Bagnaia: "Not possible" to replicate Quartararo's Jerez win

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia admits it’s “not possible” to copy Fabio Quartararo’s tactics from Jerez 2020 to win his first MotoGP race after qualifying on pole for the Qatar Grand Prix

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Bagnaia smashed the Qatar lap record on Saturday with a 1m52.772s to score his first pole position in the premier class on his debut as a Ducati factory team rider.

The Italian’s pace during testing made him one of the favourites for the race, but he doesn’t believe he will be able to copy the dominant fashion in which Quartararo won his first MotoGP race at Jerez last year.

“I would like to make it [like this] but I think that will be not possible,” he said when asked if he will copy Quartararo and break away from pole on Sunday.

“So, if I want to escape in the first five laps, then maybe I can. But then I will finish the race 15th or 16th because of the tyres.

“It’s the best way [pole position] to start this new chapter and I’m very happy to start with this new team in pole position, the first one.

“I missed it in Misano last year for touching the green [run-off] in the last corner.

“But I was close also today in the Turn 15 to touch the green again, but I had the luck to close the line more and I did it.

“So, I’m very happy but it’s not as important as winning a title for sure.”

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Bagnaia is flanked by three Yamaha riders on the grid, after factory duo Quartararo and Maverick Vinales qualified second and third, with Valentino Rossi fourth on the Petronas SRT M1.

They all managed to out-qualify Bagnaia’s team-mate Jack Miller in fifth, who many felt would be the main threat for pole on Saturday.

But confident in his race pace and the speed of the Ducati off the line, Miller says he is “not too stressed” about only qualifying fifth.

“I think the expectation was all on you guys,” he said.

“I think P5 is relatively fine for me. With the Ducati rocket ship up the start I will be in the top two for sure when we get to T1 and yeah, not too stressed to be honest.

“I’m pretty happy with my performance. Again, under lap record and I just wasn’t able to put it together on the second tyre.

“It is what it is, the race is tomorrow. We’re in a fantastic position and there’s not really much to say.

“For sure I would have wanted more, don’t get me wrong. But I’m not disappointed, I would have been disappointed with a spot on the fourth row.

“Second row, under lap record, I feel I gave it a lot.

“I think I had a little more left in the tank, so that makes me even more eager to get on with the race.”

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