Bagnaia ‘watching videos until 3am’ to understand Ducati MotoGP braking woes

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia revealed he's been studying videos ‘until 3am’ in a bid to get on top of the braking woes that have threatened to derail his MotoGP title charge.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Since the sprint race at the Barcelona round earlier this month, Bagnaia has seen his championship lead whittled down from 66 points to just 13 ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.

After crashing out of second last weekend in India, Bagnaia admitted he had been suffering “big problems” with braking in recent races, allowing his Ducati colleagues Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi to close up to him in the title battle.

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Asked whether he'd had a chance to study the issues together with the factory Ducati squad since the Buddh round, the championship leader said that watching back footage of recent races had revealed that the rear of his Desmosedici bike is “doing something strange”.

“[The team and I] spoke yesterday, today and Monday night,” said Bagnaia in the pre-event press conference at Motegi on Thursday.

“At 3am I was watching every video of the braking points of Buddh, Barcelona, Austria, Misano, understanding if also watching it was easy to understand what was wrong.

“The only thing that came out is in the last races the rear is doing something quite strange. Normally the standard [approach] is a normal slide that I can control. And then in the last two weekends, but more in the last weekend, my rear slide was over the limit.

“We understand that, we are working on that, and thanks also to the engineers at home that were working a lot with my team.

“We decided to go a different way this weekend and we will start with two set-ups that are different to understand the way to follow. But it’s necessary to understand that area.”

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia underlined that the best way to move on from his India crash was by getting straight back to the business of racing again this weekend at Motegi, which has historically been a favourable track for Ducati.

“It’s always a benefit to understand your crash, knowing why you crash, and then never repeating it the week after in the race weekend,” said the Italian rider.

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“I can say that I don’t have any problems, I don’t have in my mind the crash of last week. I know what I did wrong, I know perfectly how strong we are, how strong I am. I will force [it] again, and if I am in this situation again I will force the same.

“My riding style is that and my strategy is always to push and I will continue like this. I’m always improving and I will try to be in the best position possible, I will try to win as always.

“Last year I was in a different situation. The past is the past, so we move on.”

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