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MotoGP, Bagnaia: "Better to have anticipated the race, it will be difficult to open the garages on Sunday"

"As I have to go through Q1, I'm going to have a tough day ahead of me, but I'm not scared. The problems came with the soft tyre. Not acceptable to see 10 riders waiting behind me"

MotoGP: Bagnaia: "Better to have anticipated the race, it will be difficult to open the garages on Sunday"

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Bagnaia is talking to journalists when the official news comes that the long race will be moved to tomorrow and the sprint postponed to Sunday due to the bad weather forecast at Phillip Island. Which means that it will be a very intense day for Pecco who, as already happened in Indonesia, was unable to get directly into Q1, not going any better than 11th quickest in FP2. Despite this problem, the world champion supports the decision made: "considering the forecast, it's better, on Sunday it will be difficult to even open the garages, they say there will be gusts of wind at more than 50 km/h. I worked harder than the others for the long race, but it will be a tough and stressful day."

A nice workload awaits you.

“We will do 14 more laps than if there had been the sprint. The problem is that tomorrow morning it will be important to do a lot of laps with a tyre to see how it goes. Today I did it with the medium, but the soft remains. It will be interesting, an unknown for everyone, but it doesn't scare me, even in 2019 we had qualifying and the race on the same day. Of course it will be difficult also because I will pass through Q1, so many laps await me."

How come you missed out on direct qualification?

“We started with the medium rear and everything was great, the pace was one of the best with this spec. But when we put on the soft rear for the time attack, I started having problems. Maybe the best strategy was to start on the soft like almost all the other riders, to analyse the reaction of the soft.”

What were the problems?

“I’m struggling a lot on acceleration and the entrance of fast corners. My bike is too aggressive, very nervous. For example, from the last corner to the finish line, I am losing two tenths to Martin, which is unbelievable considering… I am missing traction. This was more or less the issue, but like Mandalika the feeling with the bike is not that bad. This is strange.”

It's not the first time you've struggled on Fridays.

“It’s strange that we moved from one circuit to another with the same setting, more or less, and for me it’s not working. It’s not the first time, it’s more or less all season that we struggle on Friday, Saturday it’s better and Sunday we are the fastest. In that case, we have one day less to be the fastest, but at this track it’s more difficult to have a clear advantage. Looking at the pace we did this morning and the pace I had this afternoon, I was one of the most competitive in terms of consistency. I was using the medium, more or less all the others used the soft. For me our work was better than the others, we just have to improve on starting with a better feeling.”

Is starting with the long race better or worse?

“I prefer it to the sprint. Today was difficult to be consistent with the rear tyre. The medium is the hard from last year. But in 2019 I started 13th or 14th and I finished fourth, and I think I’m a bit better than I was in 2019. Comebacks are possible here.”

In the last minutes of testing you had a train of riders behind you.

“In my first exit I was alone, while in the second I saw 10 riders waiting, going slowly on the line, like in Moto3. For me it is not acceptable considering that we are in MotoGP and we have to set an example, I was the last of the group when I left the pits and did the lap in front of everyone. I prefer not to have anyone in front, sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not, but I knew that even if I slowed down no one would have overtaken me."

Does having the number 1 on the fairing attract more riders behind you?

“When you go fast everyone looks for your wheel and then they know that I'm the one who pushes in any case. I don't give a damn who's behind me and I've often beaten those in my slipstream. MotoGP is changing in general, seeing 10 riders waiting for a tow, which is needed for nothing else, is not right. Also because in the Safety Commission we bother a lot when it happens in Moto3 and then we are the first to do it: it's wrong."

 

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