Just one point separates the two Italians at the top of the MotoGP world championship, with Bagnaia currently holding the advantage. 

Had Bagnaia not been involved in a collision with Maverick Vinales last time, then the factory Ducati rider could have battled for victory with eventual race winner Bezzecchi.

But instead, the retirement was Bagnaia’s third non-finish in four rounds, which is why Bezzecchi and Brad Binder remain very close to the world champion. 

Speaking after his win in Le Mans, Binder added: "It is good to be close to Pecco, for the moment. But honestly, I’m still not thinking about the championship. 

"First of all because having the sprint and the main GP in the same weekend makes it very easy to lose everything very quickly. 

"I just want to continue like this, thinking weekend by weekend, race by race and enjoying riding the bike. Now we go to Mugelli which will be a very nice weekend."

Bagnaia and Bezzecchi are the only riders to have won a Grand Prix more than once so far this season, with Alex Rins being the only other winner at COTA.

In the sprints, Bezzecchi has not enjoyed the same success whereas Binder has won twice - the same number as Bagnaia - while Jorge Martin took the sprint win at Le Mans. 

But after having shared six wins between them, and becoming bigger rivals in the process despite their great relationship due to training together regularly at the VR46 academy, Bezzecchi says the seriousness of what’s at stake in MotoGP could prove a challenge when it comes to remaining as close as they currently are.  

Asked about their rivalry and whether it's any different away from MotoGP, Bezzecchi said: "It is how it looks on the outside. It’s the same! In the end, we stayed together many, many times at home and at the races. 

"Also, in the races he came to me many times to say hello and speak a little bit. We are very friendly, very good friends, but also on the track it is difficult to have friends. 

"I want to try and continue like this but you know, it’s tough. In MotoGP the rivalry is very high, the competition is very high. 

"But to have him and the other guys from the academy makes this a bit better. I hope to continue in this way with him."