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MotoGP Argentina: Lessons learnt for Bagnaia, return to normal in US

Ducati Lenovo’s Pecco Bagnaia turned his frustrating weekend around on Sunday with a fifth place finish in the Argentina GP.

Having missed out on a place in Q2, and narrowly avoided the sanctions of the stewards during a difficult final free practice session on Saturday afternoon, the Italian was forced to line up 13th on the grid for the 25-lap race. His Ducati teammate Jack Miller was demoted alongside as the battle prepared after his own on-track moment impeded Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo in qualifying.

While Saturday proved frustrating, Sunday brought renewed pace, optimism and a fight through the pack to the top five. Bagnaia, having apologised to his team for his anxious behaviour in the shortened schedule’s opening day, looked calm, collected and back to his former self as the chequered flag flew.


“This race will help me and will help us a lot for the future,” Bagnaia said on Sunday. “I take a great lesson yesterday, so I would like to don't repeat anymore what happened yesterday. I was too angry, too nervous and when you're nervous, you can't do things. So have to be a good lesson to me. I speak with my team, I said sorry to my team. I apologise for what happened. They are working a lot and then I put everything in the basket just because I was angry. So it's something that have to don't happen again. My mindset now is like I just started the season now.

“Today's race was great. The only thing was to start too far behind but the pace was quite good. We have worked well also this morning in warm up, that was very useful forty minutes for me and we found that my feeling again. I'm happy, for sure is a race to restart this season and trying to improve every time, every session in the future.”

With nine different riders on the podium across the last three races, MotoGP is at its most competitive level. The factory Ducati team have been struggling as the season beds in but with the championship still wide open, the Italian is hoping America will bring more consistency and normality to his title ambitions.

“What is clear is that a lot of riders are fast and we had a different situation during these races,” Bagnaia said of the opening three rounds. “In Qatar it was okay, was the more normal this weekend. In Mandalika was totally new, different tyres compared the test, we found that is a wet race and was strange. In this track again, was two years that we were not here and, compared 2019, the tyres were different. We had just three session to improve the bike and was another different weekend. So I hope that in America everything can be normal, to have a normal weekend. In this moment all the riders need some more time on things. We will have more calm during the weekend. We will start to see more consistency from the riders, or me? I don't know but for me, it's like this.”

While the Argentina weekend highlighted the lack of track and preparation time for the premier class, the lack of testing - due to the ever increasing number of races - is a worry for the Ducati rider.

“Fom 2018, I’m learning a lot during the Safety Commission, in Qatar and also in Malaysia, the first and the last Safety Commission of the year,” he said of the differing opinions on testing across the paddock. “I prefer to have more tests like in the past - one day in Valencia, two days in Jerez and then six or nine days of testing in February or March,” he confirmed. “The only thing is that then if we have any more races will be difficult to have a lot of days of tests. But for sure to be ready, or calm to finish your work is better to have more days of test for sure.”

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