Avintia’s Enea Bastianini backed his maiden MotoGP Misano podium up with a repeat performance at the Emilia Romagna GP on Sunday.
The satellite Ducati rider secured another thrilling third position after a last lap battle with new MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo. The Italian denying the Yamaha rider a podium celebration alongside his title, in the final seconds of Sunday’s non-stop action despite his two-year-old machinery.
It had, however, been far from all smiles for the 23-year-old Rimini-born rider across his second weekend at home.
“Yes, a very difficult weekend for me,” Bastianini explained on Sunday. “Yesterday I destroyed three bikes in eight laps! Today I wasn't confident to arrive on the podium, but after many laps during the race, I see my pace and was really close to the first group with Marquez and Pecco.
“The last 10 laps, I push a lot to recover some position and at the end I was in the fourth place. I see Fabio very close to me, and the last lap I've push all to recover him and I have passed, overtaking in the Carro, Fabio. I want to say thanks to my team because they did a very, very good job yesterday, and also today, and also congratulation to Fabio because he stay incredible during all the season.
“The battle with Fabio was very strange,” he continued, “because he battle for the title and at the end I win. But inside me, I think only I want arrive in the third place, because I was really close to him. I stayed polished in my overtaking and I'm happy.”
While the result may be a mirror-image of last month’s visit to the Adriatic coast, the conditions and weekend as a whole couldn’t have been more contrasting, especially for the factory Ducati riders, with both Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller crashing out of contention at turn 15, the former from the lead and with it, his championship hopes reduced to dust.
“Yes, this race is really different from Misano one because it was so cold,” Bastianini said. “I think the medium on the front was a good choice. Pecco and also Jack have put the hard on the front, but in the middle of the corner is not good. I have try also in the test the hard, and I'm crashing two times. I think, for the moment, we try with the medium and it stayed a good choice today.
“I think the qualifying,” he replied when asked what the next step in his performance needs to be. “Because every time I start from nine to 16 and this is not good for the race because I have to do a lot of overtaking. I think we have to work also in the Saturday in the FP4 to do more lap consecutive, because always I did short runs, and now we study what we can do for the next race.”
Bastianini remains with Ducati for his second season in MotoGP but with a step up in machinery as he joins the independent Gresini team in 2022, and Fausto’s legacy moves over to the Borgo Panigale family.
“Ducati, the next year I think I have the 2021 bikes, but with all the best material possible,” he clarified. "I will speak also, this weekend, with all the guys of Ducati but I think the 2022 is impossible to receive next year. But, after this race we will check again with Gigi and Davide and we go with Carlo [Pernat], my manager, to work!”