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MotoGP, Bagnaia: "Using Friday as a test helped, it's nice to get off to a good start like this."

"In the last two Fridays we have found a base that helps me, and starting the weekend this way you can focus on performance instead of chasing. Martin's record? It's Saturday morning that you have to make the time."

MotoGP: Bagnaia:

Fridays have never been an easy day for Francesco Bagnaia, but he seems to have completely turned things around in the last few weekends of the championship. Building on what he had already done in Jerez, the reigning MotoGP champion opened the Round in Le Mans with a more than positive day, which saw him close FP2 in second place, 145 thousandths behind leader Jorge Martin.

"We can say it was a good day. In the last two Fridays I had good feelings, we got off to a good start and we seem to have been able to find a base that helps me. Having used Friday morning, and also the afternoon, as if it was a test really helped us a lot. I am very happy, because the team and I did a perfect job and even today we were able to slowly improve the situation. Today I felt good from the beginning of the session and I was able to manage everything well, so I'm very happy - Pecco commented - I kept a very good pace with used tires and also the time attack went well, even if I made a small mistake in the second-to-last corner. It' s nice to be able to start like that, because you can focus on the work and the performance, instead of having to chase and think about fixing the bike. It helps a lot."

A clear step forward from the start of the season experienced last year with the GP23. Is this because Bagnaia has already grasped all the secrets of his new Rossa?

"Usually bikes are finished developing at the last race, because you always try to do a little better until the last race and then you leave everything to start from scratch. In my opinion, though, this bike is very good and it started off well right away, although you still have to understand it in certain aspects, like the vibrations or the fact that sometimes it has reactions you don't expect. We have to figure out how to still improve, however, yes, we have taken a step forward - he noted - At the moment I have not had vibrations here, but they usually come out in the race. In Jerez it didn't happen, but we'll see."

The fact that Martin snatched the record from him did not bother the Piedmontese of the Lenovo Ducati team, who was more focused on the remaining part of the weekend.

"The important thing today was to stay in the 10, with some consistency. This morning I was 5th or 6th without changing tires, and this afternoon I did the best time on the last lap of the third run with used soft tire, so it's all good and being second is fine. We know that the time to make the time is Saturday morning. I've never started on the front row this year, so that's the goal," said the Ducatista, who on this first day of action worked more from a GP perspective than for the Sprint race: "The bike setup was for the long race, because the race that gives you the most points is the one on Sunday and that's the one I'm most focused on, but it's also true that today I showed that explosiveness is also a strength, so I think I can finish on the podium in the Sprint as well. That would already be a very good result for me."

Martin and Bagnaia have proven to be the fastest riders on the Le Mans track, but Pecco does not only see the Spaniard as a possible threat. "I also see Vinales, who has been very fast, and Bastianini, who although tomorrow morning will have to start from Q1 has always been strong. We'll see, also because it's not very easy to spot the strongest," he said.

Asked then about the possibility of taking advantage of the rivalry between the Spanish Ducati riders, for the factory seat in 2025, the two-time world champion replied, "I hope so.I really hope so. Journalists can do a great job with this (smiles). For me, as I said yesterday, it's the same thing."

Speaking instead of the 10th place scored by Quartararo, Bagnaia added: "The push of the public when you race at home helps a lot and I think he is a very fast rider and as soon as he found a good feeling with the bike he was able to be fast, because also in terms of pace he is not bad, he did a good job. It's definitely a relief for him."

Many showed some problems with the medium front tire, but for Pecco it could still be an option to consider: "I tried it and for me it could be a good tire to use tomorrow morning, because the soft is very soft and the hard is for high temperatures, so it could be an option, even if it is not the right tire. I will try it again tomorrow morning, also because all three front tires are working quite well, it depends more on the feeling of the different riders, but at the moment I think the soft and hard are the best."

Automatic Translation by DeepL

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