Francesco Bagnaia: Last lap of Mugello sprint “super scary” after crashing out in Catalunya

Francesco Bagnaia had Barcelona on his mind after a fall from the last lap, ensuring there was no repeat as he claimed his first sprint win in ten months at Mugello.

Francesco Bagnaia with winner's medal, Italian Grand prix, MotoGP, Mugello, 2024
Francesco Bagnaia with winner's medal, Italian Grand prix, MotoGP, Mugello…
© Gold & Goose

Francesco Bagnaia had a long wait for a sprint gold medal, his last coming in Austria 2023, though he came close just last weekend in the Catalan Sprint.

Speaking after the race the Ducati Lenovo Team rider was incredibly happy with his performance, the bike and how he managed his tyre wear:

“I’m very happy, we were close in the last one in Barcelona… we managed everything in a perfect way, The start - I started to push - I just trued to move a bit s the rear tyre drop was huge. I was not expecting to have this sort of drop from the front of the tyre, the last two laps were quite difficult to manage, to remain in a constant pace, but very happy.

I saw that it was the same for everybody, it was the same situation. Tomorrow with double the laps will be tough, but happy for today.”

The Ducati rider fell on the last lap last time out and that played on his mind, the caution ensuring there was no repeat in Tuscany in front of the home fans:

“It was super scary, when I arrive at corner ten, that is the one… and also on corner twelve, luckily I managed to finish it”.

For the sprint race the #1 started from pole, and although the Italian has a great home record at Mugello, dominating the round last season with a sprint and feature race win from pole, tomorrow the challenge will be that bit harder thanks to his three place grid penalty awarded on Friday after riding slowly in front of Alex Marquez, a sanction which he and the Ducati team appealed unsuccessfully and earlier in the day saw a still troubled Bagnaia refer to his demotion as “clown penalties”.

Resigned to his fate, the reigning champion is ready to try to lessen rival Jorge Martin’s lead this year from fifth on the grid and still thinks he has a chance of further success:

“It really depends on the start and from the pace - it will be another story, but we are here to fight and we try to fight”.

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