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MotoGP Aragon: Bagnaia - ‘It's a great chance’

Pecco Bagnaia led the first factory Ducati one-two in qualifying since 2018 after securing pole, ahead of Jack Miller, at MotorLand Aragón on Saturday.

The Italian has been confident since the start of FP1 with his Desmosedici, a distinct difference to the issues he faced here one year ago. His dominance in qualifying and impressive pace across the weekend has led many to question if this is finally his chance for the debut MotoGP win that we all know is coming, but Bagnaia remains calm and conservative in his estimations.

“Yeah, I think so, was great,” Bagnaia said when asked if his pole effort was the perfect lap of the long Aragón layout.


“Already in the first sector, compared to my best lap time of ’46.9, was already four-tenths down, so I did a nice sector one. The sector two was incredible too and our bike in the sector four I pass a lot, but also entering in the last corner was incredible. Because, just looking at the data of Jorge Martin this morning, who was doing a different story, compared to me, I tried to do the same and I improve a lot the last sector.

“I’m very happy. I was not expecting a lap-time like this today, also because it’s more hot, but I’m very happy also about the rhythm in the FP4.

“Here, I was thinking a lot and I had a lot of questions, of how to be fast in this track because I struggle a lot in the past years, apart from 2018 - that I was fighting for the championship. When I start in FP1 was already another story. My feeling was improved a lot compared to last year, and from Silverstone and I didn’t touch anything on the setting, so my bike is the same and I didn’t touch anything during the weekend.

“From the start, I was feeling great on the bike and I try just to be more competitive on the riding style.

“Is a great day for Ducati - One, two, and then Martin, Zarco, Bastianini. Apart from Luca, all the Ducati are in the top 10, so it’s a great day for us.”

So what does Bagnaia think has made the difference since his difficult 2020?

“One year more with the same bike maybe? And Ducati work a lot with this bike, so for me, everything is better compared to last year. Because last year, when I was trying to push I was crashing straight away. So it was very difficult to try to make something.

“I was the slowest Ducati for sure, because Jack was doing good in the first week and was fast. The second weekend he was fast, too, but in the second corner he crashed with Brad, no? [Miller agreed]

“I was very, very slow. This weekend, what I feel is that I can do everything on the bike. So if I want to push more in the braking I can, the grip is enough to have a great acceleration. So, in this moment, like I said, I didn’t touch anything on the setting, so from FP1 my bike is the same, the same of Silverstone, and everything is working very well.


“I think that the soft tyre is a great combination of grip and consistency, because with the hard - I try hard in the FP2, and was not so bad but drop more than the soft. So when today I did 16 laps in FP4, when I started the tyre had already eight laps. The pace was constant, and I tried different type of maps to be competitive tomorrow, in the last part of the race. In this track is strange because you can also use full power all the duration of the race, I think, because you can manage better than other circuits the grip.

“I don’t think it will be very hard to be constant with the tyres, like in other circuits, because today I was pushing and everything was very smart to do, and I was happy about it. Also when I tried to push it a bit more in the last lap I did ’48.7 that was not so bad with 26 laps of tyres. So three more laps of the race distance, and the pace was still very good. I see the pace of Marc [Marquez] that was very competitive but I think that we have also a great pace tomorrow to try to fight.”

And what of tomorrow? Is this the time for Bagnaia to take his maiden win in the MotoGP class?

“Tomorrow I start, I try to do my pace and see what happens,” the 24-year-old explained. “After 17 laps, 18 laps, then I think that something can change in the last part of the race, because everything will depend about the rear consumption, and I think that we are strong in that moment. So, let’s see if I will be strong enough to take a victory but the important would be to stay in front and to be competitive for all the race.

“This weekend is more or less like Mugello,” he continued “because my feeling is very great. In Mugello I was feeling incredible with the bike and this weekend, too but more times this year, I was competitive. Also in Portimao, but every time I did a mistake or I had a big problem. So, it’s difficult to say that I’m ready to win or it’s difficult to say that I can win tomorrow but all the things are there, I think. Because we have worked well. We did a lot of laps with used tyres and the pace was good. The time attack was great so, I don’t know if I will be able to win tomorrow but it’s a great chance to have a great race tomorrow.”

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