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MotoGP Spanish GP

Bagnaia used Jerez MotoGP practice as a test for "big" change

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia says his strategy for MotoGP’s Spanish Grand Prix practice was to treat it “as a test” as he teased that his team made a “big” bike change.

The reigning double world champion has won the last two Spanish Grands Prix at Jerez but comes into this weekend off the back of a non-score in Portugal and a struggle to sixth in America.

A key issue for Bagnaia has been a vibration on the rear which has intermittently cropped up over the first three rounds and is something other Ducati riders have battled.

After a low-key start to practice on Friday at Jerez, Bagnaia smashed his own lap record from last year to top the afternoon session by 0.100 seconds.

"We used a different strategy compared to a normal Friday," said Bagnaia.

"We used this Friday as a test and it was very useful. We tested more things than normal and I'm very happy.

"We didn't have vibrations, but normally the vibration arrives on Saturday in the sprint race.

"And for that reason, the feet are on the ground. But my feeling has increased on braking, entry, [it was] much better, less movement. So, very happy."

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Asked what the changes were, he added: "I can't [say]. But it was something quite big on the bike. I needed a big thing.

"Was work just to have a better feeling. When you have a better feeling you can do something that helps you to be more in a good position in the exit of the corners."

Ducati has been working hard to diagnose the vibration issues its riders have been facing, and Bagnaia thinks it is down to the different construction of Michelin's rear tyres in 2024.

"For me, it's because the tyre construction is different," he theorised. "It gives you more grip but if you force the tyre it can start to vibrate.

"We have to say the lap times we are doing this year are incredible, so maybe they were not expecting this kind of performance because the grip is much higher.

"So, maybe they were thinking to have the same lap times but with more support [from the tyre].

"But, right now it looks like the lap times are incredible, but in our situation my feeling on the bike, with my setting – also [Jorge] Martin, who is the same – has this kind of vibration."

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