Di Giannantonio, who was later penalised and lost a podium due to being under the minimum tyre pressures, looked poised to challenge for the win and felt as though a move at the final corner was possible.
However, a huge scare with team-mate Alex Marquez early in the race kept Di Giannantonio on his toes and made him think twice about sending it up the inside of Bagnaia.
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Di Giannantonio beat Bagnaia in the grand prix last Sunday, but after having the roles reversed in Valencia, the Italian said this about the pair’s battle.
“It’s not 1-1 because yesterday he beat me and it was not easy to overtake him,” began Di Giannantonio. “I was better than him in the fourth corner and also a bit on the 11th but he was the only rider that was accelerating from the third corner to the fourth.
“When I was behind him I was not taking metres out of him. I was just wide. He didn’t give me the chance to try.
“The last corner was possible but I had a huge moment on the fourth lap with Alex and I had some shit on my pants [laughs] all race long.”
Di Giannantonio, who looks set to stay in MotoGP and could be in action during Tuesday’s test with the Mooney VR46 team, didn’t appear to have the pace needed early on.
But as the race went on the Gresini rider grew stronger: “In the middle of the race I was struggling a lot so I said that maybe it was not as expected.
“But then I started to get a good rhythm and I started smelling the victory. I was coming really fast to the front group of Pecco and Johann.
“In the last lap I tried everything but Pecco is the world champion for this. He was using his defensive lines and he was better than me.”