Bagnaia lays down the law to Bastianini: “He will have to learn”

Francesco Bagnaia has insisted next year’s teammate Enea Bastianini must adapt to extra responsibilities “like I had to do”.
Enea Bastianini, Francesco Bagnaia, Thailand MotoGP. 29 September
Enea Bastianini, Francesco Bagnaia, Thailand MotoGP. 29 September

Bastianini won a three-way battle with Jack Miller and Jorge Martin to earn a spot in the factory Ducati team, and he will be alongside Bagnaia in the 2023 MotoGP rider line-up.

The saga has become even more dramatic because Bagnaia edged a photo-finish between them in Misano, before Bastianini won in Aragon.

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Bagnaia, two points adrift of Fabio Quartararo in the MotoGP standings with three races left ahead of the Australian MotoGP, could yet be the beneficiary of Ducati team orders issued to the likes of Bastianini, who has so far been eager to battle.

“Enea is a great guy, a great talent, very competitive and very fast,” Bagnaia said about his fellow Italian.

“He will have to learn how to work in a factory team, like I had to do this year.

“At the start it was not so easy, but it’s something you have to do.

“You have more responsibility. It is not so easy.

“But he is quite smart. He will know what to do.”

Bagnaia stepped up to Ducati’s MotoGP factory team after two seasons with Pramac Racing. Bastianini is in his second year with Gresini Racing but has been chosen by Ducati to step up next year, ahead of Miller and Martin.

Bagnaia: "I tried to analyse why I was crashing"

Francesco Bagnaia, Enea Bastianini, San Marino MotoGP race, 19 September
Francesco Bagnaia, Enea Bastianini, San Marino MotoGP race, 19 September

Bagnaia is battling for a maiden championship - he has won six times this year, compared to Fabio Quartararo’s three, but has also crashed a remarkable five times.

“When I was crashing before the summer break, it was because I was thinking in the wrong way,” he explained.

“I was saying: ‘OK I will relax’ then I crashed.

“I tried to analyse why I was crashing, I tried to understand with my trainer and the people close to me why I was making mistakes.

“Trying to understand how to do better.”

Bagnaia wasn’t on the podium in the opening five races of the season but roared into serious title contention with a four-race winning streak at Quartararo’s expense.

“At the start the bike was not so competitive,” he said. “I was struggling a lot. We needed a lot of time to improve.

“Finally, when we were back in Europe, we started again. From that moment we were always in front.

“I was always winning or on the podium but I also committed mistakes.

“I still lost a lot of points with mistakes.”

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