Bagnaia grateful for British GP advice from MotoGP legends Rossi, Stoner

Silverstone race winner Francesco Bagnaia says he asked MotoGP legends Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner for advice after struggling in practice for the British Grand Prix. 

Bagnaia grateful for British GP advice from MotoGP legends Rossi, Stoner

The Italian finished Friday’s running in 11th, slightly improving on Saturday morning to finish FP3 in seventh place before qualifying in fifth for the race. 

Having struggled with tyres on the difficult track, he asked long-time mentor Rossi and Ducati world champion Stoner for advice on how they had tackled Silverstone, having won a race each there. 

The Ducati rider says Rossi helped him “to understand the temperature with the tyres, he helped me a lot,” while Stoner advised him how best to get traction at the exit of corners. 

He said: “This weekend I spoke a lot with Valentino, more. He told me a lot to understand better the situation, because I was a bit in trouble at the weekend.  

“It’s not easy from his point of view because he’s at home looking at the screen at the TV, but he helped me to understand the tyres, to understand the temperature with the tyres, he helped me a lot.  

“To Casey, I just asked if in the past he had done something different in this track that helped him to be more competitive.  

“And this morning he sent me a message and I just tried to do something in the way he had done in the past and was good, but maybe not for the tyre we have now.  

“But in any case, I’m very glad to have these kind of people around me at my disposal.” 

Asked to elaborate on Stoner’s advice, Bagnaia added: “He was great at finding traction at the exit of the corner, and this was his suggestion for today. I tried to wait more on opening gas, it was a bit better.  

“The problem was that I did maybe on the remaining five or six laps, it was without rear grip, so in this last part of the race I was just doing my riding style because I wasn’t able to use the rear tyre.  

“So I just tried to push a lot in the braking to stop the bike before using just the front tyre because the rear was dragging a lot.” 

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia now sits third in the standings on 131 points – 49 behind reigning champion Fabio Quartararo and just 20 adrift of Aleix Espargaro in second. 

Despite having closed the gap from 91 to 49 points in two races, Bagnaia said he would still “like to think race-by-race” and acknowledges the part Quartararo’s long-lap penalty played in his win. 

He said: “Yeah for sure, I recovered a lot of points in the last two races but still I don’t want to think about the championship. We have time to think of that.  

“Next one is Austria, I will try to be competitive, I will try to think just of Austria.  

“Today was very important to take an advantage from the long-lap penalty of Fabio and that was the key, Fabio with this long-lap lost time because he started on the medium rear tyre and if he was in the front, in first position, I think he was opening a gap, because today was very competitive.  

“But [Johann] Zarco was closing his lines a lot and he lost a lot of positions. So then for sure with the medium tyre it wasn’t the best situation for him.  

“But then also Aleix yesterday had a big crash but today was not competitive like Maverick was and so today I had a great day in terms of championship. 

“Winning today was the most important thing because I was struggling and it's the first time this year that in a difficult situation I win. So I’m very happy about this. 

“My objective is always to be competitive and to win races. We have to say that I had the luck but the last time, Fabio did a mistake, in this track he had a long-lap penalty, so I think in normal circumstances Fabio was always in front like me, to fight with me.  

“I think that this one he was more competitive, but we had the luck that he had the long-lap penalty. Done a good job, because we have taken advantage of this situation. I’m always fighting to gain points but I would like to think race by race, that is better.” 

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