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Heavyweights shape up for title fight

Friday, 14 October 2022

Jack Miller and Remy Gardner race on home soil.

The title fight for the 2022 MotoGP crown takes to the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit at the Animoca Brands Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2022, and there is every indication that it is going to be a classic.

After dominating the first half of the season, Fabio Quartararo comes to the Island with a lead of just two points over the man who has dominated the second half, Pecco Bagnaia. And three years after their last race at the iconic circuit, both can be confident of strong results for different reasons.


In Quartararo’s corner, the Yamaha YZR-M1 has traditionally been a contender to win on the fast, sweeping Island circuit. In Bagnaia’s, the latest GP22 has seen the Italian perform at a level not seen since Casey Stoner delivered the Italian brand its only title 15 years ago.

One edge that Ducati does have is in numbers. With eight bikes on the grid, there are plenty of Italian rockets to back Bagnaia up – but that could be a double-edged sword. Gresini Racing’s Enea Bastiani is third in the points, just 20 behind Quartararo, firmly in title. With a factory contract for 2023 in his pocket, will he be willing to play the team game just yet?

It's your last chance to secure Grandstand tickets to Race Day at the Animoca Brands Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2022.

And Jack Miller, always fast at the Island, is in career-best form, coming home with a win in Japan and second in Thailand. Fresh from his wedding in Townsville, could he deliver a win on home turf before he heads to KTM for next year?

And who had ‘Aprilia in the top three’ in their 2023 predictions early this year? The ‘other’ Italian make has been the revelation of the season, with Aleix Espargaro right in the title hunt, backed up by the mercurial Maverick Viñales. The brake-and-turn strengths of the RS-GP V4 looks ideally suited to the sweeps and dips of the Island, and an Espargaro win would be far from a shock.

Honda has endured a tough season, but Marc Marquez is back, nearly fit and very fast. Four wins on the track suggest that, short of taping him onto a twin-tub washing machine, it would be foolish to write off his chances of a podium result. And if Marquez can finish on the podium, he can probably win.

A famous name returns to the top level of racing at Phillip Island. Remy Gardner has had a difficult maiden MotoGP™ season and is sure to be a proud man when he fires his Tech3 KTM onto the straight bearing the name of his father Wayne. His opportunity will be a short one – there is already a World Superbikes deal with Yamaha in place for 2023 – but Remy is sure to leave nothing on the table racing on home soil.

The MotoGP™ stars are due to take to the track at 9:55 am for Free Practice 1, and 2:10 pm for Free Practice 2, both sessions set for 40 minutes.