Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin secure Moto2, Moto3 titles in Malaysia
Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin took their respective 2018 Moto2 and Moto3 championships in Malaysia at Sepang circuit with a round to spare.
In his second year in the Moto2 class, Bagnaia showed solid consistency all through 2018 to win the title, scoring eight wins and three podium finishes abode the Kalex machinery for the Sky Racing Team VR46.
The Italian took the rookie honours last year and claimed the championship this year with a round to spare beating Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira by 32 points – although both are to make their MotoGP debut next year.
Bagnaia will race for Pramac Racing Ducati while Oliveira will ride for Tech 3 Racing KTM. The two has been on it since the start of the season after the likes of Alex Marquez and Lorenzo Baldassarri dropped out of the fight midway in the season.
A late charge from Brad Binder and Joan Mir wasn’t enough to catch Bagnaia and Oliveira in the title fight but Mir has already taken the rookie crown and will make his MotoGP debut in 2018 with Suzuki.
This is Bagnaia’s first world championship win after battling for multiple times especially in 2016 in Moto3 with Aspar Mahindra where he finished fourth, while also last year in Moto2 with Sky Racing Team VR46 finishing fifth.
At the time when the Italian won the Moto2 title, his former teammate Martin secured the Moto3 championship in a topsy-turvy season for the Spaniard. The Gresini Honda rider beat PrustelGP’s Marco Bezzecchi and Gresini teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio.
It wasn’t easy for Martin in his fourth year in Moto3 though as he fought through crashes and injuries to claim the crown. The key factor in Martin’s win was his seven wins with two podiums to Bezzecchi’s three wins and six podiums.
Remarkably, Martin achieved the win despite the four DNFs and one DNS. This is Martin’s first world championship win after winning the Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2014. He will now prepare for his Moto2 debut next year with Red Bull KTM Ajo.
[Note: This story was also written by me on Formula Rapida]