In the battle for the MotoGP title anything goes and the time has come to play every card that remains in the deck. The head-to-head between Bagnaia and Martin is approaching the end, with 3 Grands Prix (and 6 races) still to be contested and 13 points separating them, so even the smallest detail can tip the scales one way or the other. Like the fact that Jorge has already received a warning (in Thailand) for irregular tyre pressure, while Pecco still has a clean criminal record. The first infringement carries no penalty, while the second one receives 3 seconds.
“We know perfectly how it can change being under the limit for all the race because you have a great advantage in terms of braking and entry. In this race maybe it’s good to have this kind of joker, but I think in Qatar it will be better to try and have an advantage with that because it’s cold, the humidity is quite high, so it will be different. So, I think it can help us in some situations" the world champion reflected in Sepang.
It's strange to think that breaking the rules could be a weapon in the title fight, but it would be hypocritical to claim not to think about it.
“Nobody likes this rule, absolutely, it can affect your riding style a lot. The safety is less considering that if you are upper you can risk to crash a lot. But in any case, looks also from next year that the first attempt you lose the race – continued Pecco – So, for me, yes, it’s not correct to say you can go over the rules to have an advantage. It’s crazy for me. But I think we are also working a lot even before the rule for the pressure to be upper and it’s very easy to not know how the race will go.”
For extreme evils, extreme remedies are required and in the end it is the rules that allow certain strategies. Especially in such a tense moment when the pressure... isn't just that of the tyres.
“I like having it and if I didn't feel it, it would mean that I wouldn't care about the title - said Bagnaia - For me it's fuel and it could help me find that badness to be world champion again”.
It is precisely last year's experience that other riders point to as an arrow in the Piedmontese's bow.
“I don't know, I arrived here feeling a lot of pressure all weekend and then I won - he recalled - Every rider is different, for me it's a motivation, I don't know how Jorge reacts. Experience can help you in some situations, but I'm in a completely different situation than in 2022."
What hasn't changed is the Sepang circuit, which Bagnaia loves.
“It's one of my favourites, I have good memories here in all categories - he said - The unknown factor will be the weather, a bit of luck would also be needed, also they have resurfaced some parts, it will certainly be better. In the February tests everything worked perfectly, but I know that all the bikes on this track work perfectly and there are often some good battles. I hope to be at the front and stay out of it."
There is not only the near future in Bagnaia's thoughts, but also the remote one, with rumours that they would like Martin alongside him in the official team if he wins the championship.
“I've never been part of this kind of decision and I don’t want to be part of this kind of decision – Pecco clarified – I think that for Enea, it's not fair, for the season he had. But I'm here just to race.”
The last comment was about Alvaro Bautista, a one-off wild card in Malaysia.
“The Ducati is an incredible bike, he will have fun. It's nice that he races with us. I think that if he gets into the top 10 he will be very happy" was Bagnaia's opinion