MotoGP Misano: Bagnaia ‘focused on smart race’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Pecco Bagnaia completed a Ducati Lenovo one-two in a rain hit qualifying at Misano on Saturday afternoon.

While the Italian will line up for Sunday’s 27-lap race from fifth on the San Marino grid after an FP1 penalty, Bagnaia was just 0.015s away from pole and teammate Jack Miller in a rapid Q2.

“Today, my objective was to be in the first three positions, for the race of tomorrow, because starting already from the third row starts to become a bit too difficult,” Bagnaia explained from his home GP on Saturday evening. “But in any case, today was very hard.

“One of the hardest I think from when I’m in MotoGP because the condition was very tricky.

“Started with rain and already was already dried but still remaining with light rain. So was difficult to understand how much pushing, but in any case I’m happy because finally starting P5 is still okay.”

While title rivals Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro had a more challenging afternoon, qualifying behind the 25-year-old in eighth and ninth, that’s not where his focus remains.

“I don’t want to think about this situation,” he stated. “I just would like to think of myself, to be focused on myself. The race here is so long and in two occasions I did mistakes in the last part of the race, so I would like just to be smart, to understand the situation. I would like that the condition will be like right now but I will try to understand. Jack I think this year have a better pace compare last year so will be very strong to beat but I will try.”

Saturday’s changeable conditions added an extra unknown ahead of his home Grand Prix, with many riders opting for tentative schedules in the usually race-focused final practice.

“Normally the FP4 is the session where you can understand better but today was difficult for the condition. In any case my pace in FP4 was quite good. Also when I put again a medium from the morning, that was finished, my pace was quite good. I think all the Ducati riders are strong. Fabio is strong and the Aprilias are strong.

“Already last year was like this,” he said of strong tyre life at the recently resurfaced layout. “First race I was with a soft rear and with the soft rear you have to manage a bit more because in the last part of the race you have a bigger drop. But this year this soft on the left side is harder so it’s an option. Medium, for sure you had to push but just also because the first laps need more time to warm. So it’s different but I think that you can push like last year or like Jerez or like races like this.

“You have just to change your riding style during the race but you can remain with the same pace for the race more or less.”

Much like Austria last time out, Ducati power has been firmly on show across the Italian weekend. An added complication for the GP22 rider, it seems.

“Fighting with all the Ducatis, for sure in my situation I think is harder, because you know better in which area Ducati are faster than other bikes. Between me or a Yamaha, I know that I can overtook them exiting from the turn ten or Aprilia I know that I’m faster in the Curvone so maybe I can enter there. Ducati are all the same so it’s a bit more difficult I think.”

Picture: GeeBee Images