Bagnaia: Ducati working in opposite area to Yamaha

While MotoGP title rival Fabio Quartararo revelled in the top speed gain from a prototype Yamaha engine, Francesco Bagnaia and Ducati are working on corner speed for 2023.
Francesco Bagnaia, Misano test
Francesco Bagnaia, Misano test

Bagnaia, winner of the last four rounds to close from 91 to 30-points behind Quartararo, had several different chassis on offer during the post-race Misano test.

“Yeah, we are working in the opposite way to Yamaha!” Bagnaia said. “We are trying to find some corner speed and to have a bike that closes more the line on the exit.

“I think we are doing a good job, we are improving a lot. Compared to last year we lost a bit of [top] speed, to have more corner speed… We are moving in that direction.”

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With the most powerful engine on the grid, Ducati can afford to lose some of its top speed if the trade-off provides greater gains in the corners.

“I think top speed for sure is something important, but not the main thing. So we are doing all the work to find more agility, more stability and Yamaha on that is so much better than us,” Bagnaia explained.

“So they're working in the opposite way [to us], to find some [top] speed. But for sure finding speed, maybe [Yamaha] will have less stability, less agility. So I think now we have two different kinds of thinking.”

Ducati’s emphasis on handling was underlined by the lack of a 2023 engine for the factory riders to test.

“In this moment we are just focusing on chassis, on having a better feeling with the bike,” Bagnaia said. “Because from outside it looks that our bike now is perfect, but we are losing a lot of time now in corner speed or in closing lines compared to Yamaha.

“So we are working on it and we are finding something great. Also, if we have to lose some speed in the straight, we prefer to have more agility and stability.”

Bagnaia - who set the second fastest lap time, just 0.118s behind Quartararo - also tried the mysterious new clutch system, also being evaluated by the Pramac riders.

“It's just a different kind of lever that has less movement, but I prefer the standard one,” said the Italian.

Jack Miller, MotoGP, San Marino MotoGP, 3 September
Jack Miller, MotoGP, San Marino MotoGP, 3 September

Team-mate Jack Miller set the 18th fastest time, having repeated his Turn 4 accident from the race lead.

"This morning's crash at Turn 4 was very similar to the one I suffered in the race, and now we'll have some more data to analyse to understand what exactly happened, as, at that point, I had the feeling I was doing the same as the lap before,” said he Australian.

“In any case, yesterday and today, we worked on different setup configurations but didn't try any new components,” added Miller, who previously thought he would have ‘a long list of stuff to try’ despite leaving for KTM next season.

“Now we'll analyse the information gathered over these two days to improve the bike further ahead of the next race at Aragon,”

Aragon was the scene Bagnaia’s debut MotoGP victory, last season.

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