Motorcycle Racing

Bagnaia brands Spain MotoGP “a race from the number one” after form doubts

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

The world champion crashed out of the lead of the Americas GP two weeks ago and fell from second in the wet Argentina GP prior to that.

This raised doubts about his form after he suffered five DNFs in 2022 and was forced to recover a 91-point deficit to win the championship.

He batted away questions about pressure prior to the Spanish GP weekend and in parc ferme after beating Brad Binder to victory in the main grand prix on Sunday, Bagnaia pointed to the number one plate on his Ducati in front of the cameras.

Explaining that he did this “for my ego”, Bagnaia said when asked if he did this as a message to his doubters: “Sincerely, it was more for me, for my ego because it’s always too easy to criticise from outside and you don’t know from the inside what happened.

“So, I think this race is a race from the number one and I’m very happy to respond to COTA with a win. So, it’s great.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia branded his Spanish GP weekend, in which he was also second in the sprint after a tough Friday as he battled front-end issues, “the best one” of his career.

“In terms of weekend, looking at what happened, it’s the best one,” he added.

“It’s close to the one at Silverstone [in 2022], but better because the fight was so, so incredible.

“I really enjoyed this race, I really enjoyed this weekend because I think it can help us to grow together as a team.

“Friday was difficult, but my team worked a lot to give me a good feeling.

“I asked the correct things, my team understood well the way to work, and today with this little step compared to yesterday we have won again.

“It wasn’t easy because KTM was incredible, but I just tried to be perfect and precise, not stress the rear tyre. To win here it’s always special, so I’m really happy.”

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Bagnaia made an aggressive overtake on KTM’s Jack Miller early on in Sunday’s grand prix, for which he was ordered by the FIM stewards to drop on position.

This was just one of several moments in the grand prix that once again raised questions about the consistency of stewarding in MotoGP.

The Ducati rider “accepted” his penalty, but wants to see that punishment dished out to every rider who makes a similar move in future to ensure parity as he feels harder incidents have been overlooked.

“I don’t want to speak too much about this penalty,” he said.

“I just accepted it, but in the…

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