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5 months ago

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Bagnaia Defends MotoGP Title, Caps Season with a Win

Francesco 'Pecco' Bagnaia successfully defended his MotoGP title for Ducati Lenovo Team with a win in Sunday's 27-lap feature race in Valencia, Spain.

Pecco Bagnaia is 2023 MotoGP World Champion. Ducati photo

Pecco Bagnaia is 2023 MotoGP World Champion. Ducati photo

But it wasn't a sure thing.
Heading into Sunday's last race of the 2023 season he held a slim 14-point lead over challenger Jorge Martin, Prima Pramac Racing, who won Saturday's Sprint race while Bagnaia finished fifth.
Pecco's championship was secured when Martin crashed on lap six, ending his day. Bagnaia took over the lead on lap 19 when KTM's Jack Miller crashed on Turn 11.

Bagnaia took over first place in Sunday's race when Jack Miller crashed. Ducati photo

Bagnaia took over first place in Sunday's race when Jack Miller crashed. Ducati photo

“I’m super happy, more than this is impossible, also because we won the race so it’s fantastic," Bagnaia said. "I want to say a big thanks to all the team, they did an amazing job, from Barcelona, it was quite tough for us, but we deserved this title more than anyone. I didn’t see anything behind me, I was thinking Jorge was still in the race, and I was quite scared about that. I just was thinking of winning the race because it was the best way to finish the season.”
Bagnaia earned seven wins in 20 GPs to go along with four victories in Saturday Sprint races. 
This caps another perfect season for Ducati with MotoGP, WorldSBK, and WorldSSP titles.

Ducati dominates the world again. Ducati photo

Ducati dominates the world again. Ducati photo

“One year ago I remember that together with fans from all over the world we celebrated the MotoGP and WorldSBK world titles, being overwhelmed by joy and enthusiasm," noted Claudio Domenicali, Ducati CEO. "Today we find ourselves once again in a condition of extraordinary happiness, but at the same time I like to define this as the 'victory of awareness': that of being at this moment the best in the world in racing. Pecco has had an incredible season and today he rewrites our history again, becoming the first Ducati rider to be two-time World Champion in MotoGP."
Bagnaia finished with 467 points to Martin's 428. Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team was third with 329 points for an all-Ducati top three.
Ducati riders won 17 of 20 GPs this season.

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