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MotoGP, Bagnaia reckons that Quartararo is superior and that they will have to try and stop him

VIDEO - "Yesterday I would have signed up for a 6th place in qualifying. It will be a waiting race, I won’t be able to push from start to finish, but I aim to regain confidence"

MotoGP: Bagnaia reckons that Quartararo is superior and that they will have to try and stop him

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"If you had told me yesterday, I would have signed up for a sixth place on the grid." The second row at Mandalika is not such a bad result after all for Pecco Bagnaia, who today had a particularly uphill slope to climb. Yesterday, due to two yellow flags in FP2, he was unable to put in even one single lap and this morning the rain prevented him from entering directly into Q2. Despite everything, it was a good day for the Italian who is rebuilding his confidence after the misstep in Qatar.

“Yesterday I was unlucky and getting through Q1 is never easy - he explained - I hadn't even done a time attack, today I did four in a row and it wasn't easy. We did a good job and I'm happy, but tomorrow it will be important to make a start not like the one in Qatar but like last year's. On this track it is not easy to overtake and in the heat the risk is that of overheating the front tire ”.

Are you worried about the tires?

“The problem is the temperature, the tires on the left side are perfect, but on the right it's easy to lose the rear. That's what happened to me when I was improving in Q2, I lost the rear at corner entry and had to abort the lap. Right now, the only one who seems to be able to handle the soft for the race is Quartararo, I'm fast but not as fast as he is. This is why I think it will be important to stop him in the early laps, I expect a race similar to the one in Barcelona last year, in which you have to wait, you can't push too hard ”.

What are your goals for tomorrow?

“After the weekend in Qatar, the main thing is to get to the finish and regain confidence. I want to fight in the top positions, but after what happened in the first race of the year I would be happy to finish in the top 5. This is not such a good track for Ducati, we did a good job but Quartararo is superior. I'll have to understand what the pace will be at the start and try to save the tires for the end, even though it won't be easy. "

You said that Mandalika is not favourable for Ducati, but there are 4 bikes in the first 6 places…

“I mean it’s not as favourable as Losail was. We know that our bike is competitive on the flying lap and also that last year we achieved good results on circuits that were difficult for us ”.

You mentioned regaining confidence, aren't you the Bagnaia we saw at the end of 2021 yet?

“I finally feel strong since, in FP4 in Qatar, we found a set-up that helps me. But I want to feel the same feelings in the race. In the flying lap I was able to do what I wanted again, to lift hard, put the bike sideways to make it turn, these were feelings that I missed. But this is a new track, we will use tires that we don’t know, so the race will be an unknown factor for everyone. We need to understand the strategy, I won't be able to push from start to finish and I don't know if Quartararo will be able to do it. In any case, this weekend I'm returning to last year’s feelings”.

Pol Espargarò said that these tires give an advantage to Ducati.

“I don't know why he said that, they are different tires than the tests, with less grip. I like these, but in the tests I was focused on trying a lot of things, these days just on riding and gaining confidence. I don't know if they are better for us, with the old ones today I would certainly have been faster. Pol was the fastest in FP1, it's hard to say ”.

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