MotoGP Le Mans: ‘Fabio the man to beat’ - Bagnaia

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Pecco Bagnaia scored back-to-back MotoGP poles at Le Mans on Saturday with a record-breaking lap of the Le Mans circuit.

Ducati Lenovo locked out the standings as Jack Miller trailed his teammate in the rapid qualifying performance, with the pair just six-hundredths apart as they crossed the line. The Italian failed to run outside of the top three all day, with the all-time lap record broken multiple times across the practice and qualifying sessions.

“First of all this morning I was happy but when it’s cold it’s easier to go fast in this track, “: Bagnaia said of his Saturday showing. “This afternoon in FP4 I was not sure about the pole position because I was struggling a lot. My biggest problem was to stop the bike.

“But then in qualifying we have make a bet with my crew chief, and Öhlins technician because I was not feeling great and then after this little modify, I started to feel great again - like if it was morning. The grip was better, I was able to stop better the bike and finally, the feeling was great. So I’m very happy by the pole position but I’m more happy about finding something that have helped me a lot and I think we are ready for the race of tomorrow.”

While Bagnaia holds both the new record and the pole position at the 4.2km Bugatti Circuit, he is not counting out championship leader Fabio Quartararo, who will launch from fourth for Sunday’s 27-lap race.

“For sure, Fabio is the man to beat,” he admitted simply. “But I feel that after this modify that I did in qualify I’m more close now.

“But it’s difficult to say now. The forecast say that tomorrow will rain and I hope that will not be like this but looks that will be. If it’s dry, and I can start well, I will try to push from the start and try to manage the gap. But if will be wet, will be another story because you can’t push like you want at the start. You have to control more the situation, we didn’t do any laps on wet so can be totally different.

“For me this track is difficult to overtake,” Bagnaia said of his Sunday expectations. “Today I was behind Luca Marini and was very difficult to be close to him. Because in a race situation you have to be careful with your tyres, can happen that you have to control the acceleration but if you want to overtake you have to push a lot to overtake the guys in front of you. So it’s very difficult. When I was behind Luca, I wasn’t able to be fast like I want and I was losing time compare him so was strange. I’m sure that in the braking in this track you can’t do so much difference because the grip is not the best on the braking. So will be hard but not impossible for sure.”

Picture: GeeBee Images
Picture: GeeBee Images