Why Francesco Bagnaia is becoming the Max Verstappen of MotoGP

Leading the world championship by 62 points, Francesco Bagnaia is well on his way to making it back-to-back MotoGP titles, and is showing scary levels of dominance in the process.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Red Bull Ring, Austria 2023
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Red Bull Ring, Austria 2023

Aside from a couple of mistakes in Argentina and the USA, the factory Ducati rider has been sensational during his MotoGP title defence.

Able to recover from a poor start to the weekend, raise his game against a rider that showed more pace than him all weekend, and dominate the class with ease when at his best, those are all things Bagnaia has managed to do so far in 2023.

Bagnaia has at times faced intense pressure from Jorge Martin, Marco Bezzecchi and Brad Binder, all of whom are closest to him in the championship, but Bagnaia has had questions for each one of them on multiple occasions. 

Similar to Max Verstappen in F1, Bagnaia had to work hard for his first world title as he overcame the biggest deficit in history before winning the championship at the final round, as did Verstappen when he beat Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi. 

Already a two-time F1 champion, Verstappen then dominated en route to a second title as he won it with a few rounds to go, which appears to be the destiny of Bagnaia.

After early competition, Bagnaia has become the most consistent rider along with being the fastest more often than not.

His ability to extract the most from his bike in all conditions, different circuits and in the face of pressure has been telling. 

In Austria Bagnaia faced huge pressure from Binder at the beginning of both races, however, the Italian was unflappable as he made zero mistakes before easing away from the KTM star.

Bagnaia, while getting faster and faster on circuit, has visibly grown into the role of being MotoGP’s top dog.

Oozing confidence and extremely comfortable wearing the n1 plate on his bike, Bagnaia is showing similar signs to Verstappen from both a performance and maturity level. 

Verstappen and Bagnaia both have more than double the amount of wins than the next best rider/driver so far this season, and whether it’s a single Grand Prix or a sprint race weekend, the pair have been able to overcome any challenges and claim victories in different styles.  

The pair do have incredible machines at their disposal, but getting the best from them is only something they have been able to achieve with regularity, which shows that they are simply a step above the competition.

Read More