Pecco Bagnaia took a big risk today at Mugello, but in the end his choice paid off. This morning, in FP1, despite the possibility that the rain could wet FP2, he decided not to do the time attack, postponing it until the afternoon. A gamble that he paid for, because the world champion has hoisted himself to the top of the timesheets, who didn’t hide even a hint of apprehension about this.
“I’m happy with our strategy, even if I was a little afraid it would rain in the afternoon, because this morning we had decided not to mount the soft and to continue working for the race. It was a risk, because in case of rain I would have been left out from Q2. In any case, the strategy went well and we worked well in FP2 too, in difficult conditions in terms of temperature. But I’m happy with the tires and the work we did, and the last time was also very good attack”, explained Bagnaia at the end of the day.
Just like in the world standings, Marco Bezzecchi is following him just 0.063s away. But it came as no surprise to Pecco, who expected the Mooney VR46 rider to be one of those to beat at Mugello.
“If he continues with these positions, that’s fine with me (laughs). We certainly know the potential of Bez, who is very fast. Among other things, in the first training session we did here four days after Le Mans, I took his pay , so I had to give it back. Today went well, see you tomorrow.”
However, the list of dangerous ones seems to be very long: “Alex Marquez was very fast all day. I don’t know why he stayed out of Q2, but his pace was very fast. But also Zarco and Bezzecchi precisely. Binder is very fast with the soft tyre, while with the medium it’s a bit more difficult. But it’s very difficult to say something because there are difficult conditions for grip and on Friday you can never understand everyone’s potential. The important thing so it’s looking at my feeling and from this point of view I’m satisfied”.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
One of the doubts related to this weekend was that of his physical condition, given that he had sustained a small fracture to his talus at Le Mans. Today he also revealed that he also had some discomfort on his wrist, but both situations shouldn’t be problematic even in view of the long Sunday race. Furthermore, there is a more imminent problem to think about: the possible arrival of rain for the Sprint.
“I don’t know if it will be as hot as today, but first we have to wait for tomorrow, because it looks like it might rain in the afternoon. We already know that the track’s grip level isn’t too high in the wet, but we’ll have to try to understand it well, so maybe it would be better if the rain came already from the morning to suit us. The last time I rode in the wet I crashed, but I was competitive, so I’m quite confident that my feeling can be good. I’ve already accumulated several zeros this season, so it will be important stay calm and don’t go overboard in case you see they’re in trouble.”
On his physical condition he then added: “I find it more difficult to climb the stairs and walk than to ride a motorbike, it doesn’t limit me in anything. My wrist bothers me more, which after the Le Mans race was the first thing I I had pain. I feel like I’m not riding in my usual position yet, but it doesn’t limit me in terms of performance. I just have a little discomfort when I stop, but physically I’m fine”.
Finally, he commented on the victory of his “teacher” Valentino Rossi in the Road to Le Mans, the first for the “Doctor” at the wheel of a GT3 car: “It was nice because I congratulated him on the win and he gave me I replied asking me how I went this morning. He is happy, he certainly had a good race, even though I know that there was the Safety Car for a long time, because the LMP3s had several accidents. This year he is getting along very well with the car and with the team: it’s already his second podium this season and it’s a victory, so we’re happy for him. He’s coming, but he’s always very present with us too and he pushes us a lot”.