Francesco Bagnaia is the 2018 Moto2™ World Champion, taking the title at Sepang after eight wins, 12 podiums and six pole positions over an incredible season.
Arriving 36 points up in the Championship, his third place in the race – paired with a second for title rival Miguel Oliveira – was enough for the Italian to secure the crown.
After a stellar first season in the intermediate class he was penciled in as a key favourite for the 2018 crown. Starting the year on the top step with a first Moto2™ win in the season opener in Qatar, ‘Pecco’ then ceded the points lead next time out in Argentina, but he was back on it in Texas.
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A key rival then began to appear: Oliveira. The Portuguese rider won in Mugello from outside the top ten on the grid, and that brought him to within a single point of Bagnaia at the top.
The Italian responded at Assen, winning at his talisman track once again. In Germany there was some drama, however, as Bagnaia was forced into avoiding action after a crash for compatriot Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) and crossed the line in P12.
Oliveira then struck gold in Czechia to win another race, but Bagnaia was quick to hit back once again as he took the victory in Austria to begin a run of top results: a win at Misano, a P2 at MotorLand and then another victory in Thailand - to really pull the pin.
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Second on the road at Motegi, he was later promoted to the win after the disqualification of Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up Racing) for a technical infringement – making the gap that much bigger as the paddock arrived at Phillip Island. There, he had his first match point but it wasn't to be after a more difficult weekend, so the battle rolled on to Malaysia.
There, it was mission accomplished after a stunning season in the intermediate class and another podium to secure the crown.
Now as reigning Moto2™ World Champion, Bagnaia will be heading to the MotoGP™ – as he moves up to partner Australian Jack Miller at Alma Pramac Racing in 2019.