‘I can push like before’ - Bagnaia regains braking prowess

After a few weekends where he struggled to have the same feeling under braking as earlier in the season, Francesco Bagnaia believes he’s back to his best at the Japanese MotoGP.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Motegi 2023
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Motegi 2023

The reigning world champion narrowly missed out on top spot during Friday practice, as KTM’s Brad Binder led the way by less than a tenth.

Bagnaia, who was fourth quickest in FP1, struggled during the early stages of second practice, with the rear of his Ducati causing him issues.

However, as the session went on Bagnaia got stronger as did his feeling under braking. 

Bagnaia told MotoGP.com: "I’m very happy. Finally we found the way back at the top. It has been a long time since I was fast on a Friday. 

"I’m happy for the step in front we did in braking and finally I can push again like I was doing before. 

"For tomorrow it is clear that we have to do another step but right now I’m quite happy."

Bagnaia credited his team for experimenting in order to make him more comfortable under braking.

The series leader has lost points to Jorge Martin in each of the last three rounds and as a result leads the Spaniard by just 13 points. 

Asked if he was relieved, Bagnaia added: "I was. And also to see that I was able to be more constant under braking was nice. 

"I have to say thanks to my team who have worked a lot to try something different. 

"Let’s see what happens tomorrow but I’m quite sure that we can fight all weekend for the top positions."

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