It was a Saturday to forget in Mandalika for Pecco Bagnaia. This morning the Italian missed out on Q2 and later in the race he was forced to settle for eighth place. As if that weren’t enough, Jorge Martin won, taking away the top spot in the World Championship and leaving him seven points behind.
His face at the end of the day said a lot about his frame of mind, angry at what happened. In fact, Pecco did not mince his words, and was clear and transparent.
“This morning I was very confident – he began – with the used tyres I was perhaps the fastest, completing several laps. Unfortunately in Q1 I wasn't able to take advantage of the grip of the soft, in fact I was lacking that opportunity to make the difference and get into Q2, where I would have started fifth with the time I had set. The bike was nervous and I even struggled to open the throttle. These are things that can happen, but the moment you start 13th everything becomes more difficult, unless you force your way through, but I'm not that type of rider. In the end this is the result."
During the race Bagnaia then struggled to find a gap to overtake Bastianini.
“I was being elastic with Enea. I was stronger than him, but to pass him the only solution was to take him out because the clean line here is very narrow. However, I'm not like some riders who tend to force their way through, since it's not in my nature. It was a shame, because when I broke away from Bastianini I was able to be as fast as those in front."
From this evening Martin is at the top of the World Championship.
“Jorge is in the best moment ever and we have to see how long he can maintain it. We, however, are in a moment of greater difficulty. In India we knew what was happening while here I am lacking something in terms of performance and that's the biggest thing. We will therefore work tomorrow to have that something extra. In the end we need a race where we can be at the front and fight for the top, given that we know that our potential is more than this."
It was clear that the Ducati rider was harbouring some disappointment.
“I'm pissed, it breaks my balls a lot. We don't have to be in this situation. Losing the leadership of the World Championship was not in the plan and therefore I am angry rather than frustrated. Tomorrow's race will be very difficult and different: perhaps we will use the medium and we will have to attack and overtake straight away, which I wasn't able to do today."
Finally, Bagnaia is keeping one eye on the situation in the Championship.
“I’ve had five zeros while Martin has had two. At the same time I have always been on the podium unlike him. What can I say: it's difficult to have an opinion, because at the moment he is very sure of himself and everything comes easy to him. After Barcelona we had a major setback on a track where we were fighting to win. However, we will try to work to get back to where we are, aware that there are still many races to go."