Pecco Bagnaia had an utterly disastrous weekend in Aragon but the conditions no exist for him not to have such a nightmare this time around. From the bad qualifying to the crash in the race, the main suspect for all his difficulties has always been the difficulty of his Ducati in quickly warming up the Michelins. A problem which, however, on Sunday morning, with the race set-up, seemed to have been solved by Bagnaia, only for him to ruin everything with a crash.
From a certain point of view, racing again in Aragon gives Bagnaia the opportunity to make up for it immediately, proving that he has learnt from that experience and can also be fast on the Alcaniz track. In the usual meeting with journalists ahead of the race weekend, Pecco took stock of this topic and also explained his position regarding the possibility of receiving team orders from Ducati to help Dovizioso in the fight for the title.
Bagnaia at Aragon is not in quarantine like Valentino Rossi in Italy, but staying in Spain in that area in this period is not exactly the best situation…
"For sure staying in Italy would have been better - commented Pecco - Here the days are long, but that's okay. Yesterday we wrote to Vale, he is home and he’s fed up, but at least he is fine. As for safety aspects, perhaps it was better for us to stay here rather than go home, because maybe a single positive on the plane would have been enough to force us all into quarantine, as happened to Arbolino. At the circuit everything is safer. Taking an extra flight is dangerous in this moment. We have been meeting up with the other guys from the Academy these days, we trained together but not a lot, because we follow different programs. I spent a lot of time watching movies and playing Call of Duty! "
Let’s talk about a hot topic, that is, eventual team orders from Ducati to help Dovizioso. Have they talked to you these days?
"Nobody in Ducati has talked to me about team orders, but if I have to help Dovizioso I will, it won't be a problem for me. I think the most important thing is to see a Ducati win the championship. Dovizioso has a great chance, he is just 15 points behind Mir and it is very important that he can try. If he needs it, I will certainly help him. "
How do you approach this weekend after the disaster of the first race at Aragon?
"We did a good job last weekend, because on Sunday I was competitive before I crashed. So I think we will start from that base and I will for sure be fine. I am quite convinced that we will have a good weekend, I feel good and the temperatures are a bit higher so that will help us".
Last week it all seemed more difficult for you…
"It was a complicated weekend from the first moment, the conditions never helped me, I always struggled to be fast. I had difficulties with the front, with the rear, it wasn't going well until Sunday morning. On the other hand, when I started the race, I felt good right away. Maybe I wouldn't have won, but I would have been fighting at least with the other Ducati riders. Then I crashed on the second lap, but at least I found the way forward so for this weekend I feel much more ready ".
You said so many times last week that you need to ride harder to warm up the tyre right away. Can you tell us what you mean?
"Riding harder basically means riding as if everything were normal. Having the same braking intensity and the same corner entry speed. It's the only way you can warm up the tyre, otherwise you can't and you struggle more. It is the lack of confidence that does not allow you to push hard in corner entry or in braking. If you manage to push the tyre hard anyway, even on the first lap, the tyre heats up and everything goes back to normal ".
In this Jack Miller can teach you something, since you said you would study his data to understand this particular aspect…
"The thing that Jack does is just that, he enters the track and pushes at 100% immediately, already on the out lap. This is also useful because if the tyre goes down in temperature, afterwards you have a lot of difficulty in bringing it back up. You have to push, you need a lot of laps, instead it is essential to get in and go fast immediately to warm it up quickly ".
The Honda is fast once again with Alex Marquez. Are you a bit afraid of his improvement in view of the season finale?
"Honda always puts the best bikes of the grid on the track. Last year the 2019 bike was very fast, Marc was always in front. He had the perfect bike for his style, they had also taken a big step forward with the engine reaching the level of the Ducati. Alex at the beginning of the year had some problems understanding how to ride it to the limit, but in the last few races he has always been competitive. He is adapting well and Aragon is a suitable circuit for the RCV, if Alex starts further up the grid this weekend he could win. "