Bagnaia was "terrified" of crashing out again in Assen MotoGP race

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia admits he was “terrified” of crashing out of MotoGP victory at the Dutch Grand Prix following his recent back-to-back DNFs.

Bagnaia was "terrified" of crashing out again in Assen MotoGP race

Bagnaia’s championship hopes were dealt a small boost on Sunday at Assen when he stormed to victory from pole position, while points leader Fabio Quartararo crashed out and made contact with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro early on.

This allowed Bagnaia to reduce his points deficit to 66, after it stood at 91 ahead of Assen following back-to-back crashes in Barcelona and Germany.

Because of his recent run of retirements, Bagnaia admits the light rain that fell in latter stages of the Dutch GP made him scared of suffering another crash.

“Was scary, really scary,” Bagnaia said of the late rainfall. “When I looked at the big screen, I just saw the screen one time, I was seeing Aleix on the gravel and a blue bike there.

“So, I imagined it was Fabio with Aleix, so for sure we had a bit of luck.

“But then I just said ‘OK, I can be more relaxed, I can do my race with more calm’. But looking at the gap with [Marco] Bezzecchi, he was always catching.

“So, I had to push again, I had to open this gap again to be smarter and more calm again later in the race.

“But then the rain came. When I saw the rain I just slowed down a bit, but Bezzecchi was pushing again.

“So, it was very difficult. I was terrified to crash again, so the main thing was to finish the race. It wasn’t easy, but I tried to be smart, I tried to not push over the limit.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia explained that he initially lost time to the chasing Bezzecchi when the rain started to fall because he thought the track was wetter than it actually was, and was thrown off by water droplets flicking onto the inside of his Ducati’s screen when he removed a visor tear-off.

“My problem was that I saw the rain and I was thinking it was more slippery than what it was in reality,” he added.

“The problem is when it’s raining, and when it’s light rain, and you have the tear off, the rain comes from the tear off onto your screen.

“You start to not see things clearly, so I just removed the tear off and I lost like six tenths, five tenths.

“I lost a lot of time, and he [Bezzecchi] was catching me like it was not raining.

“I was pushing without pushing because when it's raining you can’t hit the corners like normal. But I found a way to ride and it was OK.”

shares
comments
Quartararo laments “stupid rookie mistake” after double Assen MotoGP crash
Previous article

Quartararo laments “stupid rookie mistake” after double Assen MotoGP crash

Next article

Quartararo penalised for Espargaro collision in Assen MotoGP race

Quartararo penalised for Espargaro collision in Assen MotoGP race
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
Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future Plus

Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future

Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out

MotoGP
Oct 28, 2022
The war brewing as Ducati nears its ultimate MotoGP prize Plus

The war brewing as Ducati nears its ultimate MotoGP prize

OPINION: Francesco Bagnaia has put one hand firmly on the 2022 MotoGP world title after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix, and the permutations are weighted heavily in his favour heading to the Valencia finale. But as Ducati stands on the cusp of something it has longed for since 2007, the Sepang race also hinted towards a future problem…

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2022