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MotoGP, Bagnaia: "Only Rossi and Marquez have retained the title, I can do it too"

"I'm pleased to be the favourite, even if these are just comments: only in the summer will we have clear ideas. With Bastianini in the race we'll be free to fight, but we'll have to work together in practice"

MotoGP: Bagnaia: "Only Rossi and Marquez have retained the title, I can do it too"


There is not one rider on the MotoGP grid who does not indicate Pecco Bagnaia as the favourite for the title. On the one hand he deserves it by right, as he is the reigning champion, on the other in the winter tests he proved to be the most in-form rider. The man from Piedmont does not resort to false modesty and he too is betting on himself on the eve of a very long season: 21 GPs for 42 races with the introduction of the sprint race.

Pecco, what do you think when all the opponents are putting you as a favourite?

“It's nice, but these are just circumstantial comments. Everyone knows that if Quartararo gets off to a good start, he will be there to win, as well as Marquez and Bastianini, the Aprilia riders. Everyone wants the number 1 on the bike, there are many favourites for the title, we'll see who manages to stay ahead from the start".

Is defending the number 1 more difficult than conquering it?

“Since I remember from the races, only Marc and Vale have retained the title. Having number one for sure is something to respect, something to give the maximum to continue using it. I’m sure all the riders here are wanting to steal this number from my bike. But I’m sure if we work well, everything is in a good way, we can defend the title. For sure it will not be easy, but we are there.”

Are you feeling more pressure?

“I see it as a motivation, we will see along the way”.

How have you changed compared to a year ago?

“The awareness of having managed to win a title in very difficult conditions and knowing that I'm starting from a better condition help me mentally. I have an extra year of experience."

The first round is at Portimao, a track you really like.

“Compared to previous years, I had a good start already on the first day of testing in Malaysia and this helped me a lot. Starting the championship in Europe is different, this track I really like and it suits my riding style and the Ducati well, so everything is going in my direction. I certainly feel ready for this weekend, but over the course of the season, everything can change. Once we get to the summer break, we'll understand the general level."

You seem very confident.

“I'm very happy, a year ago at the beginning of the season we were in trouble, but we learned from our mistakes and everything went perfectly this winter. The new Desmosedici suits my riding style better: I brake hard and carry a lot of speed through corners, the GP22 moved a lot while the GP23 is more stable. The engineers have worked for me, I already felt better in Sepang and here in Portimao the step forward was incredible".

Let's talk about the sprint race.

“Before making any hasty judgments, I'd like to try it. The simulation in the tests was tough, but I was tired and did two in a row. We'll see, there are circuits, like Austin, where maybe we should think about doing fewer laps because it will be a very tight and hard race. The approach to the weekend will change, like the way of working; it will take 3 or 4 GPs to understand better".

The sprint race, the parade on the track, a new theme tune: is MotoGP going in the right direction?

“There was a need for changes, even if at the beginning new things are always scary. Ours is a high-level sport and I think it's going in the right direction."

How do you see the relationship in the garage with Bastianini?

“We are both smart enough to know that by working well together we will both be more competitive. Miller and I knew each other well by now, but I also have a good relationship with Enea, but for him this working method is different from what he was used to. We'll be free to fight in the race, but it'll be important to work together in practice."


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