Motorcycle Racing

Italian MotoGP result special in “difficult time” as Ducati exit looms

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team, Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Bastianini put in an impressive performance in front of his home crowd at Mugello on Sunday, making two key overtakes in a race that featured little action, to complete a 1-2 result for Ducati.

The 26-year-old first cleared the Gresini bike of Marc Marquez with two laps to go going into Scarperia, before catching championship leader Jorge Martin by a surprise with an impressive pass into the final corner on the last tour.

The result marked his first visit to the podium since the Americas GP in April and came at the end of a week in which it became clear he will be losing his seat at Ducati, with Martin emerging as the favourite to take the vacant spot next year.

Bastianini said he rode like ‘never before’ in the closing stages of the race, having been spurred on by Marquez briefly snatching the final podium spot from him on lap 18 of 23.

“[It] feeels so special because I come from a difficult moment, it happened during this whole past week,” he said, referring to the media attention about the second factory ride at Ducati.

“But this week we had a result in mind and from yesterday I improved and I was fast. Today I was really motivated to do something more for me but also for all the people here. 

“I slept a little bit during the half part of the race but when Marc overtook me I closed my mind and said that: ‘No, it’s not correct. No. This is my podium.’ 

“I came back. I am riding like never [before]. It was good. Also the last lap I overtake Jorge and it was too dangerous but at the end I can be happy.”

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team, Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bastianini’s two-year contract comes to a conclusion at the end of the season, with the Italian having been unable to build on the race-winning form he showed at Gresini in 2022 prior to his factory promotion.

His future beyond 2024 remains unclear, with Aprilia a possible destination for the Italian should he not be accommodated elsewhere in a Ducati satellite team.

Asked if he made a statement with the speed he showed at Mugello, the five-time grand prix winner said: “Future, future, future.

“I want to think about the present because we think a lot about the future but I want to enjoy this day, because it has been really difficult this period. 

“I committed some mistakes, also the team has committed some mistakes.

“Today is a really beautiful day. Usually, I’m not really happy about…

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