The 2023 MotoGP season could produce its first inter-team championship battle since Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi 2015.

Bagnaia heads into the season as the world champion but Bastianini proved to be a match for his fellow Italian on more than one occasion, despite being on a year-old bike.

Both riders came out victorious on two occasions as they battled for the win in Le Mans, Misano, Aragon and Sepang. 

And while Bastianini is aware that he must work together with Bagnaia to keep Ducati atop MotoGP, the gloves will be off when both riders are racing.

"I’m here to try," said Bastianini when speaking at Ducati’s celebratory party in Bologna last weekend. "I was put in the official team, so I’ll definitely have a chance at winning the title. 

"There are many of us - Pecco will want to retain, but there are many other riders who are competitive. Today’s MotoGP is really difficult. 

"I think we’ve already had some good battles but we have to continue. It’s now essential to work together and develop the bike at its best. Then, on the track, when it’s time for the race everyone will fend for themselves, as it should be. 

"We’ve already had fun this year and we’ve had some good battles like in Misano, Aragon and Malaysia. So we’ll try to repeat this in the future."

Bastianini was second only to Bagnaia in terms of wins (4) in 2022 as he claimed third place in the championship after a technical issue cost Aleix Espargaro the chance of finishing the season-finale in Valencia.

Bastianini has already made his debut for the factory Ducati team during the official one-day test in Valencia last month, and although it was a productive outing, the Italian is not getting ahead of himself.

"I think I’ve adapted quite quickly but in a one-day test it’s difficult to say what the feelings can be," added Bastianini. 

"It’s a team that works really well. My electronics remained the same. My crew chief was replaced so we’ll have to establish a good relationship."