How Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner inspired Bagnaia at the British MotoGP

Although there was no doubt who took victory at the British Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia claims valuable insight from MotoGP legends Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner helped power him to an impressive win at Silverstone.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Silverstone
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Silverstone

Bagnaia, who appeared to lack the necessary pace during the opening few laps, got stronger as the race went on before sealing his British MotoGP win with a brilliant counter move against a charging Maverick Vinales. 

"I’m very happy with this race. I would put it as one of my best ones because I was struggling all weekend,” added Bagnaia. 

“I was not competitive like I wanted and yesterday I was already accepting a top five finish. I was already knowing that it would be very difficult to win. But then today, this morning we found something better with the rear tyre, the hard one. 

“Also using the medium front [was a good idea] because in the last part of the race I was completely without rear grip so I started braking very hard and it was the only thing possible to protect me.”

Conversations with Rossi, Stoner propel Bagnaia to fourth MotoGP win of the year

Having struggled compared to main title rivals Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro, along with fellow Ducati riders Jack Miller and Johann Zarco prior to Sunday’s race, Bagnaia admitted to seeking insight from both Rossi and Stoner ahead of the Grand Prix.

Disclosing his chats with the former MotoGP champions during the post-race press conference, Bagnaia said: "I spoke a lot with Valentino [Rossi] more [than Stoner] and here he helped me a lot to understand the situation better. 

"I was a bit in trouble all weekend and it’s not easy from his point of view because he’s just at home looking at the screen. But he helped me to understand the tyres, the temperature with the tyres. He helped me a lot. 

"And to Casey I just asked him [about the past] if he did something in this track to help me be more competitive. 

"This morning he sent me a message and I just tried to do something. It was good but maybe not for the tyres we have now. In any case, I have good luck to have these types of people around me."

When pushed further on what exactly Stoner told him, Bagnaia claimed it was about improving ‘traction’, advice that went out the window with five laps remaining…  

"He was great at finding traction," stated Bagnaia. "He was great at finding traction on the exit of the corners and this was his suggestion for today. So I tried to wait more on opening the gas and it was a bit better. 

"The problem was that when five or six laps were remaining I was without rear grip. So in this last part of the race I was just doing my riding style."

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