Categories: MotoGP

Pecco Bagnaia : a Lot of Data Helps Solve Ducati’s Problems, but It’s Always Difficult to Predict – The season-opening race in Qatar went extraordinary for Pecco Bagnaia. The defending champion managed to win the first Grand Prix of the year, but the races in Portugal and America were disappointing. At the Spanish GP, the factory Ducati rider again showed his best performance. Pecco wants to become the first three-time Italian MotoGP world champion with an Italian manufacturer since Giacomo Agostini.

When on Thursday before the Spanish GP Pecco Bagnaia was asked, are you busy at the moment? He shrugged and shook his head then laughingly answered, “No, not really. You know, I was only ranked 5th in the championship.”

Pecco Bagnaia: Lots of data helps solve problems but is always difficult to predict

However, unexpectedly, 3 days later Francesco Bagnaia managed to reduce the points gap with standings leader Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) to 17 points. He had an incredible race and beat Marc Marquez in an epic battle at Jerez.

His victory at Jerez was his 20th victory in MotoGP. It was not only one of his most important wins, but also one of his best. Jerez was the 50th consecutive race with at least one Ducati on the podium and Bagnaia recorded 32 podiums. Pecco is a quiet but likeable figure off the track, but once the helmet is on he is a warrior.

As is known, every time he starts a race, Pecco has a ritual of stroking the bike, kissing his gloves and patting the tank. How did it happen? “It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time. I like it because it calms me down a bit. It’s my routine. We always do the same thing because we know it works for the kit. I’m a little superstitious. I do things like that to prepare for races ,” answered Domizia Castagnini’s fiancé.

Pecco Bagnaia – Davide Tardozzi

Last year his crew chief Cristian Gabbarini said that the 2023 Jerez race was probably the best he had ever seen from Pecco Bagnaia. Does Pecco think so too? “The race was fantastic. Last year the race was not easy but then we started to improve the feeling during the session and race. It was a fun battle against KTM. In the end I won, and that’s good,” said Carola Bagnaia’s younger brother.

But Pecco’s win at the start of the season in Qatar was one of his best. His start was good and the way he handled the pressure and was always able to match the faster times was a world class performance. “That’s good,” he replied with a laugh.

What a great look? The first race of the season is always special. Pecco started the same way he finished the 2023 season championship. He had an incredible race in Qatar, he was able to control every corner, every lap and his feeling was incredible. It met his expectations (more or less). What was unexpected was what happened afterwards in Portimao and Austin. “The team had a big problem at the Grand Prix and of course they had to find a solution,” explained Valentino Rossi’s Rider Academy rider.

Many people were surprised by the chatter and vibration problems Pecco faced, which other GP24 riders also complained about. Was Pecco also surprised by this problem? “Yes, because we didn’t experience it in the tests, not even with used tires. Then the vibration problem in the sprint race in Qatar was very bad. This was the first time I felt it. I don’t have this problem in long distance races. So we said, ‘ “Maybe now we understand how to set the time record on this bike,” answered teammate Enea Bastianini.

Pecco continued that then racing in Portimao and he felt an extraordinary vibration. In Austin he felt vibrations in the right corner during the sprint and in the left corner during the race. This is difficult to understand and also difficult to predict, what will happen to the bike. According to him, the potential of GP24 is very high, we just need to understand it a little better.

Thinking back to the start of 2022 when Pecco wasn’t so sure how good his bike was and rode last year’s fusion bike (a hybrid)? “A similar situation occurred. Now we are collecting a lot of data that can help solve the problem, and I am sure we will succeed in this step. But, it is always difficult to predict,” he stressed.

Now Pecco has won two MotoGP world titles. When he was 2nd in the standings, there was only one target. But when he defends the title, isn’t that the only way to do it? “Yes. But if we fight for the world title and finish in the top 3, that’s also good. Of course our target is to win again. And more titles. But the journey is still very long. In the first three events, Jorge Martin was the difference and built a 30 point lead But in this race I only scored three points less than last year.

This post was last modified on 8 May 2024 14:36


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