Since the sprint race at the Barcelona round earlier this month, Pecco Bagnaia has seen his championship lead whittled down from 66 points to just 13 ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. After crashing out of second last weekend in India, Bagnaia admitted he had been suffering “big problems” with braking in recent races, allowing his Ducati colleagues Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi to close up to him in the title battle.
Asked whether he had a chance to study the issues together with the factory Ducati squad since the Buddh round, the championship leader said that watching back footage of recent races had revealed that the rear of his Desmosedici bike is “doing something strange”. Bagnaia and the team have spent time analyzing the braking points of previous races, including Buddh, Barcelona, Austria, and Misano, in an effort to identify the problem. They discovered that in the last races, the rear of the bike was behaving unexpectedly, exceeding the normal limits of slide control.
Acknowledging the need to address this issue, Bagnaia and his team have decided to take a different approach for the Japanese Grand Prix. They will start with two set-ups that are different from their usual configuration, aiming to better understand the root of the problem and determine the best course of action moving forward. The dedicated engineers at Ducati have played a crucial role in supporting Bagnaia’s team in this endeavor.
Bagnaia emphasizes the importance of putting his crash in India behind him and focusing on the upcoming race at Motegi. He believes in analyzing and learning from mistakes to avoid repeating them in the future. While he is aware of what went wrong in the previous race, he remains confident in his skills and the strength of his team. Bagnaia’s competitive nature and strategy revolve around pushing himself to the limits, always aiming for victory. Despite the recent setback, he remains resolute in his determination to improve and perform at his best.
Reflecting on his current situation, Bagnaia acknowledges that last year was different for him. He has grown as a rider and faces new challenges in his pursuit of the championship title. Learning from his experiences and continually pushing himself are key aspects of his development. Bagnaia’s focus going forward is on maximizing his position and aiming for success in every race.
As the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi approaches, Pecco Bagnaia finds himself in a critical situation, having faced setbacks due to braking issues in recent races. With his championship lead under threat, Bagnaia and his team are determined to understand and resolve these problems. The upcoming race presents an opportunity for him to showcase his resilience and fighting spirit, hoping that the favorable track conditions at Motegi will work in his favor. Only time will tell if Bagnaia can overcome these challenges and maintain his position as the championship frontrunner.