Hayden vs Rossi, Marquez vs Dovizioso: Which MotoGP decider gets your vote?

With Francesco Bagnaia and Fabio Quartararo taking their 2022 MotoGP title fight down to the season-finale in Valencia, we look at some of the best title deciders.
Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi, Valencia MotoGP 2006
Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi, Valencia MotoGP 2006

This weekend will mark the first time MotoGP has seen a title decider since 2017 when Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso were in contention.

But how does Bagnaia vs Quartararo compare to three other title deciders we’ve chosen as the best in recent memory.

While the points deficit is larger than the three other contenders, Quartararo can still win the 2022 title should he win and Bagnaia finish lower than 14th. 

A decider that looked anything but possible between the two as Quartararo had an advantage over Bagnaia of 91 points heading into Assen, the Ducati rider’s four wins and stunning consistency since, couple with unforced errors in Assen and Phillip Island from Quartararo has resulted in one of the biggest championship swings MotoGP has ever seen.

Quartararo has also not been helped by incidents out of his control such as Aragon when he ran into the back of Marquez when the Honda rider had a near highside on lap one, while the incorrect tyre pressure was applied to his front tyre in Buriram. 

Very nearly wrapped up in Malaysia, Bagnaia was instead made to wait as Quartararo managed to finish third, a position he had to achieve as Bagnaia won the Grand Prix. 

Fabio Quartararo Francesco Bagnaia , MotoGP race, Malaysian MotoGP, 23 October
Fabio Quartararo Francesco Bagnaia , MotoGP race, Malaysian MotoGP, 23…

Hayden vs Rossi - The American comes out on top to win his maiden MotoGP title

Hoping to avoid what happened to his mentor Valentino Rossi, Bagnaia will be keen to finish the race in order to control his own destiny. 

In 2006 Rossi headed into the Valencian MotoGP with an eight point lead over Nicky Hayden, with the American considered a heavy underdog.

However, Rossi crashed at turn two which gave Hayden the opportunity to take the title, which he did by claiming third position.

With all the momentum on his side following five consecutive podiums going into Valencia, Rossi instead made his biggest mistake of the season when it mattered most. 

Rossi vs Lorenzo comes down to the wire after controversial lead up

Again involved in a last race decider, which again saw him come out on the losing side, Rossi saw the 2015 title slip away after drama in the penultimate round led to him receiving a back of the grid start.

In what is arguably the most controversial moment in MotoGP, fierce rivals Rossi and Marquez were embroiled in a heated battle at Sepang that eventually led to Rossi knocking the Spaniard off his machine.

Handing the advantage back to team-mate Jorge Lorenzo who went on to finish second in that race, Rossi needed to come through the field and claim a podium if he was to have a chance of avoiding another defeat.

 - Jorge Lorenzo (ESP) MotoGP World Champion
- Jorge Lorenzo (ESP) MotoGP World Champion

But with Lorenzo, who went on to win the Valencian Grand Prix, Marquez and Dani Pedrosa too far in front by the time Rossi came through to fourth, the chance to win a tenth world title was lost. 

Marquez vs Dovizioso - Marquez saves championship with miraculous ‘save’

Although Dovizioso crashed out of the race later on, the 2017 season-finale nearly saw a huge change take place when Marquez produced a miraculous ‘save’ at turn one.

The Honda man lost the front-end of his machine during the early stages of the Grand Prix before encountering a slide that seemingly went on forever.

Finally able to recover and claim a podium, Marquez held on to win his second world title in succession - his fourth in MotoGP before going on to win again in 2018 and 19. 

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