The war brewing as Ducati nears its ultimate MotoGP prize
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The war brewing as Ducati nears its ultimate MotoGP prize

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OPINION: Francesco Bagnaia has put one hand firmly on the 2022 MotoGP world title after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix, and the permutations are weighted heavily in his favour heading to the Valencia finale. But as Ducati stands on the cusp of something it has longed for since 2007, the Sepang race also hinted towards a future problem…

On any other day, it would have been a champion's ride. Francesco Bagnaia’s stunning launch from ninth to second at the opening corner of last Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix put him firmly in contention to win the grand prix.

Had Pramac poleman Jorge Martin not crashed out, perhaps second was the best he could do. But once the Spaniard had fallen out of contention on lap seven at Turn 5, Bagnaia engaged a level seldom seen by the mistake-prone Italian. Absorbing huge pressure from Enea Bastianini, the Ducati rider barely put a foot wrong as he snatched his seventh – and most important – win of the 2022 season.

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