Simply looking at the standings, you might think that Bagnaia and Martin had a similar day, indeed the Spaniard's was slightly better. Actually, Jorge's 7th place and Pecco's 8th (the important thing is that they are both in Q2) did not tell the whole truth. Because the Pramac rider saved the session with a fast lap after running into a rear tyre that didn't work, while the world champion worked calmly and only a yellow flag took away the satisfaction of a better position in the standings.
In fact, when Bagnaia arrives to talk to journalists he is calm: "we have worked very well since yesterday, deciding which bike to start with and everything was working as I expected. We won't touch anything until tomorrow, my bike works as it should and I like it. In the second session I had to use front tyres that weren't the right ones, but we had to try them” was his summary of the day.
Nothing to report, one might say, unlike the problems Martin encountered with the tyres.
“It's happened to me many times too, most recently in Thailand. These are things that can happen, you must work well thinking that you can find a solution to everything. I don't think it will be a problem for him, he had a good lap and, even if he isn't as explosive as usual, he is still in the top 10" was the comment on his rivals' troubles. Who perhaps, this time, will have a peek at Pecco's data.
“We have two slightly different riding styles, I don't know – was the politically correct response of the world champion - Today I was competitive all day, unfortunately they took away my best lap due to a yellow flag and I would have liked to finally finish a Friday ahead, but that's okay."
What worries him, if anything, is understanding which tyres to use for the two races.
“It's difficult to choose - he admitted - In the first session with the hard tyre on the front I felt very good, but in the evening it's cold, the surface temperature could be low, and that tyre could struggle a bit. We'll see tomorrow, but the problem is that the other two options, unless they improve the grip, don't last long and it's a bit of an unknown for everyone. It's the same thing for the Sprint, we need to see how much the grip on the track will improve because today from the first to the second session we dropped by 4 seconds. Tomorrow we will take another step forward."
The surprise is the Aprilias (there are 3 in the top 5 places), but not for Pecco.
“I knew perfectly well that with this level of grip they would go fast - he stated - Furthermore, Raul has always been fast on this track, today I was with him for a bit and he was riding very well, I think he is the favourite at the moment. As for pace, he and I were the fastest today."
Before leaving, the last comment was on the renewed track: “It's very different. The lights are definitely a lot brighter than in the past, I didn't expect it to be so brightly lit. On a visual level, the first two corners are the ones that seem to have changed a lot, you see them as narrower, but in reality, they are the same as before."