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MotoGP Italian GP

Bagnaia “started panic” amid rain threat in Mugello MotoGP sprint

Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia says he started a "panic" situation for MotoGP riders in the Italian Grand Prix sprint race as he was scared of crashing in the rain.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

The MotoGP world champion extended his lead in the riders’ standings to four points by winning the Mugello sprint race, but had to overcome a threat of rain which disrupted his rhythm at the front.

At the end of lap two the rain flags were displayed and Bagnaia, as the leader, took caution through Arrabbiata 2 to gauge conditions on his slick tyre-shod Ducati.

But his hesitance saw the chasing pack swarm up behind him, allowing Jorge Martin to barge through, until the rain threat rescinded and Bagnaia regained his composure.

The factory Ducati rider made short work of returning to the lead, passing Martin into the first turn on lap four, and fended off late pressure from Marco Bezzecchi to secure the win.

Bagnaia conceded the rain flags made him ride conservatively as he feared crashing while leading – just as he did during the Americas GP in April.

“When I will rewatch the race I will see where I started the panic for the riders behind as when I exited from Arrabbiata 2, I was feeling that it was wet and everyone was passing me,” Bagnaia said.

“Then I saw someone on the outside, so maybe I was a bit too slow.

“But then I just decided to go with the Jorge because arriving in sector four everything was dry, sector one and two as well, but the last part of sector two and the first part of sector three was wet. So it was quite scary.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bezzecchi added: “For me it was a bit easier compared to Pecco because I had the reference of him. So I could see better the situation and understand more what I had to do on the bike but honestly, I don’t agree with Pecco and that he said it was wet because for me it was dry! Just that he was a bit scared maybe!”

Bagnaia also became centre of attention during qualifying earlier on Saturday, having taken pole position after a run-in with Marc Marquez.

But the Italian rider refused to comment on the incident having previously felt his comments have been misinterpreted.

“I don’t want to enter into this discussion because every time I have to speak what I think… I am tired about it,” he said.

“So I don’t want to answer. So, no comment about it, I don’t want to talk about it.”

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