Bajnaya was crowned the 2022 champion, and Reigns won the final

Yamaha’s Quartararo needed to win the race to have any chance of retaining his title, as Bagnaia simply needed to finish 14th to secure Ducati’s first world title in MotoGP since 2007.

Despite the incredibly tense race, with Quartaro beating Bagnaia on the track, a ninth place on the checkered flag was enough for the Italian to win the championship – becoming the first Italian to do so since Valentino Rossi in 2009, and the first rider in history to do so after she scored Five DNFs.

Up front, Rins fended off early pressure from Pramac’s Jorge Martin to claim an emotional final victory for Suzuki in the Japanese marque’s final race in MotoGP.

Rins turned fifth on the grid to knockout to capture the early lead on board, with Pullman Jorge Martin and Marc Marquez at the back.

Quartararo briefly slipped behind Bagnaia to Turn 1, but was back again by Turn 2 as the pair discussed a fifth.

A strong overtaking from Marquez on the second factory Ducati of Miller into Turn 8 on the opening lap upgraded the Honda man to third and opened the door for Quartararo to finish fourth.

Quartararo defended against Miller while running into Turn 1 at the start of Round 2, but was powerless to stop the Australian to demote him to Turn 2.

Miller opened the door for teammate Bagnaia to enter as well, leading to a connection between the title contenders that tore a wing off Bagnaia’s Ducati’s right-hand side.

Quartararo would overtake Bagnaia on lap 4 to Turn 6 to return to fifth, as the Ducati rider began steadily falling back.

Alex Rains, Suzuki Motorcycle Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / motorsports pictures

Bagnaia found himself behind KTM’s Brad Bender and Miguel Oliveira, Suzuki’s Joan Mir, Ducati VR46’s Luca Marini and Gresini’s Ennia Bastianini to drop to ninth.

In the clear air once clear of Bagnaia, Quartararo managed to get close to the leading quad – with Marquez pulling a 1.8sec gap as the title challengers battled.

Quartararo was able to close that, and was moved up two positions when Marquez crashed out of fourth heading into Turn 8 on lap 10 of 27, before Miller crashed out of fourth on lap 23.

But Quartararo couldn’t do more than fourth as he ended up 0.852sec behind Martin at the checkered flag.

Brad Bender came in to take second from Martin on the penultimate lap to equal his best result of the year, with the Pramac rider retaining last place on the podium.

Oliveira was 5.2secs off Quartararo in fifth on his last KTM appearance, with Joanne Mir in sixth in a Suzuki farewell ahead of Marini and Bastianini.

Bagnaia took the checkered flag in ninth to the emotional festive scenes with the entire Ducati crew, fellow VR46 riders and Valentino Rossi himself – while Quartararo was the first to congratulate him on the lap.

Franco Morbidelli came close to overtaking his VR46 Academy teammate on the last lap, but the Yamaha sprinter settled for 10th ahead of VR46’s Marco Besicci, Tech 3’s Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner, Takaaki Nakagami’s LCR Honda and Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio.

RNF Racing’s Cal Crutchlow recovered to 16th after suffering an early crash, and LCR’s Alex Marquez was the last sprinter to finish 17th after also knocking out the competition.

Bike problems forced Aprilia duo Alex Espargaro and Maverick Vinales to retire early, with Honda drivers Paul Espargaro, RNF’s Darren Bender and Pramac’s Johann Zarco breaking out.

Bagnaia won the 2022 MotoGP World Championship by 17 points over Quartararo, with Bastianini completing the top three in the standings ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Miller.

Despite his crash, missing eight races in total in 2022, Marc Marquez finished the year as Honda’s top rider 13th in the standings.

Valencia MotoGP – Race results: