Bagnaia does not see himself as the favorite for the MotoGP title
Bagnaia enjoyed a stunning campaign in 2021 as a factory Ducati team rider, winning four races and pushing eventual champion Fabio Quartararo for the title.
The Italian finished the year in second place, just 26 points behind Quartararo, and with the gains made by Ducati with his MotoGP package, Bagnaia was tipped by many as the favorite to steal the Frenchman’s crown.
But when asked by Motorsport.com after pre-season testing in Indonesia how it felt to have the favorite tag, Bagnaia decided to dismiss that.
“I feel good, but I’m sure I’m not the only one for sure,” noted the Italian.
“There are many. For me I am not the favorite because I did not win [the title] last year Fabio won.
“So I think there’s more than one favorite for the title.”
After his performances last season, Bagnaia is now Ducati’s flagship, but says he doesn’t feel any pressure from this as he believes all the brand’s riders are working well together to further develop the GP22.
“This thing doesn’t put too much pressure on me,” he replied when asked about being Ducati’s best rider now.
“I’m very happy to have had a good last part of last year and to be with the other Ducati riders working on this new project.
“Overall, we do something different and each time we get closer, so it goes like that.
“For Qatar, I don’t know who will be the toughest rival, but I think Honda did a good job, Suzuki too, Aprilia too, and us too.”
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
Photo by: MotoGP
Ducati’s pre-season was hard to read, as there were no highlights from its factory riders.
VR46’s Luca Marini was top Desmosedici on the Indonesia timesheets, third overall, while Bagnaia was sixth and teammate Jack Miller 18th having failed to attack against the clock on the final day.
While the general consensus among Ducati riders is that the 2022 bike is better, the new engine still proves aggressive in acceleration.
“I think the strength of our bike is the same as last year, it’s braking, [corner] entry and acceleration for sure,” added Bagnaia.
“Nevertheless, we need something more on the acceleration as we are working on revising our bike because at the moment it’s not as clear as last year.
“But each time we get closer and we are happy with the work of these three days [in Indonesia].”
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