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Bagnaia: "The rider makes the difference, I'm not the Verstappen of MotoGP"

"Valentino said I didn't make any mistakes. I made 2. I give myself a 9.5 to spur me on. I don't want to start managing the lead in the championship, otherwise I'll be afraid of making a mistake"

MotoGP: Bagnaia:

Perfection doesn’t exist for Pecco Bagnaia, or rather he does not want to associate it with himself to think he can continue to grow. As a result, for his weekend at the Red Bull Ring he does not give himself a 10 on his report card: "better a 9 and a half, to spur me on". Pole position, fastest lap, two victories, impossible to do better than this.

Valentino said you didn't make a single mistake.

"I made two at the first corner, I got a bit carried away and touched the green on the exit".

Are you the Verstappen of MotoGP?

“I would say absolutely not (laughs). We are doing a good job and we just have to keep going like this."

You have shown that the rider can still make the difference.

“Absolutely, you must know how to work. The bike can give you an advantage in certain areas, but it's the rider who makes the difference. Of course, if you have a means that doesn't work then you'll struggle to do it, just look at Bautista first with the Honda and then with the Ducati. It's a combination of things."

Valentino can go home happy with you and Bezzecchi on the podium.

“Yes, also because Marini finished 4th and Morbidelli, despite it not being an easy situation, is increasing his speed. It was a good day for the Academy, the work we did back home was incredible, and I have to thank Carlo (Casabianca, the trainer, ed.) and all the guys who work for us".

Both you and Bezzecchi celebrated with him at the end of the race, what is your relationship?

“We're no longer friends, until the end of the season, we just did a little show for the TV (laughs). Seriously, we spend a lot of time together off the track and talk about many things, not just bikes. I have a good relationship with all the Academy riders, but the one with Marco is special and we're not afraid to tell each other what we think."

How can you describe your race?

“I'm honestly very happy because my team and the engineers did an incredible job, they gave me everything I asked for. We improved a lot since Friday; I had good sensations, but I was missing something. Yesterday I took a step forward and today I knew that the conditions would be difficult, it was hot, managing the rear tire was a mess and so was the pressure on the front. It was one of my best weekends of the season in terms of speed and consistency. I want to thank my team."

Once again, the start made all the difference.

“We improved the first part of acceleration. I was convinced that our potential was higher at the start, we were close to KTM, but we were missing something and now we have closed this gap. It helped me win both races."

Yesterday you said you pushed like hell in the sprint, today instead…

“I tried to stay focused and be careful with the gas. I knew that in the first laps a good pace would have been around 1'30.1 or 2, but it wasn't easy to be consistent and in the last 10 laps I had finished the rear tyre. When I started to get away from Brad, I tried to keep the same pace and not lose concentration, because it's easy to make a mistake on this track. With 2 laps to go, I had a little warning from the tyre and relaxed a bit."

Was the front tyre pressure a problem?

“I didn't have the opportunity to be in the middle of the group (smiles). However, I was at the limit even by myself, the pressure was above 2 bars and when you go above 1.9 it becomes more difficult to ride. You have to get used to this rule because it will always be like this."

Is it also the fault of this rule that we see less overtaking?

“It makes the races less intense because if you manage to overtake the rider in front of you right away, everything is fine, but if you are behind him for 3 or 4 laps, he starts to struggle a lot and you must slow down. This is a track where braking and acceleration made more of a difference than in others, where corner entry and cornering matter more, Ducati and KTM are better in those areas, that could be another reason."

Was fuel consumption a problem?

“This track is complicated; my formation lap was very slow: I also put neutral on the downhill section after the corner and then switched off the engine as I came out of the last corner to consume as little fuel as possible. Ducati has also been good at improving in this, when you're in someone's slipstream it's not a problem, but when you're ahead of everyone you must reduce the power a bit. In a certain sense, it also helped me, because it forced me to ride more smoothly".

At the halfway point of the championship, you are 62 points ahead of Martin, how will you face the second part of the season?

“Continuing as now: working, thinking about one session after another and trying to be ready for the races. I don't want to think about the championship, even though I know our potential is high and the work that we can do every weekend. When you start thinking about managing, the fear of making mistakes comes, it's better to have fun and keep working like this, like this weekend, where we made a difference. It's a circuit that's favourable to us but managing to do it gives us confidence."

 

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