Bagnaia must hope that a good day doesn't start in the morning, because otherwise there would be reasons to worry. On Friday in Valencia everything went according to plan for Jorge Martin who, thanks to the 2nd quickest time, has already secured a place in Q2, while Pecco, only 15th, will have to try tomorrow. On the eve of the first match point for the world champion, the Pramac team rider used all the weapons available to him, including psychological ones and the man-marking at the end of FP2 was the most striking.
"I'm used to it, honestly. All the season it's the same, and the last three races Jorge started to do the same - Bagnaia shrugged - It's right that he tries to do something, but I also think it would be better if he thought about himself because he said that he will have to win both races and at the moment he is not the fastest. And like this he is losing time to be focused on his job. Right now he's not the fastest, so it's better that he improves a bit."
Did he fail to make you nervous?
“I was going so slowly that I would have struggled to get into Q2, honestly he didn't succeed. Also because I always have 5 or 6 riders following me all year round."
Why these difficulties on your part?
"Honestly, I was expecting to not be competitive. It hasn't been an easy day since the morning and in the afternoon it was the same, usually we manage to finish the work on Friday but today we couldn't. But honestly, checking the data after the time attack, I lost five tenths in three corners. So, it's easier to understand where to improve like this, but five tenths in three corners is a huge amount of time. There is time to improve and we will try to do everything right."
What's the problem?
“I don't have great confidence on the front, I can't make the bike flow and I lose a lot of time entering corners in 1, 2 and 6. Tomorrow will definitely be a difficult Q1, we'll try to do our best and find a solution like always. We are not obliged to win the title tomorrow, on this point I am quite calm."
Are you expecting any help in qualifying?
“How many Ducatis are there in Q1? Three besides me? I will ask everyone to come off the throttle (laughs). Joking aside, I think there's no need for team games and I don't like them anyway. There will be many strong riders to beat to get through to Q2, Alex Marquez, Marini, Bastianini, Quartararo. What if I couldn't? In Mandalika I started 13th and then I won the race."
Is the pressure greater or less compared to a year ago?
“It would have been better to already be in Q2 to have a slightly more relaxed evening, my balls are busted a bit but it doesn't change much. For the moment, I'm in a better situation, perhaps because I'm focused on improving, whereas last year I felt more pressure. I know I have to work.”