Francesco Bagnaia admits “doubts” as ‘24 Ducati takes shape

Francesco Bagnaia delivered an update on the GP24's development in Qatar

Francesco Bagnaia, Qatar MotoGP test, 19 February
Francesco Bagnaia, Qatar MotoGP test, 19 February

Francesco Bagnaia still has “doubts” despite topping the timesheet on Monday at the MotoGP preseason test in Qatar.

The factory Ducati rider laid down a marker for the early rounds of the new season by going fastest on the first of two days testing, ahead of last year’s title rival Jorge Martin.

They are both adjusting to the 2024 Ducati which includes a fairing that both Bagnaia and Martin needed time to become accustomed with.

“Happy, overall,” said Bagnaia after Monday in Qatar.

“We managed to do a really good job with everything.

“Happy also because I did the same lap time as last year in qualifying without putting on soft tyres.

“For sure, the track in the last part of the day was quite fast.

“We have increased the level of our bike’s performance.

“I tried the fairing again. It went well.

“I am very happy with the power delivery. I think we have improved the feeling compared to Malaysia.

“We have to be happy [about Monday].”

But it was not a perfect day for Bagnaia.

“So, I think we still have some doubts in some areas but we have time [on Tuesday] to work,” he admitted.

Questioned about the characteristics of the GP24 that he is struggling with, Bagnaia delivered an update on its development.

“It’s quite stable. But, when you attempt it with brakes, it’s a bit worse,” he said.

“If we can adapt the setting to that, then 100% we will go with it.

“In case, we will decide before [the first round].”

Bagnaia’s best lap on Monday - 1m 52.040s - was just a few tenths short of the official pole record.

He insisted that he was unable to take any meaningful notice of Pramac rider Martin, who was second-fastest on Monday and likely to be a championship challenger again in 2024.

“It’s difficult in the test to understand how many laps the guy in front has on his tyres,” Bagnaia said.

“It was important for me to understand the gearbox because I did the whole day without a slipstream.

“I had luck to follow Jorge so we tried to see if our gearbox was okay.

“I think, in a test, it is useless to follow someone.”

Bagnaia’s plan for Tuesday: “We will continue the same way that we finished.

“With the power delivery, to take another step.”

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