One day at dawn. Already tomorrow, according to the new MotoGP format, Pecco and Jorge will face each other for the first of the two battles to be completed in Qatar.
The statistics say that in the Sprints Martin is the favourite, with 6 victories to 3. The result is reversed in the Grands Prix which has seen Bagnaia triumph 6 times against Martin's 4. A significant detail if the two find themselves on equal points after the Valencia GP.
Fourteen points ahead, however, are too few to manage and Davide Tardozzi, Ducati team manager since 2014, fresh from his first riders' title with Bagnaia in 2022, knows this all too well.
“Here we need to win, possibly both races - he says, and then adds - Pecco can do it”.
The categorical imperative is to arrive at Valencia with an increased number of points, to avoid a battle at the home race of the Spaniard who, at that point, would have nothing to lose and would be too dangerous an opponent. On the side of the world champion, however, today there is also Enea Bastianini, who returned to victory in Malaysia after a very tough year.
“A click was enough for Enea, but a mental one, not a physical one on the suspension of his bike which is identical to that of Bagnaia and Martin. A winning motorbike. Bastianini did it and now he won't go back. Here he can win. In Sepang he did an exceptional job and Bagnaia helped him understand, because at these levels the mind is everything,” recalls Tardozzi, a former top-level rider himself.
At Sepang Enea won, involuntarily giving his teammate a gift by picking up the haul of 25 points for the winner. Behind him Alex Marquez, with Pecco Bagnaia able to stay ahead of Martin and keep him off the podium. Could the rider managed by Carlo Pernat do the same here?
“Of course, in 2022 Enea achieved his first victory here when he was in the Gresini team. He could repeat that. It's his goal."
The first objective: if he is in the lead the Beast will try to win. But might he also work for the team, even giving up the victory if he found himself in ideal conditions with his teammate behind him?
“Riders rarely give up a victory”, says his manager Carlo Pernat who, like a good Genoese, also gives an economic value to success, but Tardozzi does not agree.
“Enea is a professional. He knows what he must do, work for the team. Among other things, the relationship between him and Pecco is excellent and Bagnaia did his best for him. We don't have to tell him anything. Working as a team? Why not? If he can, Zarco will do it for Martin."
It's true that Johann admitted yesterday that he would like to be part of the first, historic, success for Pramac. But the Frenchman is not at the same level as his teammate, Enea is. Is it time to take out the legendary Mapping 8?
Tardozzi gets the joke, rolls his eyes, gesticulates. He shakes his head.
“We didn't ask anything directly, but Enea is intelligent,” he underlines.
Sitting, with a coffee in his hands, Carletto quips: "better to ask". Tardozzi, between his teeth: “we will do it”.