Francesco Bagnaia’s best start to a MotoGP season has seen him take two podiums from three races so far, as the season rolls into Jerez.

The Italian has somewhat of a score to settle with the Andalusia based circuit following last year - mainly due to the second race, as engine issues cost him a sure podium finish.  

But following a performance that saw him claim second in Portimao having started 11th, it’s no surprise the 2018 Moto2 champion is in high spirits.

"I’m really confident because at the moment I feel very good with everything, my bike, my team. Last year I was competitive here, most of all in the second one (race), but I just had bad luck with the engine failure," added Bagnaia. 

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"I think it can be a positive weekend for us and I believe we can try to stay on the top three again."

Bagnaia’s performances so far in 2021 have generated a lot of positive remarks, including former riders such as long-time Yamaha man Ben Spies on Twitter. 

When asked about this in Thursday’s press conference, the 24 year-old said: I’ve seen the tweet from Ben [Spies]. It’s always nice to see past riders say something about us, and I really appreciate it.

This prompted Bagnaia to also discuss where the improvements have come following a difficult second part of 2020. 

Bagnaia said: "Already last year I started to ride the Ducati in a different way, and now I understand better how to do it now. 

"In the second part of last year I was struggling a lot and it was very difficult to accept it and to understand what was happening. 

"But then in the pre-season test I started again to have a good feeling, and maybe all the work done in the winter, in the gym, and with all the other riders of the academy has maybe given me extra motivation and extra confidence in myself." 

Bagnaia also alluded to his early years in the Grand Prix paddock particularly with Mahindra in Moto3, which was not a favoured machine by any means, as something that’s helped him in difficult situations, while his style resembles more of the one he had during the lower categories.

"I think my Mahindra story has given me extra motivation in difficult situations. It’s not the same situation because now I’m in the factory team and I have the best of the best." added the Italian. 

"My riding style this year is close to the riding style I had in Moto2 or Moto3, because I can brake very hard and enter with more speed compared to other Ducati’s. It’s something that I learned in these two years in MotoGP."