Pramac Ducati rookie Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia was understandably delighted to top the opening day of MotoGP free practice in front of his home crowd in Mugello.
The Italian managed to get the better of fellow rookie Fabio Quartararo in the dying seconds of FP2, pipping the Frenchman to the top spot by just 0.046 seconds with a 1:46.732.
Bagnaia explained that being fast in Mugello always means a little bit more to him and his fellow Italian riders.
“Us Italians, we give it our all in Italy,” said the 22-year-old. “I don’t know why, it’s as if we push harder.
Despite crashing out of the last two races, the Italian insists that top spot today was a result of the hard work done last time out in Le Mans.
“I’m really happy with today’s time, but I think it comes down to the work we did in Le Mans,” he said. “I finally feel confident with the front and can brake hard and maintain good speed through the chicanes.
“It was a shame in France, because I felt strong, but I was struggling to pass. But I’ve brought those good feelings here and I think our Fridays will be more consistent from now on.”
In spite of topping the timing sheets on Friday, Bagnaia believes he will have to go even fastest in FP3 on Saturday morning in order to safely secure his package directly through to Q2.
“I don’t think I’ll go directly into Q2 with this time, not unless it rains in FP3, which would be great for me” he joked. “We’ll need to try and do another time attack and I’ll try to be in the same position tomorrow.”