In India Pecco Bagnaia arrived at his fifth crash in races this season. It is certainly not the result he was looking for and he himself is the first to be mortified by it. The mea culpa doesn't change the situation and his lead in the standings has become even narrower. Now he is only 13 points ahead of Martin and Bezzecchi is also catching up fast at -44.
Pecco, you started with the hard front tyre: was this a reason for the crash?
“It's hard to say, I was pushing. I wanted to race with the harder compound because - I don't know why - the other Ducatis worked better with the medium, but for me I was in trouble with that tyre, the wheel locked up when braking. We took the risk and before that moment I felt better, even though I was at my limit. It was my only chance to fight: Bezzecchi was unbeatable today, but at least I was with Jorge."
“Shortly after overtaking Martin, when braking, as soon as the rear stopped sliding, it loaded on the front, and I crashed. It can happen, even if it wasn't supposed to happen, I can't afford certain mistakes. The point is that I shouldn't find myself in certain situations like here or in Misano: I couldn't stop the bike and I didn't understand why. Yesterday we had a meeting, and it was not possible to resolve the problem for today, but for Japan we will have clearer ideas."
What is going on?
“At Misano I was conservative on Friday and Saturday due to my injured leg, but on Sunday I was ready to fight, even if I wasn't at 100%. My problem in that race was braking, but the bike was moving a lot. It could have been an alarm that something wasn't working, but I was too focused on my physical problems. This weekend my leg didn't give me any problems while driving, but when braking the front wheel kept locking up and it only happened to me. I suffered from rear chatter, the bike was moving a lot, and you could clearly see it from my qualifying lap. We tried to find a solution for today, I managed to be competitive and fight with Jorge, but I didn't feel perfect and, when you're at the limit, it's possible that a crash could happen."
“It was completely my mistake. I apologized to my team because today it would have been better to understand what was happening and finish 3rd. For the moment I don't have the normal sensations on the bike."
Can you explain better?
“Our bike doesn't accept large load changes on the front, it's been like this since 2016 when the Michelins arrived. Usually, I can manage skidding under braking well, but this weekend it was difficult to do so."
Could looking at Martin's data be useful?
"His position on the bike is very different and so is the weight balance."
The next race will be at Motegi, where braking is fundamental.
“My feeling is that my team will solve the problem, I'm not worried. I have the utmost confidence in them, and I know that we will be able to find a solution. It won't be easy, because Martin is in great shape, but today he finished more than 8 seconds behind Bezzecchi, who was too strong for everyone. I want to get back to my position: in Austria I managed the race in an incredible way and in Barcelona I fought with the Aprilias and the second Ducati was very far away. Something different than usual happened in Misano, we certainly won't give up."
Martin arrived at the finish line exhausted, how did you feel physically?
“It's strange, maybe Jorge suffers a lot from the heat, while I don't, luckily. I was behind him for many laps, but I didn't have any problems."