How is the title race looking with nine races to go?

by | Jul 29, 2022 | Aprilia, Ducati, motoGP News, Triumph, Yamaha

How is the title race looking with nine races to go?

Quartararo holds a 21-point lead over Aleix Espargaro, with Bagnaia 66 points down in fourth despite taking three wins in 2022

Not that we needed it, but the Dutch TT was a reminder that anything can happen in MotoGP™. Heading to The Cathedral of Speed, World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) boasted a 34-point lead over Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) after winning for a third time this season at the Sachsenring.

However, that Turn 5 crash and Espargaro’s subsequent heroic comeback means heading into the summer break, the Frenchman’s advantage was cut to just 21 points. Dutch TT race winner Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) won his third race of the season – Ducati’s first at Assen since Casey Stoner’s 2008 triumph – and is now 66 points down on Quartararo, with Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) 58 points off top spot in P3.

So what does this all mean for the Championship when the riders return at the British GP for the remaining nine races of the season? Well, Assen saw a shift in momentum. The pendulum swung Espargaro’s way for the first time since the Spaniard beat Quartararo to the podium at the French GP. From Le Mans to Germany, El Diablo was able to finish P2 in Italy and win both the Catalan and German GPs in commanding style, stretching his lead from just four points to those aforementioned 34. 

Uncatchable? Some thought so. Given the form the reigning King of MotoGP™ was showing and with the following two tracks coming in the form of Assen and Silverstone – both circuits he won at in 2021 – things were looking a tad grim for the chasing pack. Especially for Pecco, who had suffered his third DNF in four when he slipped out of second place at the Sachsenring. The Italian’s deficit sat at an uncomfortable 91 points. A mountain and then some to climb.


But an uncharacteristic “rookie” error from Quartararo in the Netherlands has blown the title race back open. Pecco is now a three time winner in 2022, like Quartararo and Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), but his four DNFs have so far hindered his Championship attack. But the fact is when Pecco has been on the podium, it’s been on the top step. If a bit of consistency can be found, there is no doubt Bagnaia has the pace to make life difficult for Quartararo and Espargaro in the upcoming races. Clawing back large hauls of points in the latter half of a campaign is something we’ve seen before from Pecco, too. 

Espargaro’s historic Argentina victory remains his one and only win of his Grand Prix career, but that run of four consecutive P3s has kept him well in the hunt. If it weren’t for Quartararo taking Espargaro into the gravel with him at Assen’s tight Turn 5 left-hander, the gap would be considerably smaller. But on the other side of the coin, that P15 to P4 recovery will have injected Espargaro and Aprilia with yet more confidence that they can turn up to any circuit in the world and be one of the quickest packages on the grid. If not the quickest. 

Confidence is racing through the Noale factory’s veins, especially now Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) has claimed his first podium with the Italian outfit. Top Gun will be a crucial weapon in Espargaro’s arsenal in the next few months. And at this moment in time, Quartararo doesn’t have that with Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) struggling for form.

Zarco’s name isn’t really being mentioned in the title race, despite the Frenchman sitting ahead of Pecco in the overall standings. The disappointing P13 in Assen came after a good run of results that saw him pick up three podiums in six races, but that illustrious maiden premier class win still eludes Zarco. Still, the number 5 shouldn’t be ruled out.

And then there’s another three time 2022 winner: Bastianini. It’s been a spikey campaign for the Italian sophomore, having finished a best of P8 in the races he hasn’t won. Bastianini remains a title contender, but like Pecco, consistency needs to be unearthed – and quickly – if Quartararo and Espargaro are going to be reeled in. 

Heading into the final nine races of the campaign, the top five in the World Championship look like this:

1. Fabio Quartararo – 172 points (3 wins, 3 podiums)
2. Aleix Espargaro – 151 points (1 win, 4 podiums)
3. Johann Zarco – 114 points (0 wins, 4 podiums)
4. Francesco Bagnaia – 106 points (3 wins, 0 podiums)
5. Enea Bastianini – 105 points (3 wins, 0 podiums)

67 points splitting the top five, 225 points left on the table. The 2022 title race is on!

VideoPass allows you to watch every single second of every single sector LIVE and OnDemand

Read more here


2021 Ducati SuperSport 950/S

2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 S (Ducati Red) (Ducati/)UpsUpdated electronics with Bosch six-axis IMU at the controlsNew windshield and seat enhance comfortA versatile and practical everyday machine with fantastic composure on the trackDownsLost a few horsepower due to...

2021 Kawasaki Z900RS/Café

2021 Kawasaki Z900RS. (Kawasaki/)UpsClassic replica styling of the original Z1Modern chassis, suspension, brakes, wheelsDownsUnder 100 hp fromSuspension a bit softVerdictRetro classic fever caught on big with the motorcycle industry in the latter half of the past...

Minibikes Draw Maxi-Attention at Barrett-Jackson Auction

This Honda CB175 was one of many small-displacement bikes sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, January 22-30, 2022. Photos by the author. The Barrett-Jackson automobile auction is an annual extravaganza with a major stop staged at Westworld in...

Wolfman Peak Tail Bag WP | Gear Review

The Wolfman Peak Tail Bag WP is a 6.5L waterproof, rack-mounted motorcycle tail bag with an 840D nylon exterior and RF-welded seams. MSRP is $169.99. (Story and photos by Moshe K. Levy, aka Moto Mouth Moshe) Wolfman’s Peak Tail Bag WP provides a compact but versatile...

Kawasaki Ninja and Z EV models Spark a New Era

Created to sit proudly within the 125cc class of current motorcycles, the new Kawasaki EV machines will be available in Ninja and Z family styles as Z e-1 and Ninja e-1, with both able to boast mid-capacity type chassis and running gear specifications delivering...

Can-Am and Road Warrior Foundation Sponsor Veterans on Cross-Country Ride

The 2022 Road Warrior Ride, sponsored by Can-Am, ended at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Columbus, Ohio. During the week of Sept. 23-30, a group of veterans seeking adventure, camaraderie, and healing rode Can-Am Spyders from Florida to Ohio, covering over...

Triumph Extends Moto2 Partnership Until 2029

Triumph Motorcycles has signed a new contract to remain an Exclusive Engine Supplier for the FIM Moto2™ World Championship for another five seasons. Triumph is developing a full new race gearbox, which will debut in the 2025 season, alongside improvements for the 2024...

Form And Function: Ashley Watson’s Waxed Cotton Jackets for Motorcyclists

From the green hills of the Central Hemisphere comes Ashley Watson. Ashley is a designer who has been itching to update the laminated fabric of traditional motorcycle gear into a more classic, sustainable choice  – and he’s gone and done it with waxed cotton. ...

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Cruiser Review

Royal Enfield’s 2023 Super Meteor 650, launched internationally earlier this year, has finally come Stateside. (Royal Enfield/)Royal Enfield has released a dizzying amount of new models over the last 18 months but if there’s one model that is tailor-made and...

PATENTS: HONDA’s designs for ‘traffic monitoring’ cameras

The Japanese factory has just filed patents for a new camera system, which collects and deciphers information about the traffic ahead. Honda may not have released any bikes with radar technology just yet, but that doesn’t mean its not serious about technology that’ll...