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MotoGP, Bagnaia: "I hated Turn 5, I overtook Martin there to forget it"

Barcelona curse broken: "I closed the loop and liked how I controlled the race. I got tired of losing points on Saturday, at Mugello I don't want to cut a bad figure anymore."

MotoGP: Bagnaia:

For Bagnaia, more than a victory, it was a liberation. Pecco had an open account with Barcelona, starting with that turn 5, where he had crashed yesterday when he had the Sprint victory in his hands and where today he made the decisive overtake on Marquez. On the lap of honor he did not hold back and retaliated with an umbrella gesture directed at that corner: an outburst for some inappropriate, but certainly sincere. "Yesterday I hated that corner, I still can't believe I put the bike down on the last lap while leading the race by a margin. It takes me a while to blow off steam, but that helped me," the world champion could finally smile after a race in Barcelona.

By now this GP seemed to be a curse, Grassilli compared you to an exorcist....
"It's over. For as long as I have been racing in the World Championship, I had never gotten results here. All kinds of things had happened to me, from a flat tyre, to being knocked out in the first corner, to last year's crash. We needed it, yesterday I crashed going slow - we were joking about it. I didn't really believe it, but to close the loop ... you never know ( laughs)."

Was overtaking Martin in that corner planned?
"On Jorge I was recovering so much in all the corner entries, so there were more places to try to overtake. But I saw a chance at Turn 5, I knew that by pushing in that corner I would also get what had happened yesterday out of my head. So I did it on purpose."

Have you risen again, do you always have to hit rock bottom to get back up again?
"I wish it would stop, also because I am always fast on Saturday and every time something happens. The important thing is to be fast and sooner or later this will end. Also because now we go to Mugello and I don't want to cut a bad figure at home. For sure the championship gets complicated with these Saturdays, we need to improve."

How do you react to a race like yesterday's?
"I can be very focused on my goals. When I crash or have a problem I can be disappointed, angry, nervous, but I know my potential very well. When everything goes well, I know I can fight for the win and that helps me to be ready. Even after a bad Saturday, I know I can have a good Sunday."

If the Sprints were not run you would be leading the championship....
"But they are there and I just need to improve. In the last 3 I was competitive, but twice I crashed and another time I had a problem with the bike. I've lost so many points already, it's something I have to improve and my team is also helping me. I just have to finish them, it's a matter of points that can help you at the end of the championship. I'm tired of throwing away points on Saturday."

Today you seemed to be struggling in that Martin and Acosta had pulled away from you.
"It was easy to get caught up in the moment and I tried to follow them for a lap. However, when I realized that, because of my setup and riding style, I was pushing a bit too hard, I waited. I knew I could have an advantage in the last laps, and I did. I only had one scary moment because Jorge took a while to drop his times, I stayed as consistent as I could, I compensated for the corner exit with the entry, I enjoyed controlling the race that way, even though it wasn't easy."

Did you also consider using the soft tyre like Marquez?
"It was a difficult choice, because yesterday I was happy with the soft, I was able to manage it well. But today there were 6° more on the asphalt and already in the Sprint I had some problems with overheating and many riders had crashed. I think the medium was the right choice, I kept an incredible pace: I gave 10 seconds to the third."

We came here thinking it was an Aprilia track, instead there are 3 Ducatis on the podium.
"This year was different and I think the tyres helped us a lot. Already on Friday we could see that me, Marc and Jorge had a competitive pace. I think in the first practice session Aprilia and KTM were stronger because there was less grip, the track was dirty, but then the situation improved. I didn't change my setup, so I think the biggest difference from 2023 was the tyres."

Marquez admitted that he looked at your data to improve, do you do the same for him?
"In Jerez I looked a lot at Marc's data in the left turns, in 7 he was gaining 2 tenths every lap, so I tried to understand how he did it and in Sunday's race I tried to imitate his style. You can't replicate it perfectly, but it's normal to try to take the positive aspects of your opponents. I also do that with Jorge, he is very good in corner exit, he can be very tight at the apex and then get the bike back up early, before me. You try to adapt your style by watching what others are doing. My strong point is braking, Martin's is corner exit and Marquez's is entry."

In a few days you will be at Mugello, how important is it to get there with a win?
"Mugello is my favorite weekend, along with Misano. It is a great track where I have always been fast, last year I won both in the Sprint and on Sunday. Today's race definitely gives me motivation."

 

Translated by Julian Thomas

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