MotoGP, Francesco Bagnaia: “I don’t feel challenged”

Francesco Bagnaia is preparing to experience his first season in MotoGP as an official Ducati rider. A great emotion that carries great responsibilities

For Francesco Bagnaia, the 2021 MotoGP season will be a real challenge. Pecco is preparing to experience the thrill of being an official Ducati rider for the first time. A dream that comes true, considering his passion. After 2020, where at the beginning of the season he surprised everyone, Bagnaia experienced a second-half full of ups and downs. The good performances at Jerez and Misano convinced Ducati to promote him together with Jack Miller.

“Dressing in red is a dream come true. Putting on the official uniform was exciting.” He reveals after the presentation. “I’m in an official team but above all, in the team where I always wanted to be. Since I was a child, I told myself that I would have liked to be here, it’s an incredible emotion ”, continues Bagnaia. “It is a special day for my family and my girlfriend, who has now become a huge fan. Removing the veil from the bike was wonderful: they didn’t show it to me until today, they didn’t even give me a preview. “

There is no doubt that it will be a fundamental year. “This is the most important challenge of my life. Many have tried and only one has succeeded. I would love to be competitive and bring Ducati what it deserves ”. He will also pick up a heavy baton, Andrea Dovizioso’s. “It won’t be easy, but it won’t be easy to pick up the baton of Danilo (Petrucci) who has done a great job, as well as Jorge (Lorenzo). It will be a huge responsibility: Dovi was runner-up for three years in a row, going close to the title in 2017. However, we have all the credentials to prove that our bike is fast and show that the riders are fast too. “


The goal is the title, but first, you have to think about something else. “If you are in the factory team, you have to aim for that. First, I think about winning my first MotoGP race. I got close last year. This year I’ll have to be fast, competitive, and consistent. Usually I’ve always been a very regular one, but in the last two years I’ve made a lot of mistakes”. In addition to this, it will always be necessary to be competitive. “An official driver must always be competitive, in all conditions, whether it’s cold, rain, or whatever. We will have to be in the top 5 even on difficult weekends. “

In 2020 Bagnaia suffered the cold. “With hot temperatures I was fast, but with low temperatures, I struggled. Many times I have fallen without pushing, I have to work on concentration and on pushing at low temperatures ”. Having Jack Miller as a teammate can be an advantage. “Jack is fast in those conditions, I can try to take inspiration from him. If I can manage these situations and be quick overcoming these difficulties, we can do well. “

Pecco then explained his characteristics. “I prefer to have more feeling on the front than the rear where you can have more control. If you lose the front you fall, so I prefer to have good sensations and I will have to work on it to be with the top riders ”. The 2018 Moto2 world champion knows where to work. “Miller pushes hard in the first laps, I don’t and my temperatures dropped until they were impossible to carry up. This is one of the things I need to improve a lot on. ”


With the right conditions, however, Bagnaia showed all his talent. In Jerez, only a technical problem prevented him from reaching the podium, in the two Misano, he took a podium and came close to winning his first race. In the two Misano races, Pecco also returned from his injury in Brno: “During my rehabilitation period I was afraid of losing the factory seat. While I was at home, Zarco reached podiums and I wanted to go back to Misano to recover what I had lost in Jerez. “

Motivation went beyond the pain. “At Misano, I felt bad, but my head was convinced that I could fight for the top positions. I would like to keep the same mentality I had during those two weekends throughout this season, but it’s not easy ”. Easy to say, difficult to do. “All the top riders manage to have this mindset, I didn’t succeed in 2020. I have to be able to maintain the focus I had at Misano throughout the 2020 season.”


Being in the factory team will help and bring other ‘advantages’. “In Ducati, every rider has a voice on development, but being in the factory team gives you even more voice. I would like to do my best to make sure that all the work goes in the right direction, I think the same goes for Jack ”. Could two different driving styles be an obstacle? “I don’t think it will make things difficult for Ducati, quite the contrary. I am convinced that the differences that Jack and I have will help the whole team even more to progress in the right direction. “

As mentioned being in the ‘red’ Ducati brings honors and burdens. “The pressure that comes with being in the factory team is positive. An official driver does not race to finish 5th or 6th or to make a good race and another two/three badly. The goal is the title, but first I want to think about my first victory as happened in 2018 in Moto2. From there you can think bigger. In any case, the pressure that is put on us is positive, it gives us great drive and motivation. We know very well, both Jack and I, that being here involves great responsibility, both for development and for results. “

Bagnaia, therefore, does not feel challenged: “I do not feel this fear at the moment, the people I met have never given the impression that such a thing could happen. Indeed, I am convinced that it will not happen ”. Of course, things could change based on the results. “The relationship is very good, I get along well with everyone. I will not be questioned unless I always finish 15th, but at that point, the first to question will be myself! “


In Ducati, he will also find his friend and former teammate Luca Marini, as well as Enea Bastianini, both in the Esponsorama team. “They asked me the same things, more or less. They have to stay calm and make as many laps as possible, without trying to attack the time. I think they will be able to do well, given their riding style which I think is more suited to Ducati than what I had. Luca brakes hard and he is very intelligent. have already talked a lot with him, explaining how the tires and the Ducati work under braking. I will speak with Enea in these days. “

Pecco has nothing to hide. “I have no problems saying what I think. It wouldn’t make sense to keep things hidden! ”. The matter obviously changes when he talks to his friends from the Academy, Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli. “They are happy for me, I will be the only officer of the four. I’m happy that Luca will be there, it will be easier to talk about certain things. Sometimes I wanted to talk about the technical innovations with the guys. Now, however, with Luca I will be able to chat a little more about these things since he will ride a Ducati. “


Speaking of friends, Bagnaia could succeed where Valentino Rossi failed. “The situation now is totally different from what Valentino had. At Ducati, all the people have changed and the project is completely different. Dovizioso also achieved results with the new project. The bike that Vale had was complicated and many riders were unable to ride it. Today’s is certainly more competitive and I don’t compare myself with Vale, it’s impossible. “

There is also time to comment on his father’s new role in the CIV with the Sky Racing Team VR46. “I think he has always had something more on a human level and that role suits him. He knows how to act around young people, he knows how to interact with them. He can tell them various things as he has always done with me. I am happy and proud that he entered this world in this way. I’m sure he’ll do a great job! “

About us is the worldwide web platform of italian website

Editor in chief: Paolo Gozzi, italian journalist engaged in motorcycling from early ’80.

Strategies and management: Gianluca Montiron, former MotoGP team principal of JiR.