Bagnaia honoured the number 1 on the fairing in the best possible way at Portimao. After Marquez snatched pole position from his hands, in the first sprint race in MotoGP history, the world champion made up for it. Obviously, given the result, Pecco did not join in the criticisms of the new format raised by other riders, and Martin and Marc who shared the podium with him were along the same lines.
“I'm happy, we did our job - he smiled - Even if in some ways it's a strange feeling because tomorrow we'll have to race again. My goal was to finish in the top 3, the plan was to manage the front tire in the first part and it worked. In general, I enjoyed it, even if with so few laps the tension is greater”.
If Martin hadn’t made a mistake, would you have tried everything to win?
“I wouldn't have taken too many risks, but I was better than him going into corners and if I had the chance I would have tried. Where? Coming out of the last corner I had some wheelie problems, I wasn't able to attack him on the straight, I would have done it at turns 10 and 11. But on the last lap Jorge went wide, he made a mistake, and I took advantage of that".
Does the sprint race help in some way to clarify ideas for the Sunday race as well?
“Everything will be different tomorrow, starting with the approach. Today it was just a matter of pushing, while tomorrow you will have to manage the tyres. Having said that, I think the riders up front will be more or less the same."
Quartararo was very critical of this format; he declared that it would be better to do two standard length races.
“Impossible, it would be too tiring. It's tough enough already, with a 60-minute free practice session on Friday and qualifying right before the sprint races. If anything, I'd like to have more time between qualifying and the races to talk to the team, analyse the data, so times are really tight."
So you like the sprint race…
"Last year it was impossible to overtake because of the aerodynamics for many reasons. Now it is a jungle with the same aerodynamics. I was not behind so I don’t know what happened. For sure, to have an overtake now you have to take some risk and you have to be aggressive but it’s like this. You have to be prepared. In the end it's a matter of finding a compromise, Dorna is looking for more show and today we can't complain. Of course, on Saturday you have to approach it in a smooth way. It’s true that if you win you get 12 points but it’s not the 25 of the Sunday.”
Can't you see any critical issues?
“We still have to adapt, on this track we were prepared because we had tested, but that won't be the case in Argentina. Certainly Saturday is very tough, we have to do many things and we can't all do them well, but my routine before the race hasn't changed much: I eat something and try to relax".
What about the battle with your former teammate Miller?
“I didn't expect Jack to overtake me, he was very fast. He didn't have an ideal winter, but he worked well and I'm happy for him."
Are you ready for tomorrow?
“Today I showed that I'm competitive and in the standard race we'll use the medium tyre, which I like more than the soft. I'm confident".