Motorcycle Racing

Bagnaia “lost another great opportunity” in Barcelona MotoGP sprint crash

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team crash

The reigning world champion enjoyed an eventful early part of the 12-lap sprint as he battled back from being shuffled down to fourth.

When KTM’s Brad Binder crashed out of the lead on lap seven, Bagnaia was released into first place and looked on course to end a sprint win drought dating back to the 2023 Austrian GP.

But at Turn 5 on the final lap, he crashed and registered a third sprint DNF of the season.

Bagnaia called the crash “curious” as he entered into Turn 5 slower than he had previously, suggesting that he was not overriding at that point.

“It looks like entering slower [into a corner], with the same braking [as before] can make you crash,” he said.

“Normally, in normal conditions it can’t happen. But here, where the grip level is a disaster, it can happen.

“So, we need to analyse it, understand it, be more careful in this kind of situation for tomorrow because the race is longer, hotter, and will be important to finish.

“It’s already three weeks in a row that we are really strong for the sprint race, but we are not finishing for problems or crashing.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“So, we lost another great opportunity. I was fastest, I was leading, I was cruising till the chequered flag, but it wasn’t enough.”

He added: “I was 100% focused. I know how to win, and it was my kind of win because I was controlling everything perfectly.

“I had more tyre, I had more pace, so I was doing everything perfect. It’s very curious when you look at my data; when you see the moment of the crash, it’s really strange to see a crash in that kind of situation.

“But it was really strange today that every rider that was leading crashed, so this is strange and we have to understand for tomorrow.”

The damage being done to Bagnaia’s 2024 title defence by Saturday malaise 

Championship leader Jorge Martin struggled for pace in the sprint race – with the Pramac Ducati rider explaining that he overheated his rear tyre – and Bagnaia was on course to cut down his 38-point deficit in the standings.

Instead, Bagnaia has dropped 44 points adrift in the championship, while Martin has lost just one point to new second-placed standings occupant Marc Marquez.

Something of a sprint specialist in the first half of 2023, winning four times and scoring five other Saturday podiums, Bagnaia hasn’t fared well in 2024. In fact, not since last year’s…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at – MotoGP – Stories…