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Bagnaia, Bastianini 'not 100%' but Ducati back to full strength for Italian MotoGP return

Gold & Goose
Pecco Bagnaia, Ducati Lenovo Team, French MotoGP, Ducati GP23, Le Mans, 2023 MotoGP, portrait [credit: Gold and Goose]

The Ducati Lenovo Team is back to full strength - at least in terms of numbers - for this weekend's Italian MotoGP at Mugello, even if neither Pecco Bagnaia nor Enea Bastianini will be 100% for their beloved home show.

The event - which is regarded as Ducati's spiritual home event instead of Misano - is the first on Bagnaia's home soil since becoming MotoGP World Champion.

However, while he arrives in Mugello - Round 6 of the 2023 MotoGP season holding a slim single point lead over Marco Bezzecchi - he does so while nursing the effects of an awkward crash out of the most recent French MotoGP following a coming together with Aprilia's Maverick Vinales.


Diagnosed with a fractured ankle several days later, though Bagnaia says it isn't healed fully as yet, he insists he has more trouble walking than riding.

"I am not 100%, but I am struggling more walking than riding. For four days I didn't know I had broken the ankle," he said.

"I was just riding here to train and I was feeling pain but nothing a bit of focus was possible to not think about [it too much]. I don't think it will affect my race weekend, let's see, but I am quite sure it will be OK."

On the other side of the garage, team-mate Bastianini will attempt his second return to MotoGP action, almost three months on from sustaining a broken shoulder after being swiped out of season opening Portuguese MotoGP Sprint Race.

Having aborted his original planned comeback at Jerez, Bastianini is confident he will be able to see the weekend through this time.

"For me it is beautiful to be here again, this break has been long for me but now I have to reset but I am ready. The shoulder works well, probably not 100%, but close to it. I have to bring the confidence tomorrow with my bike because I haven't been riding the bike much, just one test two weeks ago.

"I was comfortable but a bit tired at the end but I think I can be more competitive this time. It won't be simple on Sunday because the race is too long..."

The Ducati contingent will be swelled to nine entries this weekend with the addition of test and development rider Michele Pirro, who will ride a GP23 run by the WorldSBK title-winning Aruba.it Racing team.

>>> CLICK HERE for the latest 2023 MotoGP World Championship standings <<<

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