Francesco Bagnaia continued his good start to the 2021 MotoGP season in Portimao as he topped today’s FP2 at the Algarve International Circuit. 

The Italian who sits fourth in the championship standings was the first rider to break the 1m 39s barrier on a difficult day due to damp conditions. 

Bagnaia finished FP1 sixth fastest, but made a step forward with ‘the rear feeling’ which helped give the former 2018 Moto2 world champion better ‘traction’.

Speaking after the first day, Bagnaia said: "For me it has been a very positive day. Last year in this track I struggled a lot with the front feeling. 

"Today my bike was working very well. In FP2 we made a great step in front with my rear feeling which helped me a lot with the traction. 

"I did another step in front thanks to my team when we tried the time attack. Everything came very good. 

"I’m happy. We have to continue in this way. My pace is very strong and also in the time attack we are really prepared for tomorrow." 

Many of the components such as the chassis and swingarm remain the same for the 2021 Desmosedici, which suggests that Bagnaia is a big reason for the good form demonstrated so far.

When asked about how the 2021 bike is different to last season, Bagnaia added: "The true thing is that our bike is close to last year’s bike. 

"The chassis is the same. My setting is the same as last year, so we are just trying to adjust it to my riding style, and today we did another step in front in FP2 in the second exit. 

"We are adapting the bike better to me and also my feeling on the bike is better. I think that my riding style is a bit better this year." 

Regarding the swingarm, it is not new for this year however, Bagnaia did not test this particular version last season, which in effect makes it new to him. 

"Yes, some details have changed. But this swingarm was already there last year. I didn’t try it last year," said Bagnaia. 

"The 2nd part of the season my feeling with the bike was very low and I was struggling a lot. 

"So it was better not to test anything. When I tried it this winter in Qatar I was already feeling better than last year."

 

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