After a strong rookie season in 2021, Bastianini became a four-time MotoGP race winner this year, aboard a Gresini Ducati bike which has now gone to Alex Marquez in his place.

In the second half of the year Bastianini proved to be the main challenger to eventual champion Francesco Bagnaia, with the pair sharing countless last-lap duels such as Misano, Aragon and Sepang - Bagnaia came away with a 2-1 advantage from those battles.

However, Bastianini’s career could have taken a much different path had he not continued beyond 2017 when he competed in Moto3.

Sixth in the championship that season, Bastianini recently opened up about his struggles six years ago during an interview on the ‘Experiment 36’ podcast which is created by Red Bull.

Bastianini said: "In 2017 I thought for the first time about stopping racing. I wasn't feeling well, I couldn't be fast, at Mugello I started crying. It was the worst moment of my life."

With that said, Bastianini turned tears of pain into tears of joy during a breathtaking performance at the 2022 season-opener in Qatar, which is the last time we’ve seen him show such emotion.

Bastianini added: "The last time I cried in front of someone was in Qatar, when I won my first MotoGP race."

Since Mugello 2017, Bastianini has gone on to become a Moto2 world champion, MotoGP race winner and now a factory Ducati rider alongside Bagnaia.

And while his talent has taken over to achieve such results, the Italian was also keen to thank those who have been through his hardest moments with him. 

"The most important people for my growth have been my father and my mother, they have always supported me a lot since I started competing and have never doubted my potential," continued Bastianini. 

"Love plays a very important role in my life, because to get where you want to go you need people who love you. 

"First of all there is my family and my girlfriend, but friends are also crucial."