Francesco Bagnaia is ‘angry’ with himself after he made an ‘unacceptable’ mistake during the second Qatar MotoGP race that cost him a podium finish.
Factory Ducati rider Bagnaia finished in sixth place at the recent Doho MotoGP. This result put him ahead of his teammate Miller who finished in ninth but shockingly behind both Pramac Ducati riders, Zarco and Martin, both of whom finished with podium results.
After starting the race in sixth Bagnaia had trouble with his starting device. This saw him slip even further down the grid. Although he later found himself back in within the podium positions after charging through the field, a mistake in the first corner four laps later left Bagnaia playing catch-up once again. After going too wide, he fell into seventh place and only advanced forward once more before the end of the race.
Bagnaia admonished himself for this mistake and stated that ‘in a factory team this kind of error is unacceptable’. Indeed, particularly as this race saw the closest top 15 finish in history with these drivers finishing within 8.928 seconds of one another, mistakes such as these make all the difference. In spite of this, the Italian remains confident and maintained on his social media that he ‘had a very good feeling with the bike and we [Ducati Lenovo] are very fast.’
His teammate Miller, who has also raked in disappointing results in the first two races of the season, has a similar outlook. In his blog he mentioned that ‘there is no doubt’ that ‘the bike is good’ and much like Bagnaia, he just needs to ‘do a better job with it’.
Read Bagnaia’s full statement here:
“I just struggled more because I was starting sixth, but my start device didn’t work well. I wasn’t able to put it in, so I started bad and I was in 12th position I think on the first lap and then I started to recover.
“My pace was really, really strong. So, I think I was able to manage a great, great pace and I recovered a lot of positions. But this confidence with the bike also made me make an error in Turn 1.
“So, I have to learn, I have to improve on the tire because in a factory team this kind of error is unacceptable. Without this error, for sure I was fighting for the top position. So, today I didn’t struggle more than the Pramacs I think. It’s just the result is not in the same line as my riding style I think.”