Bagnaia now feels like "fully-fledged MotoGP rider"

Pramac Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia says his strong Andalusian Grand Prix weekend has made him feel like a “fully-fledged MotoGP rider”, after a technical issue cost him a maiden podium.

Bagnaia now feels like "fully-fledged MotoGP rider"

Bagnaia was the top Ducati runner in qualifying after securing his first front row start in third, and found himself in second spot after passing the struggling factory Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales mid-race. 

He then managed to open up a gap of 2.4 seconds over third place by lap 19 before being forced to pull out when his GP20 started smoking. 

Having gone well at the Spanish GP last week, Bagnaia’s form comes at an opportune time as Ducati is yet to finalise its line-ups at its works squad and Pramac for 2021.

Read Also:

Asked if his Andalusian GP performances could put him in the frame for the seat currently occupied by Andrea Dovizioso, Bagnaia said: “At the moment we are concentrating on going fast, and knowing that I was the first Ducati during the whole weekend has given me a lot of strength, but we think of [continuing] working as we did this weekend.  

“If the official [Ducati] team chance came, I would be very happy. But now I don't want to think too much about it. One nice thing about this weekend is that I felt like a fully-fledged MotoGP rider, really strong.”

Bagnaia dropped places off the line because he “was not a magician” at the start, and feels this cost him the chance to stick with runaway leader and eventual winner Fabio Quartararo.

“I saw from the riders that I was in front of that I was faster and that my pace was more similar to that of Quartararo’s,” Bagnaia added. “Given the situation, I tried to pass Jack [Miller] immediately, but I risked falling, so I took it more calmly.  

“When I started to see that the others were also starting to work hard and I had much more [pace], I slowly tried to pass them. Once in front of Vale, I saw that without doing anything more I could go away. 

“Then I started to feel that the bike was pulling back a bit, but after four laps it really went, they gave me the black-and-orange flag and I had to stop.  

“My pace was very similar to that of Fabio. In my opinion, obviously pushing enough, we would have been able to stay with him, then we have to see how much we [would have] pushed him.”

Additional reporting by Mark Bremer

Francesco Bagnaia, Pramac Racing bike smoking

Francesco Bagnaia, Pramac Racing bike smoking

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Vinales "couldn't breathe" behind Rossi in Andalusian GP

Previous article

Vinales "couldn't breathe" behind Rossi in Andalusian GP

Next article

Nakagami feels growing Honda support after best finish

Nakagami feels growing Honda support after best finish
Load comments
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Prime

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022.

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result Prime

Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021