Bagnaia missed out on first place by 63 thousandths from Martin, curiously his old race number, but he can't complain. While some riders went did better than him in the flying lap, he had no rivals in terms of pace. He insisted on using the medium tire on the rear and worked lap after lap to tailor-make the Ducati onto himself. It seems to have worked.
Pecco, are you more serene now?
“I always am, but being second I'm bound to be, if I had been 18th I would be a little less. I always love coming here to Austin."
Despite the track conditions?
“The Safety Commission tonight will be long. The track conditions are worse than last year, there are 4 different types of asphalt, and this is not possible, in the dry you can manage it, but in the wet it would be much more difficult. There are points where the asphalt is destroyed, in turns 11, 12 and in the first one, but we are going incredibly fast because the track is much cleaner than a year ago. We will try to change things; it would be useful for them to listen to us a little more, but I don't know who the order should come from. We're making huge steps forward on safety, the biggest goal is to sort out the penalty issue, there's always trouble."
Other than that, how was your day?
“I'm happy, we worked very well and had some good results. We concentrated on the medium tire on the rear, which certainly has less grip than the soft, but allows you to work well. However, I must admit that I didn't expect such a big jump when I mounted the soft tyre, it was incredible, so we'll have to do more laps with it tomorrow morning".
What satisfied you the most?
“We managed to find a good compromise so that the bike is good under braking but also rideable. There is still a little something missing, but the balance is positive”.
What is missing?
“Above all, to improve under braking, because handling is preferred on this track. Also, with so many holes, it's hard to be consistent. Tomorrow morning, we will have more time to understand everything”.
Have you already identified your most dangerous rival?
“Alex Marquez was certainly fast, but I expected that, he has the master of this track at home, and that helps. It seemed to me that everyone was quite consistent, the Ducatis are strong".