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Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness.

MotoGP did its best to drum up hype for the 2022 season finale. But few believed the championship battle would go any other way than to Ducati and Francesco Bagnaia. That didn’t stop the Circuit Ricardo Tormo being enveloped in a bundle of nerves and anticipation half an hour before lights out.

Outgoing world champion Fabio Quartararo qualified four places ahead of Bagnaia and had the best race pace after practice. If he could convert that to the holeshot and get away at the front, maybe the occasion would have led to Bagnaia making yet another error this year to add to his five DNFs.

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