The Sachsenring circuit, deprived of its historic Spanish king, Marc Marquez, saw the crowning of a Frenchman for the first time in eight years, as Fabio Quartararo got the better of Ducati despite being the favourites in qualifying, thanks to Bagnaia’s crash. And while in any case two Ducatis were on the podium in any case, the German circuit also saw the return of Enea Bastianini, back after some disastrous races and anxious to recover the ground lost in the standings. A tenth place that took the Italian rider to 72 points behind the leader of the standings, now on par in terms of victories, three, in a championship that has reached the halfway point.
"It was a positive race day - said Enea - better than yesterday. The start was not the best, it was below expectations and the early stages of the race were not easy. Overtaking on this circuit is not easy and it took me some time to find a clear road. When I passed in front the wind initially created some problems for me, but I adapted by pushing myself down on the bike and I managed to keep a good race pace. Overall a good result also considering from where we started ".
What do you feel you have learned from this race for the future?
"For sure I understood the importance of keeping calm and concentration high. Working without my crew chief created some problems, it was certainly a track we struggled on."
In view of today's events, Fabio's victory and Bagnaia's crash, can Ducati still win the world championship?
"We are still halfway through the season, I think the game is not over yet. It is clear that Fabio's gap is starting to be a big one. After this race he is 72 points ahead of me, which are not few, but I believe that the second half of the season may still reserve some surprises, there will be circuits that I really like a lot".
Up to now you were the rider with the most wins this season, three. Today Fabio has reached you, while you seem not to be able to find a middle way: either you win or you struggle a lot. Do you think this is the point to work on? You’ve got the speed.
"I can’t deny that I am not yet ready to be always up front. Pecco, for example, has always had difficulties on this circuit, but he adapted, he worked a lot. I believe that in the future I too will improve in various aspects".
And now you’ve signed with Ducati in black on white…
"I never had any pressure for this, I was confident that the agreement would come. The only thing left was to sign it."
Going back to what happened yesterday, do you feel it was your fault somehow the disappointing result in qualifying?
"Yesterday I was very angry, partly with myself, partly because at times it seems that everything is rowing against you. The important thing is to know how to react in these situations, not giving in to nervousness as I did yesterday".
Fabio Di Giannantonio: I would like a podium at the end of the season
If Bastianini's tenth place tells of a rider who has found equilibrium again, for his box mate, Fabio di Giannantonio, eighth position could be the story of a rider who is beginning to find his. In fact, Fabio is showing his improvement as a rookie and picked up a good result, not so much for the classification as for the management of the race. And in the first laps he fought with the best.
"I am very happy with how I managed the race - the Roman rider declared - I made an excellent start right from the start, remaining in the leading group. I was able to respond to the attacks of my rivals, all while managing the race and the tyres. The only pity was at three quarters of the race when I started to suffer attacks from Martin, Marini and Binder, at that moment I had lost the rhythm. Unfortunately the front tyre temperature was really at the limit and I tried to take a wider line to try to cool it down in some way, I succeeded and in fact I regained a good pace and was back behind Binder ".
In short, an error of inexperience.
"Maybe yes, I should have responded more strongly to Martin's first overtaking, unfortunately in very hot races like this one, being in the front is a big advantage. I didn't believe it enough, I should have tried to push a little harder to stay in front." .
So now you will face the Dutch round with even more confidence.
"We are growing a lot, day after day we are improving all aspects. The starts in the past were my weak point, in the first laps I always lost a lot, while today both the start and in the early stages of the race went very well. In short, we are starting to be part of the game ".
What is the next step to further improve?
"First of all, consolidating this kind of result, an eighth position. From there, starting to work for the top 5, and eventually maybe fighting for some podiums at the end of the year would be really cool".
Any news about the renewal of your contract?
"Honestly, I haven't had the time yet, but obviously if you get good results, the good news follows accordingly. I believe that in the next few weeks we will have an answer" concluded the Gresini rider.