Enea Bastianini's first day of testing at Portimao did not go as smooth as silk. Between technical problems and a crash, the Ducati man was unable to go further than 17th place, ending up with a 1.238s gap from the leader Francesco Bagnaia.
“This morning we had two small problems on both bikes. Two little things that kept us in the box for a long time. In the afternoon, I crashed at the end. I wasn't even pushing much, I was just trying to do a few laps because I knew I'd have to put on new tyres after, but it was starting to get chilly and I crashes", admitted Enea candidly at the end of the session.
A complicated Saturday that did not affect the Rimini rider's morale, however, as he reckons that the glass is half-full when analysing the day's work. Also thanks to the potential shown by Pecco.
“The balance is not as negative as it seems: there is some positive. My pace is not at the level of the top three, but now it is not far from the Top 5. As for the flying lap, we do not know because I have never tried it. There will certainly be work to do for tomorrow. Tonight I will have to study the data well and look at some lines where I think I am making some mistakes - explained Enea - Today we rode with the advanced configuration but without the ‘basin’. We did not test it very much in Malaysia and we definitely need to do a few more laps. I think we will evaluate it tomorrow”.
Complicating the 25-year-old's work, in fact, is not so much the transition from the GP22 to the GP23, as a not entirely optimal feeling with the Portimao track.
“I think the new bike should be ridden in a different way, even though the bikes are very similar and I still haven't interpreted the track well,” said Bastianini. “For me it's also a matter of interpretation, because with the MotoGP bike I haven’t done that many laps in the dry here in Portimao, so I need to get some reference points, understand a few things and start making the most of the new bike. Maybe I'm struggling a bit more than Pecco at the moment, but we’ll get there".
So how does the Ducati rider feel after this first day? “Worried zero. I am not disappointed, but I am a bit angry about the day because we could have got a bit more out of it. However, between mistakes by the team and my mistake, we slowed down a bit - admitted the Beast, who did get an extra boost from Pecco's best time - It gives me motivation because I believe that the time Pecco did is possible and we too will get there over the weekend. I don't know if we'll get there tomorrow but I'm confident."