The Italian is on the edge of completing a turnaround to rival the likes of Tom Brady, Ivan Lendl, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Liverpool FC
It’s exciting times at Ducati, as Francesco Bagnaia is on the brink of bringing the Borgo Panigale factory to the promised land and delivering a first Riders’ Championship since 2007 to them. The Italian sits 23 points clear of Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) ahead of #TheDecider in Valencia this weekend.
Should things go the way of Pecco this weekend, he will have completed the biggest-ever title turnaround in MotoGP™ history, recovering from a 91-point deficit following an inspired run of form. In tribute to Bagnaia’s brilliance, we take a look at some of other great comebacks from the sporting world below!
2017 Superbowl: Brady and the Patriots shoot down the high-flying Falcons
Five years ago, Tom Brady and his New England Patriots team took on the Atlanta Falcons in Superbowl LI, with the former labelled as the pre-game favourites. However, a superb opening half followed up with an impressive third quarter saw the Falcons take a 28-9 lead into the final 15 minutes of play.
It seemed to be game over, but what was to happen next would be pure sporting history as a brilliant Brady spearheaded an emotionally charged comeback, the biggest ever in Superbowl history. Danny Amendola got the ball rolling with a touchdown before scoring another shortly after to tie the game at 28-28. Into overtime it went, and the Pats were an unstoppable force at this point as a touchdown from James White saw them score 31 answered points and claim the Lombardi Trophy for a fifth time.
2016 NBA Finals: The Cavs and James snatch victory from the jaws of defeat
Led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers became the first and only team to overturn a 3-1 deficit in the NBA finals. Up against the reigning champions Golden State Warriors, widely considered to be one of the greatest squads of all time, the San Francisco based outfit held a comfortable advantage and needed to win one more game to take the Championship.
With all hope seemingly lost, James and Irving produced stunning Game 5 performances to score 41 points each and lead the Cavs to a comfortable win. ‘King James’ went off again in Game 6, notching another 41 points as the Cavs levelled the series, before they finished the job in a tense Game 7 and claimed their maiden NBA Championship. What a way to do it!
2005 Champions League Final: The Miracle of Istanbul
On the biggest stage in club football, Liverpool trailed AC Milan three goals to nil at the halfway mark and looked well beaten against the Italian giants. However, the 2005 Champions League final will forever be remembered as one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time as the Reds completed a remarkable turnaround. Goals from Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Vladimir Smicer cancelled out Paolo Maldini and Hernan Crespo’s first half double and brought Liverpool level. The game eventually went to penalties, with Jerzey Dudek pulling off heroics in goal, saving two, and helped deliver a fifth European crown to the English club.
1995/1996 Premier League: Manchester United complete the turnaround
Staying on the topic of football, and we look now at Liverpool’s fiercest rivals Manchester United as they completed a sensational 12-point turnaround on Newcastle United in the English Premier League during the 1995/ 1996 season. The Magpies were odds-on favourites to finish top of the league, but just two wins in their final eight games saw them collapse and allowed the Red Devils to take their third premier league title in four years.
2012 Ryder Cup: Miracle at Medinah
Widely considered to be the greatest-ever comeback in the competition, the 2012 Ryder Cup was pure sporting theatre. On home soil, the US held a 10-4 lead at one point, but momentum swung in favour of Europe when Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy won their match to leave the score at 10-6 going into the final day.
A reinvigorated Europe needed 8 ½ points from a possible 12 to win and they started the final day’s action strong, taking five wins to the US’ one, with Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson’s match a particular highlight, leaving the scores tied at 11 points each. From there, the Europeans saw out the victory, with Martin Kaymer’s six-foot putt on the 18th retaining the trophy, before Francesco Molinari ensured they won the cup outright after halving his match point with Tiger Woods.
It was a sporting spectacle, and immediately went down as one of the most famous comebacks of all time.
1984 French Open: Ivan Lendl stuns Roland Garros and John McEnroe
Arguably the greatest tennis comeback occurred in the 1984 French Open final, with the much-vaunted John McEnroe squaring off against Ivan Lendl. McEnroe was on a 42-match winning streak, winning his previous six tournaments ahead of Roland Garros while Lendl had yet to claim a Grand Slam title.
In a gripping match, McEnroe took the first two sets 6-3, 6-2, and held a 4-2 advantage in the third, needing only two more games to continue his phenomenal run of form. Having lost to his opponent in their previous three meetings, Lendl broke McEnroe’s serve and launched a comeback of epic proportions, taking four straight games before going on to win the following two sets 7-5 and 7-5 to hand him his first major title.