(REUTERS, AFP) – Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo became the first Frenchman to win the MotoGP world championship following a fourth-place finish in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday (Oct 24) as his closest title contender Francesco Bagnaia of Ducati crashed.

Italian pole sitter Bagnaia was leading Ducati’s home race when he crashed with five laps to go, handing Honda’s Marc Marquez the race victory and the world title to Quartararo, who has an unassailable lead in the standings with two races left.

The 22-year-old surged from 15th on the starting grid to finish fourth.

Six-time MotoGP champion Marquez had been pursuing Bagnaia for almost the entire race. His Honda teammate Pol Espargaro was second and Italian rider Enea Bastianini of Ducati came third.

Italian rider Bagnaia’s job was made harder just three laps into the race when his teammate Jack Miller, who started from second on the grid, skidded off the track. The Australian was protecting Bagnaia from attacks from Marquez, who also won the Grand Prix of the Americas in the last round.

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