After a brilliant start from pole position, the current MotoGP champion lost the lead to Jorge Martin which began a bizarre and unusual drop in pace from the factory Ducati rider.

Clearly lacking confidence to push, Bagnaia instead lost out to Brad Binder, Marc Marquez and Luca Marini before steadying the ship.

After regrouping, Bagnaia was once again one of the fastest riders on-track as he responded with moves on Marini and Marquez, despite the latter being stern in his defence for a few laps.

"I was struggling a bit with the tyres," said Bagnaia post-race. "Maybe it was too cold or too hot for the warm-up I did with the tyres. 

"I needed two or three laps to get back the tyres to have the same feeling. I was struggling there and Jorge [Martin], when he overtook me, was so much faster at that moment. I just had to remain a bit calm and it was easy to make mistakes today.  

"The front feeling was not as expected. Maybe for tomorrow we have to do something. I was struggling a bit so finishing in the top three is always really good. We had a great battle today."

Prior to Bagnaia coming back through on Marini and Marquez for third, the world champion was pushed wide by Marquez, although it was a clean overtake from the Honda rider.

Still, Bagnaia was less than impressed initially, before saying to Marquez after the race that this is how they should battle. 

Bagnaia added: "When there is contact you can be upset because of the adrenaline and the tension, but for me, a battle like this is normal. 

"We have to keep like this and not like two weeks ago when, for the same overtakes, I took a penalty. For me, this is normality. 

"I just said to him that it has to be like this always. Having aggressive fights and we have to be allowed to do that and not to be scared about penalties. 

"When I was behind him I was scared - I had two opportunities in corner seven and was there saying to myself ‘I go or not’."