Bezzecchi: “I really suffered, Pecco in worse condition than myself”

Marco Bezzecchi says the condition of MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia is ‘worse than myself’ after both riders battled through injury to claim podiums in the Misano sprint.
Marco Bezzecchi Ducati MotoGP Misano 2023
Marco Bezzecchi Ducati MotoGP Misano 2023

Bezzecchi had a difficult opening lap before rapidly closing down race leader Jorge Martin, who eventually went on to win his third MotoGP sprint of 2023.

The Mooney VR46 Ducati rider was extremely fast as he picked off Bagnaia on lap two, but as the race went on mistakes crept into his riding, as a left hand injury that was sustained in Catalunya began bothering him more and more.

"At the beginning I felt incredible," said Bezzecchi. "With the adrenaline from the start, the painkillers, for sure it helped. So at the start I felt great and was catching Jorge. 

"But then I started to have a bit of pain especially in the change of direction so in sector one I made a few small mistakes. 

"Lap by lap I was losing a bit but some laps I was still able to fight a bit. But in other laps I was making small mistakes and missing a bit of power to try to move the handlebars from left to right. 

"From the second half, but especially the last three laps I really suffered. I really had a lot of pain."

Perhaps offering an insight into his tyre choice for Sunday’s grand prix, Bezzecchi said the medium has allowed him to feel the most comfortable with his injury. 

Bezzecchi added: "Normally with the medium the bike is a bit more smooth, more lovely to ride so I hope that this will help. 

"In FP1 when I was using the medium I struggled less with the hand but tomorrow is the third day that I ride so I don’t know [how it will be]. 

"I already have it in my mind that I will have to suffer. I don’t expect to feel good."

Bezzecchi, who like Martin was able to reduce Bagnaia’s lead in the championship, although the factory Ducati star was only one place behind Bezzecchi.

Struggling with his own knee injury, Bagnaia heroically held off Dani Pedrosa and Brad Binder for the podium, and Bezzecchi admitted his fellow VR46 academy rider is dealing with a worse pain. 

"I saw Jorge escaping a bit and then I saw on my board that the gap was +2.3, 2.6 [behind] so my target was to only keep a safe gap from the riders behind. 

"I’m sorry that Pecco suffered. I understand him and he’s in a worse condition than myself."

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