Ducati factory rider Francesco Bagnaia confidently secured victory at the Algarve Grand Prix in Portimao. Bagnaia controlled the race from the start and pulled away from his pursuers early on.
Thanks to the 25 points, the Italian secured the runner-up title and an early win in the manufacturers’ standings for the employer Ducati. But what would have happened if Bagnaia hadn’t crashed while in the lead at the last Grand Prix in Misano shortly before the end of the race?
A little calculation: Before the season finale in Valencia, Bagnaia is 40 points behind Fabio Quartararo, who already celebrated the title in Misano. If you add the 25 points for the victory in Misano and subtract the two points inherited from the victory from Quartararo, then the gap before the final race would have been just 13 points. But would, would, if there is not in MotoGP.
Why Bagnaia isn’t too angry about the Misano fall
“If I had won at Misano, Quartararo would not have crashed here,” Bagnaia is convinced. “I wouldn’t say we lost the championship at Misano. I lost a lot of points before. I got stronger after that.”
After Quartararo won the title early in Misano, the new world champion drove with less pressure. Bagnaia, on the other hand, saw no difference, although the championship had already been decided. “I haven’t changed my approach,” he explains.
“It was identical to Misano. I drove in the race like in Misano and pushed, but in Misano I was more unlucky because I crashed. This time I was more lucky. Maybe it was because I wasn’t driving with the hard front tire “jokes the Ducati driver.
Ducati is rewarded for taking the risk of making the World Cup 16. to bring into the factory team
With second place in the championship, Bagnaia had by far his best MotoGP season. The Moto2 world champion of the 2018 season experienced a difficult MotoGP debut season in 2019 and failed last year in an attempt to show consistently strong races. Ducati, however, was rewarded for the risk of winning the World Cup 16. of the 2020 season in the works team.
Bagnaia admits that he was thoughtful in 2019 and 2020: “It was really difficult because I only had one or two good races a season. In the other races, however, I had problems. I struggled in many areas. When I was fast , I was fast. But for the most part, I was slow and fell without knowing why. “
“I don’t know what was going on in the past two years. When I joined the works team, I had a different feeling for the bike,” reports the Ducati rider, who celebrated his first victories in the premier class this season.
The strong form of the final races gives Ducati and Bagnaia the courage to fight for the title in 2022. “The basis for the coming season is really good. We have worked very hard and well on our motorcycle. Our starting position for the coming season is very good,” confirms the vice world champion for the 2021 season.