MotoGP Germany: Bagnaia ‘happy but 30 laps will be a challenge’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Ducati’s Pecco Bagnaia scored his third pole position of 2022 after repeatedly breaking circuit records across the Sachsenring weekend.

The Lenovo rider claimed the first new lap record on Friday before bettering himself on two more occasions during Saturday’s FP3 with an overall best of 1’19.765.

While increasingly hot temperatures made conditions unfavourable for another record attempt, the Italian still secured the sole 1’19 lap during qualifying to claim command of Sunday’s grid with his a 1’19.931 effort.

“I’m very happy!” Bagnaia exclaimed from Germany on Saturday afternoon. “From the start of the weekend, FP1 I started feeling great with my bike and everything was already there. So I didn’t change anything in the setting and normally when it’s like this, it’s just easy to focus more on the tyres, on what to do in the race with used tyres so was great to start like this.

“Today, the qualifying wasn’t easy, also FP4 for the conditions was very hot and the wind was disturbing us a bit. But in any case, I’m very, very happy about this pole position in a track where last year I was struggling more.”

When asked what his biggest challenge was for the approaching race, Bagnaia had one thing on his mind. “The fact that we have 30 laps!” he answered.

“Remaining concentrate for all these laps is never easy,” he elaborated, “but it’s something that we can do.

“Last year was easy for me because I was so behind, I was 16th and I had to recover a lot of positions so was a fast race for me. But when you’re in the front and you have to lead all the laps is always more difficult and also for the consumption of the front tyre. So a lot of things in this track aren’t easy.

“Maybe we can ask all the riders of the MotoGP to reduce a bit the laps of the race and I think all agree!” Bagnaia joked. “In any case, will not be easy the race because we had two tyres to choose, one is with more potential but drop more, the other one less potential but drop less, so it’s very difficult to choose one.

“Also it’s difficult to set a really strong pace in these conditions because it’s easy to destroy the rear tyre. But I think that the three riders here [Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco], with Aleix [Espargaro], have a great pace. Will not be easy to open a gap but will be very crucial to be in the first position already in the first lap to don’t overheat the front tyre and will be the main objective of tomorrow.

“Looking at FP4 a lot of riders try two tyres, two different tyres, so it’s very difficult to predict, also for the conditions. I think that Johann and Aleix have a good pace, maybe a bit slower but in the race when you have someone in front of you, helping you to be a bit faster. But it’s difficult to know.

“I also don’t know how much I can push at the start of the race because today I tried but the consumption was a bit higher than yesterday. So it’s difficult to know now.”