Bagnaia: “I’m lucky to be here, I have a big hematoma on my right knee”

Francesco Bagnaia says he’s lucky to be racing at this weekend’s Misano MotoGP following his horror accident in Catalunya.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Misano 2023
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Misano 2023

Bagnaia suffered a brutal highside on lap one of the main race before being hit by KTM’s Brad Binder, a collision that has left the MotoGP champion with a knee injury.

But the factory Ducati rider has not only been passed fit for his home round, but is hoping to mount a serious challenge.

Winner at Misano last season, Bagnaia said: "I am pleased and lucky to be here. I want to say thanks to the hard work that Alpinestars are doing in terms of safety. 

"They are the top in the world for protection. This is my home grand prix, it’s important to be here. It’s not easy. 

"Monday was not an easy day. I’m proud of the work we did, it’s incredible what we did from Monday until now. All weekend I’ll do therapy and I’ll improve every day. 

"Let’s see. I jumped on the bike before, and I feel OK.T he leg, for sure. The knee. It was the part that the bikes goes to. 

"I had the luck to be protected in the best way possible. The evolution in safety is incredible, they are the best in the world. I’m very lucky."

In terms of his injuries, Bagnaia confirmed he has a hematoma on his knee that goes down to his foot.

Bagnaia said: "On my booty! This won’t help. The biggest one is where the Binder impact arrived, on my right knee. I have a big hematoma on my right knee. It will be a problem to move my leg."

Regarding his highside, Bagnaia felt as though he could have crashed three times on the formation lap in Catalunya, as the hard rear tyre was failing to heat up.

And after looking through the data and the reasons for it, Bagnaia concluded that it was strictly a tyre issue and nothing to do with electronics or riding style.

"From the bike I was feeling, on the warm-up lap, that my rear grip was zero. I almost crashed three times on the warm-up lap without pushing," stated Bagnaia. 

"Then on the first corner I was losing the rear tyre. Check the image, Jorge had to brake a lot, this is why. 

"As soon as I opened the gas, I lost the rear. We checked the data, analysed everything, in terms of the mechanical and electronics, and the riding style, we did nothing wrong. 

"It was a strange crash so it’s important to understand everything."

Bagnaia then took aim at the Catalan circuit, saying ‘we can’t ride there’ despite it being a mainstay on the MotoGP calendar. 

The Italian added: "For me, we can’t keep riding there, in terms of safety. The asphalt is a disaster, the grip is a disaster. 

"It’s the race with the biggest amount of crashes. Corner 5 is like ice. It’s over the limit, in terms of safety. It’s another [reason] on the list of why I crashed."

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