Bastianini completed entire first lap of the sprint with a ‘blocked fork’

Malaysian MotoGP winner Enea Bastianini says his sprint race in Valencia was impacted by a blocked fork on the front of his factory Ducati bike.
Enea Bastianini, Ducati MotoGP Valencia 2023
Enea Bastianini, Ducati MotoGP Valencia 2023

Bastianini has often been one of the fastest riders in race conditions since making a full return from injury, however, poor starting positions have limited him.

And that was the case again in the sprint at Valencia, as he was first caught up behind Jack Miller before running into mechanical issues for the opening lap.

Speaking to GPOne, Bastianini said: “During the race I had a problem at the start. Something happened to Miller so I had to close the throttle and this prevented me from going fast in turn one and deactivating the front device. 

“I did the whole first lap with a blocked fork and in order to try and unblock it I had to stay on it. 

“Too bad because we could have had a decent race, even if we weren’t up front.”

It is widely being reported that Ducati could relegate Bastinaini to the Pramac team if Jorge Martin wins the title today.

Bastianini’s performance at Sepang was a reminder that he is good enough to be aboard that factory bike, but running the #1 plate is also important to the Italian brand.

So promoting Martin could be the sensible choice but Bastianini is hoping Francesco Bagnaia retains his crown.  

“I’m not seeing much of him these days,” said Bastianini when speaking about the form of Bagnaia.

“He improved today even if he couldn’t achieve more in the sprint. I think he’ll be competitive in the main race and I hope so.”

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