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MotoGP: Fabio Quartaro crowned 2021 world champion as Bagania crashes at Emilia Romagna GP

Yamaha factory rider Fabio Quartaro is the 2021 MotoGP World Champion after Francesco Bagnia was knocked out of the lead in the final stage of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.


Fabio Quartaro is crowned 2021 MotoGP World Champion

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Fabio Quartaro is crowned 2021 MotoGP World Champion

Yamaha factory rider Fabio Quartaro has been crowned 2021 MotoGP World Champion after seeing Francesco Bagnaya run out of lead in a spectacular final leg of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. While Honda’s Marc Márquez won the race, Quartaro finished fourth, but was able to extend his lead in the championship standings, allowing him to take his first World Championship title. Bagania need to score three more points on the Quartaro in their race to keep the title fight alive.

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Francesco Bagnia crashes with just five laps to go to seal the world title for Fabio Quartaro

Quartaro qualified for the Emilia Romagna GP in 15th place, making their fight for the world title slim in this race. Ryder worked his way up the grid over the next 27 laps to finish in the top order. Meanwhile, Bagnia started on pole and looked well on her way to winning the race. But a late crash put an end to the Ducati rider’s hopes, while Quartaro became world champion at just 22 years old.

The race started with Jack Miller riding a faster Ducati off the line, but Bagnaya managed to hit the brakes at Turn 1 and held the lead ahead of his teammate. KTM’s Miguel Oliveira became a threat to Miller in the opening round but Ryder managed to move back from P to P2. However, Marquez had an impressive start in closing Miller and went from P7 to P4 and then P3 as he passed Oliveira at Turn 8. Meanwhile, a slow start for Quartaro meant he moved from 15th to 17th.

Nevertheless, the rider found his rhythm and was quick to take down LCR’s Alex Marquez and Takaki Nakagami, as well as Johann Zarko. Both Ducatis decided to stay out on the track for longer periods of time and delayed the replacement of the hard front tyre, despite the freezing conditions. Miller was the first to crash on lap 4, while defending from Marquez who now moved to P2.

At this stage, Quartaro pushed his line up to P12, while Marquez was now putting pressure on Bagania with a margin of just 0.2 between the race leaders. Meanwhile, Pole Espargaro was running in third place, but with a margin of 2s on the top two riders. By lap 9, Quartaro moved up to P9 and set a much faster lap time than the riders in front of him. The rider was able to reach P5 on lap 19 after struggling with Alex Espargaro on Aprilia. And it looked like the best that Quartaro would be able to achieve with a margin of 8 between himself and Oliveira in the race.

However, Bagania was under heavy pressure from the Marquez. The Honda rider was trying to reach the top spot with a gap of almost a second till the 23rd lap. But Bagnia’s hopes of continuing the title fight ended with his crash on the next lap as he lost his front at the same corner as Miller. This allowed Marquez to claim his third win of the season, and Pol Espargaro got his first podium over Honda as he moved up to second. Quartaro also went up to the podium after Oliveira crashed in the latter, but was defeated by Enya Bastianini, who claimed a third narrowly ahead of the world champions.

But fourth place was enough for Quartaro to become world champion, and the first French rider to do so in the premier class. It is also Yamaha’s first world championship since 2015.

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