Bagnaia: ‘Martin strongest in sprints, but we were the strongest on Sunday’

Francesco Bagnaia says the difference between himself and Jorge Martin which led to him winning a second consecutive MotoGP title, was the type of race they specialised in.
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 24 November
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 24 November

Martin won nine sprint races compared to Bagnaia’s four, however, when it came to the grand prix on Sunday, Bagnaia finished the season with a 7-4 record over the Pramac rider.

Bagnaia’s consistency, along with his ability to find enough pace on Sunday to be competitive in every race, proved too much for Martin in the end.

Recapping his season, Bagnaia told “It was a long journey this season. Also mentally it it was very demanding. I think it has been fantastic for everything we did. 

“We started in the best way possible apart from Argentina and Austin where I crashed. But the second part of the season, after Barcelona, I started to struggle a bit more. 

“This was one the hardest, toughest moments of my career. The day after Barcelona I was destroyed, completely. 

“I couldn’t even move from the bed. It wasn’t easy but we pushed a lot on the mental side and one thing we didn’t want to do was share too much to the media and the people because the people can’t always understand everything. I didn’t want to have any excuses.”

Martin’s title charge began to pick up real steam at the same time that Bagnaia suffered his brutal injury in Catalunya.

But despite injuries to his leg, Bagnaia produced some of his best performances and results of the year in the following races, which again proved pivotal in his title campaign. 

Speaking about the second half of the season, Bagnaia added: “From that moment Jorge became super fast. He demonstrated that in some moments he was the fastest and in the sprint races he was very strong. 

“The sprint races are about being the fastest, but to win on Sunday is about being the strongest. We also showed that we were the strongest.”

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