His Ducati was the fastest on the track on the last test day in Sepang. We're talking about Pecco Bagnaia, who recorded the 4th fastest time on Sunday, putting Valentino Rossi's Yamaha behind him.
A performance that made Pecco smile. But he still prefers to keep his feet firmly on the ground.
“We worked really well on the last day, and I'm happy ," he began. "Maybe I could have done something more, but I'm enthusiastic, as I was for the race simulation. The latter proved to be important, especially in trying to understand how to manage the tires."
Bagnaia focused on this topic.
“These new tires have to be used in a completely different way. If you tighten too much, you risk wearing them out quickly. Besides from that, the race simulation was essential. I did it in the worst possible time. As soon as I finished, my hands, feet, and back were burning. But it was still positive, since the first and last laps were similar. There are obviously some things that need improving."
Pecco explains them without mincing words.
“Trying to brake earlier than I do now, to then try and control the throttle better in the first exiting phase. This means I have to adapt my style better to the new Ducati."
The latest version of the Ducati doesn't seem to have secrets, yet.
“I think I get it enough already. These have been three important, productive days. I was fast during the tests last year, but I managed to be faster on the pace this time."
Jack Miller was among the top ten of the day, with an 8th position.
“I was fast, and I'm happy ," the Australian rider commented. "The bike performed well. It was powerful and fast. We worked on balance and geometry, trying to get to Qatar at our best. Unfortunately, finding the right set-up here is not easy, even if, like I said, the bike performed well."
Miller then remembers Losail in last season before the real challenge begins.
“I have to try to continue working the best I can, as I did last year. The next tests will be in Qatar and, on that occasion, we have to be ready. This goes for the tests, but also for the Championship when it starts."
In two weeks, the riders will obviously find very different conditions.
“We'll have to assess things on a track in other conditions. It'll be important to understand the wear on the Michelin tires, since the asphalt in Qatar will be different from that in Sepang."
Apparently, the new tires seem to get along with the Suzuki and the Yamaha.
"I think they know how to use them well. It all depends on the balance of the bike."
Audio recorded by Matteo Aglio