Francesco Bagnaia is ready for the tense final part of the 2022 MotoGP Championship. Enea Bastianini challenged him in Misano, took away the victory in Aragon, and is not going to stop there. Pecco believes that he has enough strength to defeat both Quarararo and a new dangerous competitor.
The traditional principle: your teammate is your main rival! This principle has been working for many, many years because when a team hires pilots, first, it expects that they will push each other forward. But in some cases, a partner to an obviously stronger rider is invited by a loyal person who is just fast enough to put his shoulder to his partner at the right moment.
It seems that Francesco Bagnaia will have a stormy season in 2023, in which Enea Bastianini will compete with him in the Ducati Lenovo Team! Their internal battle for the status of “Italian No. 1” in MotoGP began in September, at the San Marino Grand Prix. But in fact, back in the spring, at Le Mans, where Enea really strained Pecco, so much so that he began to make mistakes… and as a result, he fell. Enea already knows where he is stronger than Pecco, and vice versa, and what he has to work on to become better.
Right now, Bagnaia faces a serious challenge: according to the scenario written in Borgo Panigale, he needs to surpass Fabio Quartararo in the fight for the MotoGP championship title; but then he felt the heavy hand of a “friend” on his shoulder, capable of depriving Francesco of several valuable points.
We have been wondering for a long time who will play the role of the “joker” in MotoGP this year – Marc Marquez or Enea Bastianini, and now the answer is close: Enea’s role as the joker is already too small, he wants to become a trump ace.
Bagnaia is sure that he has enough strength and nerves to restrain this onslaught without using an administrative resource:
“To be honest, I don’t think I need any help to be at the head of the peloton. I would prefer to win in the fight on the track, and not because someone gave me a ride. In any case, I don’t make such decisions. I have a passionate desire to win, it drives me, and allows me to do what I want. If they [Ducati Corse] decide something, it definitely won’t happen at my request, it won’t come from me. I will fight, race, try to be ahead, and try to win, as I did in Aragon and Misano. Come what may,” said Bagnaia before the start of the Japanese Grand Prix.
In Motegi, Pecco was in the role of a MotoGP pilot only once, in 2019. Then, as a novice pilot of Pramac Racing. He started the race 14th and finished 13th.
“Motegi is one of my favorite tracks, and now we are in a completely different situation than we were in 2019. I was a rookie, not without difficulty mastering the bike. But I think this year everything will be completely different. Motegi suits Ducati by a number of indicators, much will depend on the weather. I think Fabio will try to stick with us all weekend,” added Bagnaia.