Pecco Bagnaia leaves Jerez with a time of 1:36.872 in the final standings. A tenth better than he had done in the Grand Prix in May but with one big difference: "I did this with a new medium tyre, full tank of fuel and wind. It's incredible". Indeed, it is, but Ducati and the Italian demonstrated in the final part of the season that they have found a perfect understanding and the updates to the bike that have arrived from Borgo Panigale do not seem to have changed things one bit.
“I'm happy, we still have a lot of work to do but I feel great – was Pecco's summary - Plus Jack and I have more or less the same ideas on developments and I think the Ducati is already the perfect bike”.
Let's start with the most visible new feature: the fairing...
"Okay, but there is still work to be done because it represents a big change from the one we have used this year and we need to understand if it is better or not. I like it because it looks better, but it will be important to choose and we need more laps. For the moment, the positive aspects are more than the negative ones, it helps when cornering, but we lose something on the straight and in reducing wheelie. We are not completely convinced yet because it is so different ".
What were your first impressions with the 2022 engine?
“It has a completely different character and when you try something so new you have to understand it first. They have worked on the acceleration, we are already at the levels of the previous engine, but it is only the second day and so there is room for improvement. Ducati has all my confidence”.
We also saw a new exhaust, very long…
“I tried several things, with Ducati it's normal and I'm not surprised because they always work a lot at home. The new exhaust offers more or less the same feelings as the old one, now they will analyse the data. It makes me happy to have lapped faster than qualifying for the GP, working only on small things, so this is not the worst track for us, I already felt good with the old bike. If anything, it was nice to see the progress made during this year, both mine and the bike. I think the old bike was already perfect and we made it even better, that's the incredible thing. Also in the Sepang tests in February we will have some more new things”.
The Desmosedici is perfect, what about you?
“It's the perfect bike for me. I don't know if there will ever be a perfect Pecco, because I will always have to improve. Let's say I'll try to be the best Pecco possible. This was the year I improved the most in my career. Compared to May, I felt better in everything, having won helped me to be more competitive, I made a lot of steps forward, not just one. I hope not to return from winter all confused as happened to me in 2018 (laughs). I prefer the situation this year, I'm fine and I enjoy it ".
This was the first test with 8 Ducatis on the track…
“I'm happy that Luca and Bez are also there, we will have more things to talk about. Managing eight bikes will not be easy for Ducati, they are a lot, but I'm sure they will succeed and we will have more data for development”.
Bastianini is enthusiastic about the 2021 bike, you too had made a similar change…
“I had started on the 2018 bike with some updates, the difference once I got on the 2020 was very big. But the one who had made the biggest change was me, while Enea was already competitive this year, it took me longer. I am convinced that he will continue to improve with the GP21, he will find everything perfect”.
Did you get to see any rookies on the track?
“Only Bezzecchi and Di Giannantonio, I like them because both already brake very strong. Unfortunately, they had the misfortune to have found wind, it seemed like we were in Australia two years ago, when they stopped the tests. To gain experience, however, it's okay”.
Have you got an idea who will be your most dangerous rivals next year?
“It's hard to say, maybe with eight riders you'll find them in house. In the tests it is difficult to understand who can be a contender for the title, based on the latest races I say Marquez, Mir, Quartararo, Miller and Martin and I am convinced that Morbidelli will also be up there as soon as he recovers from the injury. In the end I have to think of myself and arrive as ready as possible ".