Francesco Bagnaia put Sunday's MotoGP title defeat into perspective by citing the vast step taken compared to last season.

The factory Ducati star saw this year's world championship hopes officially end when he fell from the lead at Misano, allowing Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo to be crowned with two rounds to go.

Softening the bitter disappointment felt by Bagnaia was the knowledge he began this season, his first with the factory team, on the back of just one podium for Pramac in 2020.

Bagnaia has gone on to take seven podiums, including two victories, plus five pole positions so far. He was on course for a third win when, like team-mate Jack Miller earlier in the race, he was caught out by their choice of the hard front tyre in the cool conditions.

"The thing is that last year, I finished 16th in the championship, and apart from two races, I was quite behind," said Bagnaia, being a little harsh on himself given he lost a Jerez rostrum due to a technical issue, was injured in Brno, then fell from the lead at Misano 2 (one week after his Misano 1 podium).

"I think this was not a year to win the championship, but to learn. And everything is better compared to last year. So I feel great, I feel incredible with the team and with the bike, so we did a good job, and we have to be happy, because now we are second in the championship.

"I don't think that we have to be angry that we lost this championship, just because this was not our first objective this year. I learned a lot and in the last five races, I'm always at the top fighting for the win. This is an incredible step that we did at the start of the season, and we have to be happy about that."

Nonetheless, pressed on where he feels the world championship slipped away, Bagnaia replied:

"I think we lost the championship in Mugello, when I crashed when I was in front. But I was not so concentrated on what was happening [after the death of Jason Dupasquier]. In Austria 1, when I took this tyre that was not working, in Silverstone, when I took another tyre that was not working.

"So I lost this championship in these three races. But in any case, it's not correct to think this way. I lost the championship, and that's it.

"For next year, I will learn from these mistakes, and I will try to be always in the top like in the last four races. And with this step forward we did, I'm sure we will arrive more prepared for 2022."

Bagnaia is one of three Ducati riders to have won races this season, with five of the six standing on the podium. Yet it was still Quartararo and Yamaha that took the title…

"I think every person thinks the Ducati is the best bike, the fastest one, and the most competitive. But the thing is that a Yamaha won the championship. So we have worked a lot, our bike now is very competitive, for sure it's really strong on the straight, but still we have work to do," Bagnaia said.

"The step in front we have done this year is incredible, they have give a lot to us, and the bike is incredible. So for next year, with the tips of this year, I'm sure we will be very very competitive and can become the bike to beat."

Although mentor and Italian legend Valentino Rossi won't be on the MotoGP grid in 2022, the Misano fans are already giving plenty of backing to Bagnaia.

"It was incredible. That's changed a lot this year. I appreciated a lot this type of [support]. I have to say thanks to all the fans coming here, and to all the people screaming my name," he said.

"Also when I crashed, I was hearing that all the circuit was screaming my name. I was trying to let them enjoy more, but I crashed. So I'm sorry, but it was very nice to see and very emotional."

Bagnaia takes a healthy 27-point advantage over Suzuki's 2020 champion Joan Mir into the final rounds, when Ducati will continue to battle Yamaha for the constructors' and teams' titles.