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Qatar MotoGP winner Di Giannantonio explains ‘mapping 8’ message

Qatar Grand Prix winner Fabio Di Giannantonio says the ‘mapping 8’ message he received late in Sunday’s MotoGP race was not a team order and was simply a lap reminder.

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Gresini Racing

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Gresini Racing

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The Gresini rider overtook championship leader Francesco Bagnaia in the latter stages of Sunday’s 22-lap Qatar GP to score a maiden premier class victory.

It comes as Di Giannantonio currently doesn’t have a place on the 2024 grid, having lost his ride to Marc Marquez.

While a few weeks ago in the frame for a Honda seat, this now looks likely to be going to Luca Marini, while VR46 commented earlier in the Qatar weekend that Di Giannantonio wasn’t an option.

As he chased Bagnaia, Di Giannantonio was given a ‘mapping 8’ message on his dashboard on lap 18.

Previously, this was a coded team order message Ducati issued to Jorge Lorenzo back in 2017 in the last two rounds of that season when team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was fighting for the championship.

But Di Giannantonio says his ‘mapping 8’ call was simply to tell him he didn’t have long left in the race to attack Bagnaia.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect to have Pecco in front in that moment of the race because Pecco was struggling all the weekend,” Di Giannantonio told motogp.com’s After the Flag.

“So, I thought it was someone else in front, but then it was Pecco. So, for sure I had to be a bit careful and I was also sorry because if I can steal some points from him it’s a pity for his championship.

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Gresini Racing

“But then we just planned to make the pass four, five laps from the end. So, that ‘mapping 8’ message was just ‘hey, now is the moment’.

“It was a good signal because I couldn’t see my pitboard any lap, because there were so many and I couldn’t see my one.

“So, I didn’t know how many laps there were to the end. Finally I saw ‘mapping 8’ and I started to find my pitboard and I saw there were four laps to go, so I was like ‘oh man, I need to do it now’. So, I tried to make it as clean as possible and we made it.”

How this victory will affect his prospects of getting a MotoGP seat next year remains to be seen, but Di Giannantonio says he is “speechless” that his place in the class is even in question.

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“I am speechless about this argument, because in the end I think I am doing everything on time,” he added.

“It’s just my second year in MotoGP and if you look also at other riders, we are in the best championship in the world, in the highest level of motorbike championship in the world.

“So, for sure it take time for things to work out. Finally we made it, but I think we are completely on time. So, let’s say it’s a bitter situation and I hope we can turn things around.”

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