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MotoGP Catalan GP

Bagnaia “scared” of 2009 Rossi/Lorenzo repeat with Vinales in Barcelona MotoGP sprint

Francesco Bagnaia was “a bit scared” of Maverick Vinales passing him on the last corner of the MotoGP Catalan GP sprint, like Valentino Rossi did to Jorge Lorenzo in 2009.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

One of the most famous moments in MotoGP history, Rossi snatched victory from Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo at the last corner of the 2009 Catalan GP with a daring overtake.

In the 2023 Barcelona sprint, having faded from pole to eventual winner Aleix Espargaro, Bagnaia had to defend hard to keep the sister Aprilia of Vinales at bay.

Though Vinales got close, he was pipped to second by the reigning world champion by 0.051s.

“We need a bit more traction,” Bagnaia said after the sprint.

“We perfectly know that the Aprilia is very competitive in the first part of pick-up [of the throttle] and on the edge [of the tyre].

“So, we are working on it. It will not be easy because the gap to them is a bit high in this moment.

“Was fun [to battle with Vinales], honestly I was focused on trying to be perfect on every braking, trying to not give him any chance to put his bike in front of me.

“I was a bit scared to see something like Barcelona 2009, Vale and Lorenzo, so I was just trying to close all the lines and stop the bike a bit more.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Vinales concedes that Bagnaia – who extended his championship lead to 66 points – was “perfect” in his defence, and says it “didn’t make sense” to try anything risk into the last corner.

“I think more than missing the chance, he was perfect on the last lap,” Vinales noted.

“He braked late, stopped the bike on a good point and honestly I had no chance. I tried, also I tried in the last corner.

“But I think it was too risky. If I try to overtake like this in a sprint race or the [main] race, I think it doesn’t make sense.

“I think we have to have a lot of respect between the riders.

“Of course, if it’s clear, then you try. But if it’s not clear, you must have respect and you must try to understand that we are trying to do the best.

“Today I didn’t have any clear point to overtake Pecco. Of course, I tried to find it, I put the bike really close and maybe he would make a mistake.

“But he learned from Misano [2020, when Bagnaia crashed leading Vinales].”

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