Motorsports

A Championship battle set to go down to the wire

Two is the magic number as we take stock of how the Thai GP turned the MotoGP™ title race on its head

The OR Thailand Grand Prix was a thriller in itself, and it has also set up a thrilling run to the MotoGP™ World Championship finale. Just two points separate first and second in the riders’ standings with three rounds to go after Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) got onto the podium and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) departed the Chang International Circuit emptyhanded. It means we are guaranteed a live title fight even when the field leaves Australia in a fortnight from now, so read on for the full Championship picture.

The pendulum swings between Quartararo and Bagnaia

After Quartararo charged to a big advantage in the Championship, Bagnaia brought himself back into contention with that stellar run of four wins and a second placing. Now, it’s hard to say that any of the top three on the points table have momentum after three crazy Grands Prix, at Aragon, Motegi, and now Buriram. Bagnaia got himself within 10 points of ‘El Diablo’ with a P2 at the MotorLand, only to see the gap jump to 18 points when he crashed in Japan, even if Quartararo finished eighth.

In Thailand, however, the live Championship lead changed twice during the race! Bagnaia nosed two points ahead when he climbed to second on the opening lap and Quartararo slipped to 17th after a big scare exiting Turn 4. Eventual race winner Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) turned the two-point margin back in the Frenchman’s favour when he relegated Bagnaia to third, but that was still 16 solid points for Pecco on a day when Quartararo didn’t get any.