Francesco Bagnaia and Ducati 2023 MotoGP World Champions
- For the second consecutive year the Ducati Lenovo Team rider confirms himself as World Champion thanks to a win in the Valencia GP
History repeats itself: Francesco Bagnaia is the 2023 MotoGP World Champion. Thanks to a win in the Valencia GP season finale, held this afternoon at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Cheste, the Ducati Lenovo Team rider secured his second world title in the premier class. Having made history for being the first Italian rider to win in MotoGP with an Italian motorcycle last year, the Ducati Lenovo Team rider has now written another important chapter in motorcycle racing history by reconfirming himself on the top of the world with his Desmosedici GP.
For the Bagnaia-Ducati duo it has been another emotional journey with 7 successes achieved in the 20 GPs and 4 victories in the Saturday Sprint races, introduced this year in the event program. From his first win in the inaugural Grand Prix at Portimão, to an unforgettable success in Jerez, to triumph in front of his home crowd at Mugello, up to his great wins in the Netherlands and Austria,
Pecco and his Desmosedici GP’s march towards a second title seemed to be unstoppable, but the dramatic accident at Barcelona, from which the rider from Chivasso fortunately emerged with bruises but no fractures, put a halt to his rise.
With Jorge Martín increasingly in tune with his Pramac Racing team Desmosedici GP, the fight for the world title soon became a head-to-head between the two Ducati riders. However, Bagnaia's response did not take long to arrive and with another spectacular victory in Indonesia, coming back from thirteenth position on the grid, the Ducati Lenovo Team rider resumed his climb to the top of the World Championship.
Today’s exciting finale at Valencia saw Bagnaia start from first on the grid following a penalty for Viñales (Aprilia) in the warm-up and the rider from Chivasso made the most of his advantage with a great start. At Turn 1 of lap 2 Martin made a late braking move on Pecco to try and take the lead, but they touched, and the Spaniard went wide. Martin then crashed out on lap 6, bringing an end tothe title battle. Bagnaia inherited the lead on lap 19 when Miller (KTM) crashed at Turn 11.
Teammate Enea Bastianini had another unfortunate race at Valencia. Starting 14th on the grid, Bastianini’s race lasted just 9 laps after he crashed out at Turn 1.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1, Ducati Lenovo Team)
“I’m super happy, more than this is impossible, also because we won the race so it’s fantastic. 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.”
Enea Bastianini (#23, Ducati Lenovo Team)
“My season ended like it started, it was very difficult today, my speed was not bad but my confidence with the front tyre was too strange, and I entered Turn 1 like the lap before, probably a bit faster to close the gap with Raul, but I lost the front and crashed. It was an unlucky day and an unlucky result, now Tuesday we start with a new adventure. It was a nice battle between Pecco and Jorge for the title, at the end Pecco remained calm, Jorge was a bit more stressed and made two errors, so I’m happy for my teammate and I hope to fight next year with him.”
Claudio Domenicali, Ducati CEO:
“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. 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. I also want to congratulate Jorge for having ignited the duel for the title and Bez, who was part of the World Championship challenge for a long time. The podium in the MotoGP overall classification rewards three Ducati riders and this is the greatest and most evident demonstration of our supremacy in the top two-wheel competition. Confirming ourselves at these levels after the fantastic 2022 season was a complex challenge, which we welcomed with passion and pride. The competence and dedication with which everybody has worked during this season have allowed us to improve on last year's results, adding the Supersport World Titles to the MotoGP and Superbike World Titles. To all the women and men of Ducati and Ducati Corse I want to say that I couldn't be prouder, while to the Ducatisti I promise that not even this time will we be satisfied, but we will work to win again."
Luigi Dall'Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“We are truly delighted! Winning the title last year was incredible but being able to defend it this year is even more so. It's been a fantastic season for Ducati, three of our riders are on the podium in the world championship so what more can I say. Pecco and his team have done a sensational job throughout the season, and I am really very proud of them. I'm sorry about how the title fightended for Jorge. He put his heart into it right until the end. As always, I would like to thank all the men and women of Ducati Corse who work here, but also back home. Without them this second consecutive title would not have been possible. And now, it’s time to celebrate!”
Luca Rossi, President of Lenovo’s Intelligent Devices Group
“It’s been a thrilling season and I want to congratulate Francesco Bagnaia and the whole Ducati Lenovo Team on achieving this unforgettable win. Winning the MotoGP Riders’ World Championship for two years in a row is twice as hard and it demonstrates the passion, dedication, and innovative capability of every single member of the Team. We’ve partnered with Ducati for six seasons now, and we’re excited to continue working together to foster innovation and further raise the bar for high performance.”
For Ducati it is now time to celebrate the MotoGP World Championships, but also the titles won in Superbike and Supersport. The appointment is scheduled for December 15th in Bologna, when all the protagonists of these successes will celebrate this unforgettable season together with the public. More updates on the event will follow in the coming weeks.
GPs started: 191 (86 x MotoGP, 36 x Moto2, 69 x Moto3)
First GP: Qatar 2019 (MotoGP), Qatar 2017 (Moto2), Qatar 2013 (Moto3)
Victories: 28 (18 MotoGP + 8 Moto2 + 2 Moto3)
Sprint victories: 4
First GP victory: Aragón 2021 (MotoGP), Qatar 2018 (Moto2), Netherlands 2016 (Moto3)
Pole positions: 25 (18 MotoGP + 6 Moto2 + 1 Moto3)
First pole: Qatar 2021 (MotoGP), France 2018 (Moto2), Britain 2016 (Moto3)
World titles: 3 (MotoGP 2023, MotoGP 2022, Moto2 2018