While no two MotoGP riding styles are exactly the same, the success of factory Ducati star Francesco Bagnaia in the final stages of the 2021 season - and the following Jerez test - means Johann Zarco is looking to 'mix' in some of the Italian's technique.

Bagnaia won four of the final six rounds, crashing from the lead in Misano and finishing third in COTA. He also qualified on the front row throughout the second half of the season, including five pole positions in the last six rounds.

The title runner-up then dominated the final day of the Jerez Test, signing off 2021 with a near half-second advantage over new world champion Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha).

"As long as Pecco Bagnaia is as fast as he was today, it means I still have things to understand," said Pramac Ducati's Zarco, who was fourth overall.

"I think the potential of the bike is still going up and my job is to get even more feeling to – not [ride] exactly like Pecco, but go in that direction and then mix it with my style."

So what is special about Bagnaia's riding style?

"It's quite clear that [Bagnaia] uses a different riding style in comparison with the others. He's really special because he uses 100% of the front tyre," Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall’Igna said earlier this year.

"One thing we know is I’m braking harder than the others, I can stop more the bike," Bagnaia himself has said. "When I enter the corners I’m more in a good direction. I don’t need to let it turn with the rear sliding.

"I think this is the biggest difference between me and the others. I make it turn on braking and they [the others] do it on the exit."

For comparison, this is what Luca Marini says is unique about Zarco's style compared to the other Ducati riders: "He [Zarco] is a little bit different. Nothing big. Just maybe he doesn't brake as hard then he lets the bike enter fast into the corner, but he can manage the middle of the corner to turn the bike and then he tries to be smooth in the exit of the corners."

While he works on assimilating some of Bagnaia's technique, Zarco also joined the four-time MotoGP race winner in evaluating a new engine and fairing at the windy Jerez test.

"I tested the new fairing and it was interesting but not easy to give a clear comment with the very strong wind," Zarco said. "With one fairing or the other fairing, it was always a fight with the bike, so when you are really fighting too much it's hard to give clear comments. But there are some positives from it and that's maybe the main thing.

"Also the new engine, Jerez is a small track and everything was working well, so at least when there is nothing worse that's a positive point. And it's difficult to say how much faster it can be because we just put sixth gear for two seconds and are barely touching 300km/h.

"So this is not the best track to test an engine, but at least we could do kilometres on it and everything was working well."

More developments, including chassis modifications, are expected for the first test of 2022 at Sepang in February, where the much larger Malaysian circuit will let the new engine stretch its legs.

Although still to win a race in the premier-class, Zarco enjoyed his best MotoGP season to date in 2021 with fifth overall, four podiums and the early title lead.