Bagnaia: ‘We accept battles, contact’, pace of Bezzecchi ‘unbeatable’

Francesco Bagnaia claims his opinion of MotoGP Sprint races has not changed at all after finding himself stuck in the thick of the action for 12 laps. 
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Argentina 2023
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Argentina 2023

Starting on the front row, the MotoGP champion was surprisingly quiet in the opening few laps as he instead got pushed back to seventh at one stage.

Bagnaia did find more pace as the race went on, however, it was never enough to worry the podium finishers although he believed sixth place was not his true potential.

Asked if he felt he got the most out of his bike, Bagnaia added: "Sincerely, not! It wasn’t easy today. I was struggling with the front feeling from the beginning of the race. Maybe the pressure, maybe the temperature but in any case, I was there. 

"I lost a little bit of time in the battle with Alex. That put us a bit behind but we can be happy that we finished the race. 

"It wasn’t easy. Already the start - I lost some positions but we managed to be there and have a good pace. The pace of Marco [Bezzecchi] was unbeatable, even Brad [Binder] was incredible."

After winning last weekend’s inaugural Sprint race fairly comfortably, Bagnaia was introduced to the harsher realities of fighting in the pack this time around.

But having said that, Bagnaia enjoyed the challenge and said his opinion of the new format has not changed whatsoever. 

"For sure, sometimes you win and sometimes you have to be behind but we are racing and we accept battles, accept contact, this is our world and our sport and we love it," added Bagnaia. 

"So I didn’t change anything. For 12 laps you have to push like hell and we are more close and it’s easier to have this contact. 

"But last year we were complaining about no overtakes and it’s quite clear it wasn’t the problem of last year."

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