Bagnaia has “best day of the year” despite “unlucky” Indonesia MotoGP FP2

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia says Friday at the MotoGP Indonesia Grand Prix was “the best day of the year” despite an “unlucky” end to FP2 which left him 21st.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

The 2021 runner-up endured a torrid start to the new season in Qatar as he lacked pace on the GP22 and crashed out of the race in a collision with Pramac’s Jorge Martin.

After that race Bagnaia said he wouldn’t touch his bike’s set-up again as he felt he was trying too many things and not focusing enough on his own riding style.

Revealing after Friday in Indonesia that his base set-up is the same as what he used in Qatar, he says he “finally” felt strong on his bike – though was left stranded in 21st on the timesheets after getting caught out by yellow flags for Marc Marquez’s and Enea Bastianini’s late FP2 tumbles.

“I’m happy that we’ve done a very good job today,” Bagnaia said. “It’s the best day of the year since the start of the year, also since the tests.

“We were just a bit unlucky. I found the two yellow flags of Marc and Bastianini, so I didn’t turn a time attack.

“But in any case, the pace with the medium doing laps, I was second and my pace was very strong. So, I’m happy about that.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Explaining where he feels better, Bagnaia says he has regained the front-end feeling he has been looking for all winter, while noting that the altered tyre casings for this weekend – which are from 2018 and are being used to cope with the extreme heat – is giving the Ducati more stability.

“Compared to the test I feel so much better on the bike, and also compared to Qatar day one and two,” he added.

“I feel better, I can brake, I can be constant and my feeling with the front is back and I’m very happy about that.

“I also like the new tyres they’ve brought here, because they are more stable and I prefer.

“I didn’t touch anything from Qatar. I just rode, I just understood how to do things at this track.

“But the feeling was very good and it’s the first time this year with used tyres I was in the top three, because I was second, and about the pace I’m very, very happy.”

Both factory Ducati team riders Bagnaia and Jack Miller are not running the marque’s front ride height adjuster first seen at the Sepang test, though when pressed about it the latter remained cagey.

At present, both Pramac riders have one on each bike and will decide tomorrow whether they will continue with it or not as its benefits remain unclear at this stage.

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