Fabio Quartararo is the 2021 MotoGP World Champion!

Fabio Quartararo is the 2021 MotoGP World Champion after Pecco Bagnaia throws his hopes away with a crash out of the Emilia Romagna MotoGP lead

Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo has clinched the 2021 MotoGP World Championship after his main rival Pecco Bagnaia dramatically crashed out of a comfortable lead in the Emilia Romagna MotGP at Misano.

Bagnaia looked on course to keep the 2021 title race alive for another race as he punched his way clear of Marc Marquez, but having eked his lead out to 0.5scs would suffer a sudden front-end fold at Turn 15 with five laps remaining.

It means Quartararo was champion by default, his 52 point lead coming into the race making any subsequent result immaterial.

To his credit, Quartararo would finish a mighty fourth after a stunning recovery from 15th on the grid, a result of damage limitation but one that wouldn’t have stopped Bagnaia from keeping the dream alive for another race if he’d won.

However, having been flawless for almost the entire race as he repelled the attentions of Marquez, the dream would die in a hail of gravel stone, Bagnaia suffering a front-end crash eerily similar to the one of two years ago - at almost the same point in the race - that scuppered his and Pramac Racing’s maiden win.

Quartararo becomes the first Frenchman to win a premier class World Championship, while it marks the first title for Yamaha since Jorge Lorenzo back in 2015.

A disaster all round for Ducati, Bagnaia’s crash was mirrored by that of Jack Miller at the same turn on lap three, one that gives Yamaha back the initiative in the Teams’ Championship.

However, Ducati does extend his advantage in the Manufacturers' standings after out-scoring Yamaha thanks to the unlikely source of Enea Bastianini on the privateer Avintia Ducati, the Italian stunning at Misano again to pass Quartararo on the final lap for third having started 18th.