The Italian is competing for the highest honor after a historic 91-point turnaround that earned him the 2022 MotoGPTM championship.
The 91-point turnaround that allowed Francesco Bagnaia of the Ducati Lenovo Team win his first MotoGPTM World Championship has earned him a nomination for the 2023 Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award. Before the Italian rode to eight podium finishes in the final 10 races, featuring five triumphs, to win the premier class championship by 17 points, no racer had ever overturned a deficit of that size.
With five other sportsmen nominated, the 26-year-old faces tough competition in his attempt to earn the prized Laureus Award. The most notable figure in the group is golfing great Tiger Woods, who will make a comeback at the 2022 Masters, 14 months after a car accident that left one of his feet broken. Klay Thompson of basketball, who skipped two full seasons due to injury before coming back to earn his fourth NBA title with the Golden State Warriors, and Christian Eriksen, who made a comeback to competitive play in February 2022 after collapsing on the field and going into cardiac arrest during a Euro 2020 match for Denmark, are included in the nominations alongside him.
Annemiek van Vleuten, a Dutch rider and the 2022 Tour de France Femmes champion, and Jakob Ingebrigtsen, a Norwegian cyclist, are other nominees for the honor.
Bagnaia hopes to join Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez as the only other MotoGPTM athletes to earn a Laureus Award. Throughout the length of his legendary career, Italian superstar Rossi had the honor of taking home three Laureus Awards: the 2006 Sporting Inspiration Award, the 2011 World Comeback of the Year, and the 2022 Sporting Icon Award. Marquez, on the other hand, won the 2014 Global Breakthrough Award after winning the premier class championship in just his first season of racing.
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