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Bagnaia says “Ducati doesn’t have to apologise” for hellish Qatar MotoGP

Ducati MotoGP rider Francesco Bagnaia says his team “doesn’t have to apologise to me” over its disastrous start to the 2022 season in Qatar.  

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The reigning constructors’ world champions endured a complicated weekend at the Qatar Grand Prix, which began with the announcement that it would be switching to a hybrid 2021/2022-spec engine for Bagnaia and factory team-mate Jack Miller.  

This followed a winter testing phase in which the new 2022 Ducati engine proved to have an aggressive power delivery.  

PLUS: How Ducati's turned its feared strength into a problem

Both Pramac riders and VR46’s Luca Marini, who race 2022 Ducatis, have kept the current engine.  

Bagnaia was only ninth in qualifying and crashed out of the race after colliding with poleman Jorge Martin as the pair tried to recover from poor starts, while Miller’s race ended due to a GPS issue.  

After the race Bagnaia said he would “not touch anything” on his Ducati again as he felt he was testing too many things and couldn’t focus on his riding style, while the team's management later issued an apology to him. 

Commenting on this ahead of this weekend’s Indonesian Grand Prix, he said: “I think that Ducati doesn’t have to apologise to me.  

“We are a team and we work together. So, we were speaking in the box and everything was clear.  

“So, we don’t have to apologise for anything. In any case, I think this weekend could be another story.  

“I had time at home to relax because it was not an easy week.  

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team after the crash

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team after the crash

Photo by: MotoGP

“We worked a lot, but I had an enjoyable session of training in Mugello and on Saturday at the [VR46] ranch.  

“So, I had time to reflect and to relax with my girlfriend, with my little dog and my friends.” 

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Bagnaia also backtracked on his comments about developing the bike, conceding that they were made out of frustration and understands that it is part of his job as a factory rider to test things.  

“First of all, to be clear I said, yes, that I was testing too much, but the message that I passed on was that I didn’t want to do it again,” he replied when asked by Autosport what his new plan for this weekend was.  

“But it’s not like this. It’s clear in a factory team you have to do it like this.  

“My message was maybe because I was angry about a lot of questions about everything.  

“So, I was maybe quite nervous after the race also that I said things [and] the message was not correct.  

“In any case, this weekend could be different. My work will be to understand the conditions, understand the tyres and step up the electronics of my bike.  

“The setting is already ok, I don’t want to change anything like I was doing last year – my classic work.” 

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