The Pecco Bagnaia who shows up in Barcelona is perfectly aware that he has more than one hand on the factory Ducati for 2021, but he shies away from the topic in front of direct questioning because it is an announcement that only Ducati can make. His splendid performances at Misano, which gave him a podium and took him close to a victory, almost certainly erased any remaining doubts, laying the foundations for the future Borgo Panigale factory team to be made up of the same pair of riders who today race under the aegis of the Pramac Team.
Bagnaia has shown that he has the Ducati GP20 perfectly in his hand and above all that he has perfectly understood how to exploit these 2020 Michelins which, instead, are making Andrea Dovizioso suffer so much. The two have talked about it, but without being able to find any solution for the illustrious 'unemployed' rider of this MotoGP.
"After the Misano tests I talked a bit with Dovizioso - confirmed Bagnaia - but it is difficult to explain certain things for me, because he and I ride differently, with very different set-ups. Everyone has their own way of riding, maybe what is good for me is not good for him. If he were to come and ask me something, I would have no problem talking to him and telling him what I'm feeling good with. But at the moment we have not sat down to talk about what is making me go well and where he is not succeeding. "
According to Dovizioso you have grown a lot thanks also to these Michelins that adapt very well to your riding style. What do you think?
"I think it is a combination of factors that have led to this situation. I like the new Ducati very much; I have always liked it a lot. The enormous work we did in adapting in 2019, this year has borne fruit. Then the new tyres haven’t limited me as they did Dovi, so I think the sum of this and the fact that every time I go out on the track, I manage to have more and more confidence has led me to be very fast. "
But you have signed up for the official team for 2021, can you give this news?
"It’s Ducati that has to talk about this (laughs, Ed.), I’m not the one to tell you something like that. At the moment I can't say anything because I don't know anything. I have to wait like all of you. I can only be happy with how fast I was at Misano; I know I can be fast and I know the results will come. "
Do you feel more pressure after this double race at Misano, especially after almost winning the second?
"I had a good race, but I didn’t finish it. I want to improve further, to learn. I think I am strong, but to be really strong I have to finish the races. I don't feel under pressure, I know I can prove here that I can stay in front. Let's see how things go with the tyres, with the track in Barcelona. I would like to fight for the top five again and I think our bike can be there without problems. Sunday it might also rain, I will have to be able to take advantage of the situation . Actually I have never ridden in the wet with this bike. It’s absurd that I have been riding the MotoGP bike for two years and I have never found a real wet situation. I tried mixed conditions last year and I was happy with it because Michelin’s MotoGP rain tyres are impressive compared to the rain tyres used in Moto2. I hope to gain experience in the wet now and maybe gain some experience, rather than doing it when maybe I'm fighting for something and I'm ahead in the championship. In that case I would prefer to be ready ".
In 2019 maybe you suffered a bit seeing Quartararo attract everyone's attention in your rookie season. Now that you're racing at the same level as him, how much pleasure is this giving you?
"It gives me pleasure to beat everyone, not just Fabio. In 2019 you journalists rightly praised him because he achieved incredible results, he was as fast as Marquez on some tracks. I, on the other hand, was struggling, but it's understandable. Now the fact of being in front gives me a lot of pleasure, but regardless of who I put behind. The really nice thing is to feel as fast as the best ".
Have you analysed the causes of your crash at Misano?
"The Ducati technicians looked for the reason for my crash. According to them it wasn't my mistake, the only thing they could tell me is that both Maverick and I were at the limit at that moment and maybe that's why I lost the front of my Ducati. We were about half a second faster than everyone else. "
There was the possibility that it was a visor tear-off on the ground, as happened for Miller, that ended your race…
"When you happen to hit a visor on the asphalt, the front slides a little and you can crash. We are not sure if this happened to me at Misano. Tomorrow I will talk about it in the Safety Commission, but more than for my accident, because I repeat, we are not sure if that was the cause of my accident, as much as what happened to Miller. It is not possible for a rider who is fighting for the world championship to make a zero in the standings for a visor. I think the stewards have to somehow clean up the track, no rider can lose a race because of that. Maybe it will be possible for the riders to detach these tear-offs in a single point of the track, to allow the marshals to clean more easily. In my opinion it would be important to make a rule for the race on this. In any case, it will be important to talk about it with Capirossi and Uncini, I hope they will listen to us on this topic ".