Pecco Bagnaia chose the path of continuity on this Friday at Jerez. A photocopy performance from the Pramac rider, who set the same time in the afternoon as he did in the morning. He is feeling really confident therefore, especially regarding race pace.
In FP4 he will have the opportunity to take things even further, although first he will have to gain direct access into Q2 just like last week.
"This Friday we are certainly better prepared than last year - said the Italian - I had the opportunity to do two long runs and on the last lap of the second I even managed to do the same time as the morning. I think it’s a positive aspect from where to start again for the weekend. Obviously, the race will be another thing, but at the moment I have to say that I am one second faster on race pace over last Sunday ".
Given the values on track, it is shaping up to be a red-hot qualifying session…
"It will be a bit like always, even if we are aware of our potential over one lap. For Saturday morning, however, we have an extra tyre available for the time attack. I believe that tomorrow it will be necessary to set a time of 1'36.8 in FP3 to guarantee a place in the top ten, while last week 1'37.2 was enough.”
What happened this morning with Alex Marquez?
“Alex had the tyre to go for for the time, while I was lapping with the used ones. Seeing him wide in the line, I turned in, but he closed the door on me and I nearly ended up on the ground. These are things that can happen, even if I was a bit angry. "
The other Marquez will also be on track tomorrow morning…
"True (smiles). Personally, I am of the opinion that Marc will go out on the track tomorrow and on the third lap he will do a 1’37.2. I wouldn't be surprised if he does, because I expect to see him strong and fast right away. "
MILLER: "I worked with the team, solving Sunday's problem with my hand"
Behind the Italian is his teammate, Jack Miller, who just missed out on a podium last Sunday.
"This was a busy day today - the Australian said - but we managed to solve the problem that involved my hand last Sunday. I worked better, with better sensations than last weekend. Maybe this morning I was struggling a bit more than I should have in the fast corners, but I am sure that we will be ready for tomorrow's FP3 ".
Jack is convinced of his potential…
“We will have to understand which tyre to use; whether to rely on the one we used last Sunday or make a change. There is the soft but also the medium, the choice is between these two. I feel many riders will take the choice for granted, after their race seven days ago, but in my opinion, it is not so obvious. Going back to today I didn't want to take too many risks, also because in the afternoon I found that the temperature was higher ".
Jack's mind is now on Saturday…
"Jerez has never been a good track for Ducati, but I think that we have been able to improve this week. I’m enjoying riding the bike and I am confident, after the good race last Sunday. We will have to look for the right set-up for Sunday, but first of all for Saturday, as the aim will be to get straight into Q2 ".