“Incredible” is a recurring word for Bagnaia after the Misano race: the public was incredible, his result was incredible, the affection he felt. Another 3rd place, like in the sprint, which repaid him for his efforts and suffering. He enjoyed all the excitement from the podium, with the home crowd screaming his name. “I'm pleased to feel all this affection, it's magical - smiled Pecco - Seeing everything red is a great emotion and also a responsibility, it means that we are working in the right way”.
How much is a result like today's worth?
“I don't want to be repetitive, but what we put into being here was a lot. I did it above all for myself, because it was important to be competitive after what happened in Barcelona and it wasn't a given. Being almost ready to fight in the race wasn't easy, I'm proud."
How much did racing at home help you?
“Racing in Austria would have been better physically, this track is tough (laughs). Being at home certainly gives a lot of motivation and a great push came from those who came to see me, to help me. Both the technical and emotional support were fantastic.”
At the start of the race did you think about aiming for more than a 3rd place?
“I tried, it would have been important to overtake Martin, but he was clearly superior. Then, after 15 laps, I was physically destroyed: I was riding using only my arms and the pressure in the front tyre had risen. I took 2 or 3 laps to catch my breath and that's what allowed me to push again when Pedrosa approached again."
Pedrosa gave you a hard time, like yesterday.
“It was too important for me to get on the podium. Dani was pushing so hard, when at the end of 6 laps I saw him at 2 tenths of a second, I thought he was going to outsmart me. I was lapping in 1'32.7, I was struggling, then I managed to lower my times. I usually ride using my legs, but I couldn't do it in my condition. When changing direction and braking I was really physically destroyed. Finished".
Did you think about stopping?
“I had tougher races in Moto3, when I raced with Mahindra or Team Italia, that's when I thought about retiring (laughs).
In perfect physical condition what could you have done?
“Jorge had an incredible pace throughout the race. For sure if I had been in perfect shape it would have been a different story, but it would still have been difficult to beat him."
Martin says he feels no pressure for the championship as he is not a factory rider.
“It's not true, he feels it a lot! However there is no problem, if he gets too close we will turn off the taps! (laughs). Joking aside, it's right that Jorge is relaxed and it will be a good fight with him. I lost some points this weekend, but 14 and not 37, that makes me proud. It was easy to give up, to think about simply getting to the finish line."
Are you starting to feel the fight against Martin and Bezzecchi differently?
“There is nothing that makes me calm and nothing that worries me, I know what their potential and my potential are.”
It wasn't a spectacular race, why?
“Since the introduction of the minimum tyre pressure rule, it has become more complicated to overtake. If you stay a few laps behind another rider it climbs a lot and it becomes complicated to try to pass him, you risk losing the front. For me this rule is a disaster in some respects. Of course, today even the pace set by Jorge didn’t help to encourage the fights. At any rate, this rule is a big limit, we certainly need to improve to manage the pressure better, but it certainly doesn't make our sport safer."
"Just stay 2 or 3 laps behind another rider and you start to struggle to stop the bike. If you add the effect of the slipstream, you risk crashing into him."
Was Pedrosa given a warning because he was found to have too low pressure?
“He had a bonus to use by racing only in this race, it was a good strategy. Other than that, there's no need for me to say anything about Dani, his story speaks for him. I had already seen him lap in the tests here at Misano and he had impressed me, he has a beautiful riding style, it's perfect. It's a shame we didn't have the opportunity to follow him."
Michelin says that it is you riders who you have to handle the tyre pressure.
“In my opinion it should help us, it's not our fault that there is this tyre construction and we need to improve safety. I have nothing to say regarding performance, we set some incredible times, but we could use more support. I'm not critical of Michelin, it's just what I've been thinking since the minimum pressure rule was introduced. They said they did it to increase safety, but it doesn’t. I don't agree and never have."
Will you take part in the tests tomorrow?
“We'll look at the programme, if there isn’t anything too important to test I'll rest.”
Will the physical problems be just a memory for the Indian GP?
“Maybe I won't be in perfect shape, but I think I won't have any problems riding. My biggest problem is the hematoma and it's already starting to go down."