Francesco Bagnaia took his third podium of the 2021 MotoGP season today at Jerez and became the fourth different rider to lead the championship in the process. 

Following Maverick Vinales, Johann Zarco and Fabio Quartararo, the 24 year-old now has a two point lead over Quartararo after the French rider suffered from arm pump - eventually finished 13th having led much of the race. 

Going into the race Yamaha were the clear favorites, but with this in mind and requiring to work 'a lot' for the result compared to Doha and Portimao, Bagnaia said it was the best race so far. 

“I think this result is better than the Portimao one. In Portimao we rode with the same bike from Qatar and everything was working well. But this time we had to work a lot. My feeling with it today was incredible,” added Bagnaia.  

"I just struggled a bit at the start because I was thinking that pushing like this with the rear tyre was difficult to finish the race. 

"But I’ve seen that Jack [Miller] and Fabio [Quartararo] and some other riders were pushing a lot."

With the final laps approaching, Bagnaia was slowly closing the gap on his team-mate but had to settle for second after having a few scares on the front end.

The 2018 Moto2 World Champion added: "I tried to close the gap but I was taking some risks with the front where I lose it with two laps to go at turn seven, so it was better to be calm and finish the race. 

"Finishing one-two in a track like this for sure gives us extra motivation to arrive in circuits where our bike will work better."

What the second place result does mean however, is Bagnaia now becomes the MotoGP leader for the first time in his career.

While this is huge news for Ducati and Bagnaia himself as they look to win a world championship for the first time since Casey Stoner did so in 2007, Bagnaia is taking it one race at a time. 

"I’m happy to be the world championship leader, but I’m the leader from just one hour ago. I have to not think about it because we have sixteen races in front of us and we have to continue like this," added the Italian. 

"If I start thinking about this then already I’ll start to be slower. so I have to think race by race and then see what will happen. 

"Today we had the luck to see Fabio struggle with something, because today if he was not struggling, he was winning the race. So we had the luck, but in any case to win a championship you also need to have luck."

 

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