Pecco Bagnaia’s recent statements after the Le Mans race caused a lot of discussion, the reigning world champion believes that the balance formed over time between the different bikes needs to be reviewed: “The bikes on the grid can all win, there are no longer those 6-7 tenths between the factory bike and the customer bike. difference on the rest of the grid.
These statements have not had a positive response from Hervé Poncharal, owner of the Tech 3 team and president of IRTA. As head of a satellite team, he resented the statements of the reigning world champion and his response was not long in coming: “I was surprised to read such a statement from him, I have a lot of respect and admiration for him , but I would say that he said a huge bullshit!”.
This is how Poncharal begins by replying to Bagnaia and recalling how much the path in a satellite team can help in the path towards an official team. Not only that, in addition to helping youngsters grow, the independent teams have contributed to bringing back the spectacle of competitions, with an uncertainty about the result that gives the championship great variety and interest, according to the IRTA president: “Bagnaia, like any other rider, comes from Moto3. Then he arrived in Moto2 and finally he was promoted to MotoGP in a satellite team. He was happy to have a high-performing bike that allowed him to get noticed”.
“We satellite teams have worked a lot with Dorna, with the FIM, with the MSMA. Thus, we managed to convince the manufacturers that they had to give us competitive bikes, that it was in their interest to promote young people, to have more information. In the end, now almost all the bikes on the track are new, only some Ducatis are from last year but they are fast, I think it’s fabulous”, continues Poncharal, explaining how much the competitiveness of the satellite teams has contributed to enhancing the show and helping young people in the their path to the factory teams.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
Photo by: Marc Fleury
We had the demonstration of the enormous growth of the independent teams (among other races) just last Sunday at Le Mans, where there were three Ducatis on the podium, but none of them factory. In fourth position was Augusto Fernandez, author of the best race since he has been in MotoGP, but equipped with a satellite KTM: “In France, in the first four positions, there were independent teams. It’s great to see that the race for the title is so open, Bezzecchi, a young rider on a Ducati from a private team, and Bagnaia, on the factory bike, are separated by just one point. It’s good for everyone, it’s good for the sport, and it allows us independent teams to find sponsors because we tell them that we’re not just here to fill the grid, but also to get results. We can win races and aim for the title.”
Bagnaia’s declarations, therefore, left behind a trail of controversy and Poncharal reprimanded the reigning world champion, guilty according to him of having spoken without thinking about his position from above: “When you are the reigning world champion, you have to think many times before you say something stupid. He said an enormous bullshit, something unsportsmanlike, even towards his colleagues at VR46. It is disrespectful to penalize the other bikes by 6 or 7 tenths. I still respect Pecco a lot, but he disappointed me. However, this idea of him will have no impact on the MotoGP constructors ”.