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MotoGP, Pirro: "Bagnaia-Marquez? In those last 5 laps it makes no difference to have a GP23 or a GP24."

Michele speaks: "What makes the difference is balls and Pecco was extraordinary, because when Marc got behind everyone thought it was over. GP23? Di Giannantonio had the GP22 without even an upgrade last year, yet he won at the end of the season. Between the two bikes there is not half a second."

MotoGP: Pirro:

Photo by Dani Guazzetti

Michele Pirro enjoyed the Spanish Grand Prix from the Misano paddock. In fact, last weekend the Ducati test rider attended the Eicma Riding Fest, where for the occasion the poster for the Superbike race scheduled on the Riviera in mid-June was presented.

We caught up with him at the end of Sunday's GP, exchanging a few words about Bagnaia's success over Marquez at the Jerez track.

"I think this weekend once again confirmed the great work done by a company like Ducati," Michele said, "on Sunday we saw five Ducatis in front of everyone, and I think that means something as a confirmation of all the efforts made on the track."

It was Pecco who won, did you expect that?
"Bagnaia was extraordinary, really extraordinary, first of all for the double overtaking on the outside, then for how he was able to respond and react to Marquez. The moment Marc came close in the final stages, making up the disadvantage, everyone thought it was all over for Pecco. I'm of the opinion that 93 percent of the people from home thought that was it, instead Pecco did a masterpiece by responding blow by blow. It takes great character and attributes to do what he did."

Were you surprised to see that Marquez was already ready to fight for victory?
"Marc's worth we all know about and it is confirmed by his titles won and what he has done in his career. The most important thing is that Ducati resurrected a champion like Marc, and the fact that he fought to the last gives additional value to Bagnaia's victory. If he had stayed in Honda, I don't know what would have happened to Marc Marquez, instead today he is a strong, competitive rider again, who enjoys riding motorcycles. I think this is the message to send to people after a weekend like this."

Michele, there is constant talk about the differences between the GP23 and GP24, claiming that Pecco is favored by the fact that the latest evolution bike is better performing than the previous one.
"Personally, I'm sorry that we keep talking about the comparison between these two bikes. For sure the GP24 is an improvement over the GP23, but what should we do: develop worse bikes like some other manufacturer does? But one thing I would like to point out: between the two bikes there is not half a second as maybe some people may think, but especially in those last 5 laps of the Jerez GP it makes no difference to have the GP23 and the GP24. When you are so on the limit what counts is your wrist and above all the attributes you have. Period, there is nothing else to add."

Marc will soon have updates on his GP23. Do you think he will raise the bar further?
"I think at the moment Marc does not have the Ducati completely in hand yet, in fact there are some areas to explore and learn more about. I think in Monday's tests he will find out more about the bike and gather more information about it. That said, I am a bit disappointed to read that Marquez needs to be given updates immediately, after not even three races."

How come?
"It almost seems that the GP23 is an uncompetitive, belittled bike, which it is not. About this I would like to emphasize one thing: last year Di Giannantonio had the GP22 without even one update throughout the season, yet he worked hard, arriving at the end of the season to fight for the podiums and win. For sure Ducati will try to help Marc, but I would like to mention that all the riders who joined private teams never had the latest evolution bike. Bagnaia in Pramac is a confirmation of that or Martin. Then we will try to understand what Marc will do next year: should he decide to go to another manufacturer, what would be the point of giving him the GP24?"

Two weeks ago you were on track in Barcelona. Were you able to shave off anything more?
"We managed to do something and I think in Jerez we saw the level of our bike. Ducati is working every day and the most important thing is that on each occasion we are able to take steps forward instead of backward. I think the Jerez GP is a good message for our sport. On the one hand the greatness of Pecco, on the other hand the fact that MotoGP has found Marc Marquez again, happy and smiling riding a bike. Ducati resurrected him, and that goes beyond whether he had a GP23 or a GP24."


Translated by Julian Thomas

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