MotoGP Misano: ‘Incredible race, too early to think of the championship’ - Bagnaia| Christina Bulpett | MotoGP
Pecco Bagnaia’s reign from the top step continued in the San Marino GP with his fourth consecutive win for Ducati.
Just 30 points separate the Lenovo rider from championship lead Fabio Quartararo as Bagnaia improved to second in the 2022 standings. Six victories so far this season and four in a row, gave the Italian a three point advantage over Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro as the title fight intensified, much like the final action in Sunday’s 27-lap battle.
“Was not the easiest one because at the start of the race, I was feeling that the grip wasn’t so high so I was struggling a bit to be competitive,” Bagnaia said of the afternoon action. “I was feeling that Maverick [Viñales] behind me was pushing a lot and have more traction. But then I was feeling lap by lap all the things becoming better and better.
“In the last five/six laps the pace has been incredible. I think I never did in my life, in my career, my fastest lap in the last lap! Also after 27 laps with this heat, is something incredible and demonstrate that we are doing an incredible job.
“For all the race, I feel that someone was like ‘here’,” he said of the constant company on his rear wheel. “I was not thinking about anything, I was just trying to be smart, to be very constant with the pace and I didn’t try also to close the line. Because I was feeling that closing the lines was a possibility more for the rider behind me to overtake me. So I just tried to be competitive, just to do my best line possible to be fast and this maybe have helped me to be more constantly fast all the race.”
While many expected the tyres to remain strong for the entirety of the race, the closing pace, while battling, was somewhat unexpected. Both Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini swapped fastest lap honours as the race counted down with the Gresini rider setting the best overall in the final revolution.
“In the last lap I just tried to have more corner speed because I was feeling that I was without a rear tyre, rear traction,” Bagnaia explained. “So I use all the corner speed and I go a bit wide in the exit. For sure, Enea in that moment had a really great pickup, looking at the video, and he was able to put more power on the ground and accelerate more. My line was just to don’t lose in acceleration because I think that if I was doing a normal line, I was losing the race so I just tried to have corner speed.”
Bagnaia’s recovery in recent races has seen him quickly climb the standings, but he still refuses to talk about his title contention, in part due to ghosts of 2021.
“30 points are still a lot, so I don’t want to be focused on that,” he admitted. “I just want to do the work. We are doing all the races in this second part of the season and be smart. Understanding the situation, understanding in which position we can arrive, and like today, if I see the possibility to win I will try always to be in front and pushing. I think we are doing a really good job in terms of working during the weekend because we are always so competitive and constant. So this has been a change compare the start of the season.
“I will start thinking about the championship when I will be ten/five points away from the leader,” he elaborated. “In this moment, I already did too many times mistakes thinking already of the championship, and I was so far.
“My objective now is to be always competitive, always fast, always in front and try to win, try to be in front of my rivals.
“This way to work has been the key I think, in the second part of the season, so I don’t want to think on the championship. Just to remain more focused on my objective and to remain focused on the schedule during all the weekend. I prefer to think like that.”