MotoGP Austria: Bagnaia planning ‘smart’ race

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Ducati Lenovo’s Pecco Bagnaia will start the AustrianGP from second on the MotoGP grid after losing pole by just 0.024s.

The factory squad looked to be on for a one-two at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday afternoon as Jack Miller trailed the Silverstone winner by a tenth as the session drew to a close. And while Ducati power did eventually lock out the front row in its entirety, it was Gresini’s Enea Bastianini who swept through to claim his maiden premier class pole on last year’s Desmosedici.

Bagnaia, however, was pleased with the result after suffering a crash at turn nine with ten minutes left of FP4.

“I’m very, very happy about the job which we have done today because my team have done an incredible job to make possible to reuse the bike of the crash, that was my favourite of the two bikes,” the Italian acknowledged of his rollercoaster Saturday. “Was quite a surprise to start this weekend because I was struggling a lot at the start. Yesterday morning, I struggle a lot and also in FP2, was a bit better but till the FP4 I was struggling a lot. In the FP4 we did a good step in front that have help me a lot to be more constant and fast.

“After FP4 I said ‘Okay, now we can speak about to be in front of the group tomorrow for the race’ but then I crashed, so the only problem today was the crash.

“But then like I said my team have done an incredible job. I started the qualifying with the new rear tyre that was working strange because I didn’t feel great. I was going wide everywhere. So I finished the first attempt without a lap time because I also touched the green in my only lap.

“In the second one everything was okay, I started to push and I feel good, I feel good with it and dropping five-tenths compared this morning was a big step and I’m very happy about today. So P2 for tomorrow is a really good position!

“I think that my race pace is quite good,” he continued on Sunday’s prospects. “I don’t feel so much the consumption of the rear tyre and I think can be good tomorrow, but then I don’t want to think on a win. Because it’s true that I need to recover points, but I already did these mistakes twice this year. So I don’t want to think about the win.

“I want to think about being smart during the race. If I understand that my position would be a fourth position, I will be smart to understand that and try to arrive in the best way possible. The objective for sure is to win, but don’t want to focus just on the win.

“I will do my race, I don’t have any strategy. I don’t want to make any strategy from that because we know the potential of Enea. Everybody knows that he’s very strong in the last part of the race with the consumption of the rear tyre. So I will do my race, I will try to don’t make any mistakes like in Le Mans in the last part of the race, but if I will recognise that he will be stronger, I will try to be more smart in that situation.”

Picture: GeeBee Images