COTA finds Pecco Bagnaia fresh from a double MotoGP victory and revealing in his growing confidence with his Ducati Lenovo Desmosedici.
With a ninth place finish at his first visit to Austin on MotoGP machinery back in 2019, and a victory in his Moto2 title winning year, the Italian has fond memories of the 5.5km layout, despite its demanding nature.
“It’s a track that I like, I’m always happy to come here in America,” Bagnaia said on Thursday. “Austin is a place that I like and I think that our bike will suit very well on this track.
“I win the last two races and my feeling with the bike has grown a lot. I know that is not an easy track, because the first sector for us was not easy in the past few years - in 2019 I was feeling not so great with the bike, about the movements of the bike in the bumps - and this year, maybe with the new surface will be a bit better but let’s see. I think that Yamaha will be fast but the Honda with Marc will be the fastest.
“This year, we were fast in tracks where in the past years we were struggling, so I think that our bike suits better in all the conditions, all the situation of tracks.
“This first sector is very similar to the Silverstone one, maybe a bit more difficult but similar, and we were fast there so I think that we can be very competitive also here. We need a chance to stay in front so we have to be competitive.”
The physical nature of the Circuit of the Americas is always a talking point, but Bagnaia remains his laid back self in his approach to the weekend.
“I think that will be the same for all the manufacturers,” he said simply. “I think if I will struggle physically, means also that other riders will struggle physically because it’s not an easy track. I think that our bike is strong to ride but not more compared to other bikes so will be the same for everyone.”