Bagnaia ‘won’t touch anything’ on Ducati bike after Qatar MotoGP disaster
The four-time race winner entered the new campaign as strong favorites to challenge for the championship after finishing second in 2021, while saying at Jerez testing in November that Ducati had improved an “already perfect bike”. .
But pre-season for Ducati has been tough, as a problematic 2022 engine – with aggressive power – prompted him and teammate Jack Miller to use a 2021/2022 hybrid engine for the new season.
Bagnaia struggled to ninth in qualifying and fell to 14th on the first lap, before ending his race on lap 12 in a collision with Pramac pole sitter Jorge Martin, while Gresini’s Enea Bastianini on a year-old Ducati won the race.
The Ducati rider says he struggled to regain the feeling he had with the front end of the bike in 2021 during the weekend in Qatar, and thinks he didn’t focus enough on his own riding style with the GP22.
“It’s a bit strange because in my situation I work too much,” he said.
“We finished our work in FP3 and it’s not possible for me, it’s not great. My feelings were back in FP4, but just because we re-decided and I got my feelings back with the bike.
“From then on, we didn’t touch the bike again until this morning. [in warm-up] when I was riding and I was fifth, and I was not ready for the race because I was a little faster but the electronics and the setting of the bike were not good for the grip and the track .
“We had to do something for the race, but we were late.
“Given our pace yesterday, what we were doing in that race was pretty good because I was recovering, I was fast.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose/Motorsport Images
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“Not like the first [guys] obviously but I was pretty fast, and clearly last year’s bike that was winning the last races today won.
“Aeneas [Bastianini] on his first day of testing, he just started putting fuel on the bike and riding, and we were too focused on development.
“For my part, from then on we will never touch the bike again and we will just ride.”
Bagnaia added that he was “too ambitious” to think he could have fought for victory on Sunday as the bike “just wasn’t ready”.
“I was 16th at Turn 3 so it wasn’t the best start for sure,” he began.
“Then I started to attack to recover positions, but we were not at all ready to fight for victory today.
“It was too ambitious to think of victory, but we tried to recover positions.
“My pace was pretty good, thinking about what we did this weekend.
“The main thing will be to take it from there and not touch anything on the bike anymore, because I really need to be more focused on myself and think more about my riding style and have the same feeling again. feeling of last year and the same results as last year.
“I know we have the possibility to win races, but for now we just have to think about me and that will be the key to be in front again.”
Bagnaia explained on Sunday evening that his fall with Martin was due to a “strange” blockage of the front axle, while the latter said he “feared” for his life in the incident.