Let’s take a look at the biggest moments of 2021, and where it will take 2022.
The first round of the season opened with a bang and had the viewers expecting much more from Maverick Vinales. The Monster Energy Yamaha of Vinales took the first win of the year in a spectacular race, followed by Johann Zarco and Francesco Bagnaia.
The second round of the 2021 season stayed in Qatar for another dramatic night. Ahead of the race, Rookie Jorge Martin took pole position in a shocking, but not unwelcomed, turn of events. Many thought that he would eventually fall down in the pack, but no such thing happened. Instead, Martin not only got a great start, but also lead for most of the race. It wasn’t until the Monster Energy Yamaha of Fabio Quartararo overtook him and took the lead with five laps to go. Quartararo took his first win of his World Championship winning season, followed by Johann Zarco (who overtook Martin on the last lap) and rookie Jorge Martin.
Portimao’s thrilling rollercoaster was the scene of not only a battle to the top, but also the return of 8 Time MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez. After 265 days of healing from his near career ending injury, he was back! Quartararo ended up taking the win, increasing his championship lead by 15 points. Bagnaia took 2nd after battling his way up the pack from 11th, and World Champion Joan Mir took 3rd.
The legendary track gave us a truly remarkable performance as Jack Miller took P1 after 5 long years without a victory. He beat teammate Bagnaia by 2 seconds, placing Francesco in 2nd place while Franco Morbidelli took 3rd. The World Champion leader, Quartararo, finished in P13 as his arm gave out from arm-pump related injuries.
Le Mans GP
The first flag-to-flag race of the season was by far one of the most entertaining. What started out as a dry race turned into a complete downpour as riders crashed out on their way to the pits. Marc Marquez was leading the race until he crashed out, handing P1 over to Quartararo. Yet, despite his two long-lap penalties, Jack Miller was unstoppable in the wet and ended up taking the win, followed by Johann Zarco and Fabio Quartararo.
While Fabio Quartararo would take the win, followed by Miguel Oliveira and Joan Mir, the race was unimportant. Swiss rider Jason Dupasqueir tragically lost his life ahead of the race, and it would be one of the darkest days of the season. They continue to race on in memory of Jason.
With the absolute dramatic turn of events- like Quartararo’s suit unzipping and causing an uproar- it was an overall great race. Oliveira would take the win followed by Johann Zarco and Jack Miller.
The German GP was an incredibly emotional race, with Marc Marquez taking his first victory after 581 days. Not only did he have a masterclass performance, but the tears at the end spoke volumes to how important the win was for him. There was another pleasant surprise at the race as Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro had an amazing battle with the Honda man, highlighting 0ne of his best performances of the year. In the end, it was Marquez, Oliveira and Quartararo.
It’s never a dull day when you’re racing in Austria. After the years of near-misses and dangerous crashes that have taken place, the safety of the riders was at the forefront of everyone’s mind. While the race ended with Martin winning, Quartararo and Mir following, there was a lot of drama. The race stopped due to a major crash between Dani Pedrosa and Iker Lecuona, but both riders were ok. Maverick Vinales was also suspended after the race due to the allegations that he was attempting to blow the engine of his bike.
And we’re back for another round! This week, the rain decided to come out and play. While some made it a flag-to-flag race, some riders decided to stay out and it effected the results majorly. Marc Marquez crashed out, and Brad Binder took the win.
The British GP hosted a race for the first time in 2 years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and overall track conditions. The race, while it was not as intense as others, had some irregular people on the podium. While Quartararo won the race, Alex Rins was in second and Aleix Espargaro was in third place. This sparked joy and jubilance for Aprilia as their work finally begun paying off.
Bagnaia would take a win for the Italians enemy territory. Marc Marquez and Bagnaia had an amazing battle that ended with the Honda rider in second, while Mir followed behind in third.
The first round at Misano had many people begging for Rossi to win a race. While he did not do that, Bagnaia would take a win for the Italians on home turf. Enea Bastianini also made a podium appearance, bringing him to the forefront of fans minds for 2022.
The only GP in the Americas for 2021, it went exactly as it was imagined. Marc Marquez took another victory and was back on the top at his precious COTA. Following Marquez was Fabio Quartararo and then Francesco Bagnaia. At this point, the championship was almost completely slipping away from Baganaia and into the hands of the Monster Energy Yamaha rider, Quartararo.
Emilia Romagna GP
Back again for another race in the cool Northern coasts of Italy, it was obvious who the strong players were. The only questions- who is going to take the World Title? While that question was not answered in Italy, it was an exceptional day for Honda as they secured first and second on the podium. The race ended with Marquez in first, followed by teammate Pol Espargaro (who had been struggling through the season) and a surprise attack from Enea Bastianini. Bagnaia saw the beginnings of the championship fully slipping from his as he crashed out on the 5th lap.
The next round in Portugal offered an amazing comeback by Bagnaia, who did in fact win the race. Along with him was Jack Miller and Joan Mir, two who had not graced the podium recently. It was exactly what the Ducati rider needed to get back in the spirits to fight for the World Title. The race was cut short due to a red-flagged incident involving Miguel Oliveira, but all riders were ok.
The main event! Here is where the championship was decided. Not only did Fabio Quartararo win the world title, but it was also Valentino Rossi’s last MotoGP performance. While Bagnaia did win the race, Quartararo was still in the points to take the title! Quartararo is now a MotoGP World Champion.
What will come next? The 2022 season is right around the corner. Stay tuned!