MotoGP, Bagnaia struggles through the pain barrier to finish a superb second

"I couldn’t get my knee down. If nobody wants to win this championship, I'm here. I've changed my style and I'm the best in braking thanks to a harder spring. I'm committed to being the best Ducati rider."

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For Pecco Bagnaia it looked as if it was going to be a cursed year. In the second race at Jerez the engine of his Ducati went up in smoke when the podium was a foregone conclusion, while at Brno, during free practice, he broke his leg in a crash. The result was more than one month at home, just as the hunt for the last vacant place in the factory Ducati team began.

At Misano, however, the Pramac rider did not fail. A bad start, then an exciting comeback and the fight against the pain to not be overtaken by Mir. Perhaps now in Borgo Panigale they no longer have any doubts about who Miller's teammate will be next year.

"I haven't talked to anyone yet, Dall’Igna, Ciabatti or Tardozzi. Maybe I'll do it later and then I'll let you know what they tell me,” he joked after his first podium in MotoGP.

It was the culmination of something he started a long time ago…

"I did a reset last year in the Thailand GP. There I began to understand that I had to change my riding style, adapt to the Ducati. I did it step by step, in the first race at Jerez I didn't consider the wear of the front tyre, in the second I improved and here I showed that I was on the right track ”.

After Jerez, however, the injury…

“At least I rested. In fact, not even that, because between physiotherapy, training and treatment I came home only to sleep. Friday was a study day, I wanted to see how my leg was. On Saturday I started riding without thinking about anything, just having fun and everything came easy ”.

However, he was not thinking about the podium yet…

“I thought about it only after passing Valentino - he admitted - But this morning, in the warm-up, I was surprised at how fast I was, usually I always struggle in that session. I started to believe I could have a good race and be in the leading group ”.

It went much better, with his first podium in MotoGP…

“The most important thing was to start from where I left off - continued Bagnaia - When I realized that my leg wasn't giving me any problems I tried to push harder and I felt the same sensations as Jerez, it was easier than I expected. A week ago I would never have imagined getting on the podium ”.

His leg problems, however, returned in the final part…

“I tried to use my arms more when riding. But in the last laps the pain appeared, I couldn't get my knee on the ground in the right-hand corners and I was struggling to change direction, it was difficult to be consistent. I tried to push, but on the last lap I had to give up. I could hear the sound of Mir's Suzuki behind me, I was afraid he would overtake me at the last corner. "

It didn't happen and Bagnaia made the difference compared to all the other Ducati riders…

“I had to work on my head to accept the change in style – he said I’m committed to being the best Ducati rider under braking, this allows me to enter the corners faster than the others, even if I am slightly slower in the corners. It was a long process, which I was able to conclude in Jerez. I haven't changed much on the bike, technically I only use a harder spring for the fork, I have changed my style. Then, it helped me a lot having trained at Misano on the Panigale V4, in fact I felt fewer bumps on the MotoGP bike”.

It goes without saying that, without those three missed races, Pecco could also be thinking about the championship title…

"If nobody wants to win it, I am here - he joked - This year is unusual, there are two races on the same track, the tyres are different and a lot of things can happen that will allow one rider to win rather than another. It's amazing how competitive everyone is ”.

Today Bagnaia, like Morbidelli, surpassed his maestro: Valentino Rossi…

“Valentino gives us what we need, he’s incredible because he has an answer for all your questions. He created something extraordinary with the Riders Academy, I have enormous respect for him. I think we help each other, that's why he still manages to be as fast as he is today ”.

 

 

 

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