Bagnaia: Quartararo struggles won't affect Misano MotoGP race tactics

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia says starting from pole for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with Fabio Quartararo 15th won’t change his approach to Sunday’s potentially title-deciding MotoGP race.

Bagnaia: Quartararo struggles won't affect Misano MotoGP race tactics

Should Quartararo outscore Bagnaia by at least three points on Sunday at Misano, the Yamaha rider will be crowned the 2021 MotoGP world champion.

But he registered his worst-ever qualifying result in MotoGP, 15th, following a lap cancellation in Q1 for a yellow flag infringement, while Bagnaia sailed through Q1 before snatching a fourth-successive pole.

This has given Bagnaia a bigger chance at keeping the championship rolling to the next round in Portugal, but he insists his approach to the race will be the exact same as if Quartararo was starting alongside.

“I was needing to push if he was starting P2, and I think I have to push the same now he’s 15th because the only thing that I can do to leave open the [possibility to win the] championship is to try to win tomorrow,” said Bagnaia, who won on MotoGP’s last visit to Misano in September.

“The objective would be the same even if Fabio was starting further in front.”

Bagnaia was dominant for much of the Q2 session as he was well up to speed in the extremely cool conditions on slick tyres having come through Q1, but admits he didn’t think his 1m33.045s lap was going to be good enough for pole.

“I didn’t manage to be in the top 10 [after FP3],” he added.

“But then in these conditions, it’s maybe better to be in the Q1 because in the FP4 I was feeling great, I was doing laps and the consistency was ok.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“Then in Q1, I just tried to do all the session riding and the confidence every lap was better, so my feeling was ok.

“In Q2 I was just trying to set a good time. I was not thinking it was enough because in the second time attack, I was struggling a bit more.”

Bagnaia will start alongside Ducati team-mate Jack Miller on Sunday. The Australian once again stated team orders had not been discussed within the squad, instead noting that he will take a “common sense” approach to racing Bagnaia.

“Nobody’s said anything to me about team orders up until this point,” Miller stressed.

“It’s just me as being a rider and having common sense is the main thing.

“We all want the same thing, we all want to see Ducati win, we all want to get the best for that, and at the moment Pecco is our biggest chance.

“It doesn’t change anything for me. I’m there to do the best I can do.

“We’ll see what happens in the race tomorrow, but for sure Pecco’s speed around here is not doubted. I don’t think it will change how my race is going, I’ll just try and tag along to the back of him.

“Or if it works out like in America, that I can be faster, then for sure I’d like to get past and try and tow him.

“But it’s not like I’m going to be divebombing every three corners.”

shares
comments

Related video

Quartararo was “unconsciously not risking” in Misano MotoGP qualifying
Previous article

Quartararo was “unconsciously not risking” in Misano MotoGP qualifying

Next article

Marquez “lost all confidence” after “lucky” Misano MotoGP Q2 save

Marquez “lost all confidence” after “lucky” Misano MotoGP Q2 save
The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form Plus

The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form

Following Suzuki's decision to quit MotoGP, both of its former riders have landed at Honda for 2023. But perhaps its biggest signing from the now-defunct team could instead be a highly-rated technical manager. Is Ken Kawauchi the right man at the right time to steer HRC back to glory?

How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team Plus

How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team

Suzuki's unexpected departure left more than 40 professionals virtually jobless for the 2023 MotoGP season. But that human drama has been successfully corrected by the paddock itself, with most former Suzuki crew-members absorbed into other operations

MotoGP
Jan 14, 2023
How one MotoGP team went from title fights to losing it all in four years Plus

How one MotoGP team went from title fights to losing it all in four years

The Petronas Sepang Racing Team came into MotoGP with a bang in 2019 as regular front-runners, with wonder rookie Fabio Quartararo mounting a title challenge in 2020. But it all went wrong for the Razlan Razali-helmed squad as the team changed hands and tumbled down the order - and RNF Racing plans to right this in 2023

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2023
Is MotoGP's comeback king ready to reclaim his throne? Plus

Is MotoGP's comeback king ready to reclaim his throne?

Marc Marquez’s sixth premier MotoGP title seems a long time ago given the injury woes he has faced in the three years since. At the end of a fraught 2022, in which he had a fourth major operation on his right arm, the Spaniard speaks exclusively to Autosport

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2022
How MotoGP’s underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023 Plus

How MotoGP’s underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023

As European manufacturers emerged as the strongest force in 2022 in a changing of the guard for MotoGP, one powerhouse couldn’t quite match the feats of Ducati and Aprilia. Its motorsport chief tells Autosport why this is and what it is doing to become a consistent frontrunner in the class of kings

MotoGP
Dec 20, 2022
How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races Plus

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races

With the expansion of the calendar to 21 grands prix and the introduction of sprint races, the 2023 MotoGP season will take the riders to almost 1,300 kilometres of competition more than this year, a factor that forces adjustments in their physical preparations.

MotoGP
Dec 9, 2022
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