Bagnaia is becoming more and more the benchmark for Ducati. Even at Jerez - a track that is not too bad for the Rossa - the Italian rider wrapped up the day with a perfect lap that gave him first place in the standings. A result that goes well with his second place in the overall standings, but despite this Pecco does not feel he is the benchmark for Borgo Panigale.
"I don't feel like the leader in Ducati, I'm simply working to be as fast as possible and thinking about the race - he explained - Maybe in the future, if I fight for the World Championship, I will feel this kind of pressure more, but now I just want to be a better rider and I'm giving 100% to do it, I feel on the same level as Miller ”.
But today you made all the difference…
“It's good to be fast on this track, where Ducati hasn't always gone well. However, I have always done well in Jerez, I have a lot of confidence on the front and this allows me to work only on the rear, to find more grip, because there is not much grip. The flying lap is not a problem for me, because I have a lot of fun doing it, if anything I have to keep working on the pace, there is still something missing. Morbidelli went very fast today and we need to be able to get close to him, I think I still need another three tenths of a second ”.
What is the secret to going fast with the Desmosedici at Jerez?
“Looking at the data, compared to the other Ducati riders, I am able to brake later and the higher speed with which I enter the corners helps me to make the bike turn. The other riders have a similar style to each other, while mine is different and on tracks like this it works, we have to see on the other ones”.
Can you also think about the win?
“I hope so (laughs). We will have to keep working, today I took a big step forward and we are going in the right direction, but I know that tomorrow the track conditions will change ”.
At the end of FP2 there are 14 riders in 9 tenths of a second…
“We all know this track well, I have been racing here since 2011, in addition it is short and therefore the gap is smaller. It's hard to make a difference, to do that you need to be smart in managing the tyre. Qualifying will be very important, because it is difficult to pass. My goal for tomorrow is the front row, starting from the front means having done 40% of the race ”.
Tardozzi said you are now more aware of your strength…
“Now I know that if I push I can go fast and that helps me, but what makes the difference is my confidence with the bike. I can get on the track and push straight away, I feel every change we make, I think these are the results of the work done over the past few years and over the winter. It is nice and a great satisfaction to see yourself at the front every time you go out on the track ”.
How much room do you still have to improve?
“In my opinion I’m already at a good level, as I said, going fast every time you push gives you a big boost of confidence. Last year it wasn't like that, I couldn't improve, I crashed without understanding why. For sure, having fun on the bike is another thing that helps a lot, especially in the flying lap. "