After starting from the sixteenth spot on the grid, Enea Bastianini crossed the finish line of the Portuguese GP ninth. With Jorge Martín absent, once again the #23 was the best MotoGP rookie, finishing in front of his teammate Luca Marini for the third time.
"The key to today's race was being able to make the bike a little more nimble and above all to brake harder – were Enea's first impressions about the GP - I did it really slowly. Looking at the official riders' data, I was able to see that they were doing things a bit different to me. In the race I tried to make some corrections but I couldn't do it right away, after a few laps. I definitely gained experience for the next race. I am really happy to have taken this step forward. I needed it! ”.
Now that you've raced on two different MotoGP tracks, do you have clearer ideas? What are the expectations for Jerez?
“They are quite high, I think Jerez could be a track where we will all be very close together. It will be difficult to make a difference, however, if I manage to save the tyres as happened here and in Qatar I think I might be competitive in the final part. I don't want to speak too soon because we are not there yet ”.
Ninth place today was your best result since the start of the season.
"Yes, today's is my best result of the year, even though there have been some crashes. I'm really happy because lap after lap I felt better and better on the bike. In the final laps I was really fast, like the leading group. I learned a lot in the first part of the race to be able to be fast in the second. At Jerez I will arrive convinced of my potential, knowing that I can stay further up ”.
Where do you need to improve further? Maybe in qualifying?
"Yes, I still have to improve both on the bike and myself with my training. It is important to be consistent and this weekend I was slow in FP1, but in FP2 and FP3 I went better and better ”.
You look more relaxed, is it because you are in your third race? Or is it an impression and actually the emotion is always the same?
"I'm definitely a bit more relaxed. The excitement of the first race was a little different. Now, for better or worse, I know what to expect from a MotoGP race. It is not easy, when you are behind all the benchmarks change. I’ll need a bit more apprenticeship to be fast even at the beginning ".
You are progressing gradually, is this your strong point right now?
“Right now, yes. I'm trying to use the first part of the race as a test looking at the others, to see what they do different from me. They have more experience and today I needed to see Valentino and Nakagami to be faster in the end. Once the tyre dropped, I was able to go faster and this created fewer problems for me. At first I was struggling to keep the bike calm ".
What happened at the start?
“I was unable to start the way I wanted. My bike reared up a bit, what a mess. You need to learn to apply a different strategy ”.