Last Sunday’s race in Qatar could prove crucial for Pecco Bagnaia. With Martin struggling with tire problems and only 10th at the finish, the world champion earned 14 points on the Spanish rider, taking him to +21 in anticipation of the last race. He’ll be arriving in Valencia as a favorite and with a little treasure trove of points that gives him security, enough to be able to already end the race for the titles on Saturday, in the Sprint Race. (HERE are all the combinations to achieve this.)
But this doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a downhill weekend, because deciding everything at the last Grand Prix also means having to manage an enormous amount of pressure. This is something that Bagnaia knows well, having already done it last year, when he arrived in Spain with 23 points more than Quartararo, but without the Sprint.
“After the Qatari GP, we’ll be arriving in Valencia with twenty-one points ahead of Jorge. They certainly give us a little more breathing room, but they’re still not enough to relax,” Pecco stressed, “Valencia is a track where we’ve been fast in the past and where we have the potential to do well. Our approach to the weekend won’t change compared to the other races. The goal will always be the same, to work well from the first session on Friday, do a good qualifying, and try to fight for the victory in the race. I’m calm and I can’t wait to get on the track for this last race of the season.”
On the other side of the garage, Bastianini arrives at the final GP almost drawing a sigh of relief because 2023 hasn’t been good to him. Enea was injured, skipped many races, and only in Sepang was he able to find himself, winning on Sunday.
“We’re at the last race of the season. It’s been a really complicated year for me, and I’d like to be able to end it in the best way possible,” he said, hopefully. “Last weekend, in Qatar, we struggled a lot to find speed. On Friday, we were out of the Q2 due to the yellow flags and, on Saturday morning, I was hampered in the Q1 by another rider but, in any case, I didn’t have the same pace as the others. Then, on Sunday, in the second half of the race, my sensations changed, and I managed to have a competitive pace. The team has analyzed all the data to try to understand why, and we will have to be fast as early as Friday in Valencia.”