The Qatar Grand Prix ended with an outburst from Pecco Bagnaia towards Ducati. After the race, he complained that he had to be more of a tester than a rider, something that compromised the result in the first round of the season. Now that a few days have passed, with the men from Borgo Panigale playing the matter down, the situation seems to have returned to normal.
"I think that Ducati doesn’t have to apologize to me, we are a team and we work together - underlined the Italian from the Mandalika track, where the Indonesian GP will start tomorrow - We spoke and everything is cleared up. In any case, I think this weekend could be another story. I had time at home to relax because it was not an easy week. We worked a lot, but I had an enjoyable session of training in Mugello and on Saturday at the Ranch. So, I had time to reflect and to relax with my girlfriend, with my little dog and my friends.”
What conclusion did you come to?
“To be clear I said that I was testing too much, but the message that I passed on was that I didn’t want to do it again. It’s clear in a factory team you have to do it like this. I was maybe quite nervous after the race.”
What was the problem?
"Having had too few days in the winter to focus on everything new. In Qatar, all in all, we found the solution: I had a bad start, but then I was lapping quickly. Unfortunately I made a bad mistake, because I also ruined the race for another rider (Martin, ed.). It is the thing that I regretted the most".
The GP22 still seems not yet sorted in some aspects, will you take a few steps back for this GP?
“I won't exactly use the Qatar bike because we had solved so many problems in FP4. Logically, we still need to understand it better before exploiting it to 100%, we will see how it goes here. I expect better sensations than in the tests, but we will probably understand the level with certainty only on Saturday ”.
Is acceleration the problem with the new bike?
“I wouldn't say so, the Yamaha and Suzuki are better at the first touch of the gas, but last year we were able to catch up. As I said, we have to understand a lot of things and we haven't had enough time, but I don't want to feel that the Ducati is the fastest bike anymore, now everyone is going like us on the straight (laughs) ”.
What's the program for this weekend?
“This weekend could be different. My work will be to understand the conditions, understand the tyres and step up the electronics of my bike. The setting is already ok, I don’t want to change anything like I was doing last year – my classic work.”
Does Mandalika seem favourable for Ducati?
“It's a good track for us, with a lot of corners to connect, but Honda and Yamaha were also fast. This week, however, many things could change, it will be unknown for everyone. There will be a different tyre, with a harder casing and less rubber, therefore less grip. We will have to understand how the tyres will behave, I think that this weekend, rather than the flying lap for qualifying, it will be important to be ready for the race ”.
What was the reception of the Indonesian fans like in Jakarta?
“Very nice, during the parade I also learned how to do a burn out going forward with the bike (laughs). Then I ran away from the bodyguards to say hello to the fans, they have a great passion for motorcycles and you have to respect it ".