGP Grand Prix World Champion!
The twenty-five-year-old won the Moto2 crown in 2018 after six seasons racing Grands Prix and following a couple of steady learning years in the premier MotoGP class he finally announced his arrival as a World Championship contender in 2021 when he took four wins on his way to second overall.
His 2022 campaign kicked off with a DNF in Qatar at the start of March and two weeks later he picked up a solitary point for fifteenth in Indonesia – hardly an auspicious start to the season.
After breaking the top five twice in the next three rounds Bagnaia topped the podium in Spain and Italy, although these victories were sandwiched around a DNF at Le Mans.
Back-to-back no-scores in Catalunya and Germany appeared to drop him out of contention and he sat sixth in the standings before embarking on a run of four consecutive wins in Holland, Great Britain, Austria and San Marino followed by a second-placed finish at Aragon which lifted him to second, ten points behind France’s defending champion Fabio Quartararo – Yamaha.
Bagnaia’s hard work seemed to be in vain when he failed to finish in Japan, though back-to-back thirds in Thailand and Australia – coupled with Quartararo failing to score at both – gave him a fourteen-point lead with just two rounds to go.
Victory in Malaysia extended his advantage to twenty-three points, and he sealed the deal with a ninth when the series signed off in Valencia in early November.
FIM Moto2 Grand Prix World Champion: 2018
FIM MotoGP Grand Prix World Champion: 2022
PECCO’S PERFECT YEAR
Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) claimed the 2018 FIM Moto2 World Championship title with a race to spare, claiming his twelfth podium finish of an incredibly consistent season at the eighteenth round of nineteen in Malaysia, having already posted eight wins.
‘Pecco’ is no stranger to making history in his short career, having famously scored the first win for Indian factory Mahindra in the Moto3 class in 2016 at the TT Circuit Assen. Another win at Sepang put him fourth in the overall standings that year and marked the 21-year-old out as a man to watch when he made the step up to Moto2 in 2017.
Bagnaia’s first Moto2 podium came at Jerez in round four and was followed by three more as he finished as the Rookie of the Year in fifth overall. Back with Sky Racing Team VR46 for 2018, the Italian started the season on the top step with a first Moto2 win in Qatar and followed up in Texas and Le Mans to make it three from the opening five races.
Miguel Oliveira’s (KTM) victory at Mugello brought him to within a single point of Bagnaia and the pair traded wins at Assen, Brno and Austria as the championship battle turned into a two-rider affair. However, further wins at Misano, Buriram and Motegi moved Pecco clear, as he picked up points in every single race.
After missing his first chance to take the title at Phillip Island, third place in Malaysia was enough to make Bagnaia the second Italian rider to win the FIM Moto2 World Championship, following on from Franco Morbidelli last year.
World title – 2018