Francesco Bagnaia: ‘Something is limiting me, struggling more than normal…’

Although he played down being nervous after Free Practice Two at the Valencia MotoGP, Francesco Bagnaia said ‘something is limiting me’ after appearing to struggle.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Valencia
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Valencia

Down in 17th after the opening MotoGP practice in Valencia, Bagnaia managed to narrowly get himself into the top ten on combined times in FP2.

However, Bagnaia was beaten by five other Ducatis, while title rival Fabio Quartararo also showed more pace throughout the day. 

Unsure what was limiting him, Bagnaia said: “For sure, something is limiting me, but not so much today. My feeling wasn’t the best at the start. 

“We have changed a lot the [the bike]. The bike is quite different compared to last year and at this track I feel it a bit more. In the braking I was struggling a bit more than normal.”

When delving deeper into the issues he faced particularly in FP1, Bagnaia highlighted three key areas.

One of those was braking which is surprising as it's so often been a strength for the Ducati rider. In fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons why he was able to hold off Enea Bastianini for victory last time out in Sepang. 

"Not a nervous day but for sure not the easiest one," added the series leader. "At the start of this morning in FP1 the bike was not working so well. We were struggling with the wind, struggling on braking and also with the grip. 

"I started struggling a bit this morning and I was improving my feeling during the session but it wasn’t enough. This afternoon [was] the same.

"I started a bit better than the morning but the feeling wasn’t the best. But on the second exit we did a really great step in front and I was able to have a really similar pace to Fabio [Quartararo] and Marc [Marquez]. 

"So it was a good run and my feeling improved a lot. The time attack was quite good but still I missed some feeling and I didn’t want to make mistakes like I did in Sepang. 

"Today it was easy to make mistakes. I accepted to be a bit slower in some parts of the track to enter the corner with more speed."

Jack Miller also affected by windy conditions at the Valencia MotoGP

Bagnaia’s team-mate looked like he was heading towards the top of the timingsheets in FP2 before Luca Marini and Jorge Martin pulled out very impressive lap times. 


But like his team-mate, Miller was also caught out by the gusts of wind particularly in FP1, saying: "First of all to understand where the wind was coming from, what we needed to do to get the bikes working better in the wind - a couple of times road gusts came and smashed me. 

"One time [it happened] coming out of the last corner and it was very close to one of my best lap times. 

"And yeah, as the bike started wheeling and disappeared from underneath me it was kind of scary because there’s a wall on the inside and when the bike does that it’s immediately going one way. 

"Apart from that it was a good day. The bike is working well and I feel good. I always like riding here. It’s tight, technical, the bike is always moving around a whole heap."

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