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Bagnaia under siege, Ducati anxious: no need to wait for Marquez in 2024

Martin's win in the Mandalika Sprint gives him, after his fourth consecutive success, the championship lead at +7 over Pecco. Do we really have to wait for Marc to arrive next year to see the official riders under pressure?

Bagnaia under siege, Ducati anxious: no need to wait for Marquez in 2024

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Some considerations are necessary after the Sprint race at Mandalika in which Martin forcefully took the lead in the championship, winning by a discreet margin over Marini, but above all relegating his rival Bagnaia to only eighth, over five seconds behind, the Italian also being preceded by his teammate Enea Bastianini for the first time this year.

Now Pecco is 7 points behind the Spaniard from the Pramac team and 49 ahead of third-placed Bezzecchi who with the final podium position behind his teammate in the VR46 team, with a recent collarbone fracture, has shown that he has absolutely not lost hope of a comeback .

Everything is possible because there are still 5 Grands Prix and 5 Sprint races left until the end of the championship and today's race showed that Bagnaia’s opponents do not only come from the limited list of title contenders.

In fact, while Brad Binder today was taken out by Aleix Espargarò and is now -127 points from the top, who can say that he won't be a tough opponent in one of the remaining races?

Not to mention the Aprilia pair, who despite the inconsistent Aleix Espargarò and Vinales who seems destined to never achieve the result, are still a real threat.

Not to mention, obviously, all the other Ducati riders who, at this point, are rowing together against the world champion, all of them, moreover, with very little to lose and hungry for success. Starting with Bez, obviously, but today Luca Marini also showed that he deserves a victory.

Not to mention a super-motivated Fabio Di Giannantonio who achieved his best result of the year at Mandalika and is fighting for something more important than the world championship ranking: even for his survival within MotoGP.

For the Roman, the placement is worth its weight in gold at a time when Honda is evaluating who to entrust with the fourth RC213-V which is still free. Either in the Repsol team or in LCR.

Fabio Quartararo also produced a good performance on the Mandalika circuit, resurrecting with fifth place behind Vinales who, as we were saying, started very well, contrary to his historic inability to quickly get off the line at the start, but then dropped off at the end .

So what do things look like for Pecco Bagnaia? As Jorge Martin repeatedly declared, all the pressure is on him, the team leader of the factory team which is currently third in the team standings, a total of 131 points behind the Pramac satellite team which is contending the position with VR46, 74 behind.

We seemed to see a certain nervousness inside the red garage today, even though the world constructors’ championship is firmly in their grasp with as many as 9 ‘whitewashes’ out of 15 races held. Where by whitewash we mean victory of a Ducati both in the traditional Grand Prix and in the Sprint.

Of course, there are still 210 points available, there is plenty of time for a comeback and Bagnaia still leads Martin by five victories to three in the Grand Prix, the same number of successes as Bezzecchi, but this year there is also the Sprint race…

And it’s worth considering that Jorge hasn't made a single mistake since the San Marino GP. Four consecutive victories, six in total. If Pecco wants to take home this second title he must stop his brand mate. Right away. I would say that we don't have to wait for the arrival of Marc Marquez, today the victim of yet another front-end crash, in the Gresini team in 2024 to state, with Gigi Dall'Igna, that it is the duty of the official team to adequately manage all these talents!

 

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