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Bagnaia reckons French GP result preview of 2024 MotoGP title fight

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia believes the French Grand Prix podium finishers will be the main protagonists in the 2024 MotoGP title fight as they are “the most complete riders” currently.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia once again went head to head with Pramac counterpart Jorge Martin and Gresini Ducati’s Marc Marquez for top honours in Sunday’s French GP at Le Mans.

Martin ultimately came out on top in this battle to score his second grand prix win of the season and extend his championship lead to 38 points over Bagnaia.

Bagnaia, having led for much of the 27 laps, found himself demoted to third on the final tour by Marquez, who now sits third in the standings at 40 points behind Martin after five rounds.

The reigning double world champion believes himself, Martin and Bagnaia have been the best of the grid in 2024 in terms of consistency and reckons Le Mans will act as a preview to the title fight this season. 

“For me, at the moment, we three are the most complete riders in the championship,” he said.

“Other riders are fast enough to have a great performance and are able to win races.

“But I think in terms of speed and consistency – Jorge more – we are the most complete riders and without the crash of Jorge at Jerez, [the Spanish GP top three] was the same result I think, the same guys fighting [as today].

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“So, I think for the championship it will be more or less like this.”

Bagnaia seized the holeshot from second on the grid and led Martin for the first 20 laps before Martin made a move stick at Turn 3 on the 21st tour.

The factory Ducati rider says he struggled too much through sector three – and particularly Turn 9 where Marquez overtook him on the last lap – to have a chance at winning.

But having not finished Saturday’s sprint due to a bike issue, which he labelled “dangerous” at the time, Bagnaia acknowledges that finishing the grand prix was the most important thing for him.

“Sector three was my weak point,” he explained.

“Yesterday it was a good point but today I wasn’t strong in corner nine and I was losing too much time.

“So, I was trying to do the maximum. Sector one and sector two were mine, but the amount of gap I was losing in sector three was too much.

“It’s something to improve, but we have time and considering that yesterday we didn’t do the sprint today it was important to finish the race.”

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