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Bagnaia insists Ducati “will never have” team orders to aid his MotoGP title bid

Francesco Bagnaia batted away suggestions team-mate Enea Bastianini should have let him pass in the MotoGP Indonesian GP sprint, insisting Ducati “will never have” team orders.

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia lost the world championship lead for the first time since the Spanish GP in April after struggling to eighth in Saturday’s sprint at Mandalika as title rival Jorge Martin won.

It capped off a generally difficult day for Bagnaia, who failed to get out of Q1 and qualified 13th, battling rear grip issues on the Michelin soft rubber.

Bagnaia ran line astern with team-mate Bastianini for much of the sprint but was unable to make an overtake stick.

This led to questions about why Ducati didn’t employ team orders to move Bagnaia up to seventh and limit Martin’s points lead to six instead of seven.

“I didn’t have team orders last year, so we don’t have it this year,” Bagnaia started.

“Last year was the same bike, I was fighting for the championship. We will never have this kind of team orders.

“It’s normal, we are eight riders with the same possibility to fight for top positions. This is the strategy from Ducati and from the start I accepted it.

“Today, the only way possible to get through on Enea was to push him out. I didn’t want to. It’s not the way I like to race.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Asked if Bastianini should have helped Bagnaia progress into Q2, he added: “Why block a rider coming back from an injury after a long time and say to him ‘don’t improve your lap time because you have to let Pecco through’.

“It’s maybe difficult to understand for you, but from my point of view, in the race it’s another story but in qualifying it’s normal that it’s like this.”

Team orders at Ducati were a topic of discussion last year as Bastianini, on the Gresini-run bike, and Bagnaia repeatedly locked horns in races despite the latter’s bid for the title.

Martin’s step up to the lead of the championship marks the first time in his MotoGP career that he has done so, but the Pramac Ducati rider says his mentality will not change because of this.

“It feels good, it feels amazing and it’s like a dream,” he said.

“It’s why we are here. But the mentality will be the same. I need to attack; I need to enjoy the moment.

“Anything that comes is good. The pressure is on Pecco, I feel, because he needs to win. So, I will keep the same mentality.”

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