Bastianini is a fascinating part of the 2023 MotoGP championship picture - he must adapt to the responsibility of a factory Ducati seat, but has already shown a willingness and a capability to scrap wheel-to-wheel.

He engaged in thrilling tussles with Francesco Bagnaia, his future teammate, last season while still riding a Gresini Racing bike - this year, their relationship from inside the same garage will come under the microscope.

"I'll be happy if I beat him" - Bastianini on Bagnaia rivalry | MotoGP 2023

Bastianini compared the rivalry between today’s riders to the previous generation to Corriere: “MotoGP has changed a lot since I arrived at the world championship. 

“Before there was a lot of hatred between the riders, today it's different. Whether that's good or bad I don't know. 

“For me it is important to have fun and have good duels on the track. If the relationship is good, then fine. If it's hatred, I'll accept it. But right now I wouldn't speak ill of anyone."

Bagnaia, towards the end of last season, remarkably found that Bastianini was emerging as the biggest threat to his maiden championship.

The paddock was full of talk about team orders but the Ducati riders fought ferociously, and it now becomes a vital talking point of the upcoming season - how will the Italian team react if their two factory riders are at the front?

Bastianini said about Bagnaia: “There was a lot of talk about it with my move to the factory team. Because two Italians on Italian motorcycles make the news. 

“But between us, I've always said, there is great respect. And also competitiveness, of course. Ultimately everyone races for themselves, but we we won't have major problems of coexistence.

"I think about the present. We have to work together to develop the best bike possible. Then of course there will be competition. 

“My goal, but it also applies to him, is to try to be the fastest of all. I don't think that in the race one of us will give way to the other.”

It will be Ducati’s responsibility to keep their battles honest.

"It's fundamental,” Bastianini said about peace within the team. “When there is tranquillity in the box, it is much easier to make the most of it. 

“If something is wrong, you focus on that and distract yourself from the goal. Getting out of it is not so simple. Harmony is key."

Bastianini is eyeing the championship for himself: “We have the potential to aim for the title, I absolutely believe in it. It won't be easy, because the rivals are many and fierce, starting with my teammate Bagnaia. 

“But in MotoGP we are at such a level that predictions are a risk. The details matter a lot, more than you think, and whoever is better at fixing them will win the title in the end.”

Last year they profited from the best machinery on the grid, and the latest spec Desmosedici did not encounter significant issues at the preseason Sepang test.

“This year's Desmosedici has great potential, in part still to be discovered,” Bastianini said. 

“It's a bit to sort out, to get to know better, but we started off on the right foot.

“The Desmosedici will certainly be the bike to beat, but you need the right horse to make it go fast. And from this point of view, Ducati has been very good, surrounding itself with very strong riders.”