Bagnaia "lucky" to be back in MotoGP title hunt

Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia admits his recent back-to-back victories that have catapulted him back into MotoGP title contention were "lucky" because of problems for his main rivals.

Bagnaia "lucky" to be back in MotoGP title hunt

After crashing out of June's German Grand Prix and registering his fourth DNF of the season, Bagnaia was 91 points adrift of championship leader Fabio Quartararo.

But back-to-back wins at Assen and Silverstone have put him 49 points adrift ahead of this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

Bagnaia, however, sees his position as fortunate given the crash and subsequent long lap penalty for Quartararo at Assen and Silverstone, and injury problems for Aleix Espargaro at the British GP.

"I will try, first of all to think about this race to gain points," Bagnaia said on Thursday at the Red Bull Ring.

"But sincerely we were lucky in the last two races because my main contenders had problems.

"So, it will not always be like this. Gaining so many points like this is just because I had luck in the last two races.

"But let's see, for sure the races in front are good for us.

"But I want to think about my weekend and about the sessions. At this moment I think Aleix is still the closest one to Fabio."

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The Austrian GP has been a strong event for Ducati since it returned to the calendar in 2016, with the marque winning six times at the Red Bull Ring since then.

The following races in Misano and Aragon were also happy hunting grounds for Bagnaia, who won at both venues in 2021.

While he concedes that they could be important in his hopes of fighting for the championship this year, Bagnaia is wary of pegging them as make or break given how much the competitive order has changed this season.

"It's really difficult to say," he added when asked if the next three rounds were critical to his title ambitions.

"Things can change year by year. It's true it's three good tracks, but last year in Le Mans I was struggling a lot and this year I was fighting for the victory.

Read Also:

"So, everything can change. Our bike is a bit different compared to last year, but I don't want to think about the next races.

"Before I want to start in this track, I want to be competitive like we were in the other parts of this season and try to recover points.

"But it's difficult to predict now if I will be competitive in the next races."

shares
comments
Marc Marquez ‘won’t wait to be 100%’ fit to make MotoGP return
Previous article

Marc Marquez ‘won’t wait to be 100%’ fit to make MotoGP return

Next article

Quartararo: Yamaha “playing too far from the rules” against its MotoGP rivals

Quartararo: Yamaha “playing too far from the rules” against its MotoGP rivals
The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend Plus

The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Autosport – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend

MotoGP
Dec 6, 2022
Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Plus

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Plus

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems Plus

Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Plus

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Plus

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Plus

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022