Bagnaia: “Was useless to win today but it was my dream”

Francesco Bagnaia says it was his dream to win the MotoGP title by winning the race that decided the championship fight.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Valencia 2023
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Valencia 2023

Bagnaia, who needed to secure a top five if Jorge Martin won the race, ruled that possibility out by taking victory after the Spaniard crashed out early on.

Battling for the lead at the start of the grand prix, Martin went wide after getting caught up in the slipstream of Bagnaia.

However, it got worse for Martin when he crashed out of sixth place as he attempted to make a comeback from his early mistake.

But for Bagnaia, the now two-time world champion kept his cool and delivered yet another win for the factory Ducati team.

“I feel incredible,” began Bagnaia. “I feel at the top level of happiness which was never like this. The thing is, I’m so happy as well because I won the race. 

“With the circumstances today it was useless to win the race but it was my dream to do this. I’m so happy but I was scared. 

“With five laps I started to get cold on the bike and I was very scared on the bike because of the front tyre which was the hard. It was not an easy day because I was quite under pressure.”

After winning his first title at the season-finale, just like he did this season, Bagnaia spoke about the two battles and which was the hardest.

Fabio Quartararo provided a very stern challenge in 2022, however, Bagnaia said the fight with Martin was harder given they were on similar machinery.

Bagnaia said: “It’s difficult to compare. Last year Fabio started really well but as soon as I started to win he was more in trouble. 

“He was fast, he is super fast but his bike was not giving him the possibility to fight against me. We were in a different situation. 

“With Jorge, after Barcelona he was with much more confidence every weekend and it was difficult to stop. 

“Then I crashed in India when I was in front of him so for sure it was a plus. It was more difficult this year. Sharing more data is useful but more stressful sometimes.”

Bagnaia, who was joined by mentor Valentino Rossi this weekend, was also helped by the nine-time world champion who told Bagnaia to remain calm despite the high stakes.

Discussing his chats with Rossi over the weekend, Bagnaia said: “Vale… yesterday he asked me why I chose the medium rear and I was asking myself the same. 

“I didn’t understand why I chose the medium for the sprint race but for today it was useful. He was just telling me to be calm, to understand the situation and Jorge was in the worst situation because he needed to win. 

“A win for him and I needed to finish fifth, and I was faster than to be in the top five.”

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