The Portimao test could not have gone better for Francesco Bagnaia… First place, track record, almost three tenths of an advantage over the second (Zarco) and the conviction that the new Ducati, the 2023 version, is even better than 2022 with which he achieved his first MotoGP title. The #1 smile can’t be erased from his face:
Sensations: “I am happy. We have worked a lot in the five days of testing, everything has always worked a little better and today we have come to the conviction that I like the new bike more than last year’s. It suits my style even more and I like that it lets me do whatever I want, with new rubber and with used rubber. I am very satisfied with this test and we are ready to go”.
The 1:37.968: “I expected to do 1:37.8 but I missed at the exit of turn 8, but that’s okay. Satisfied with today’s work, although it was more difficult in the afternoon because it was a bit windy, but everything went very well, both the sprint race simulation and the time attack”.
The sprint race: “It is very difficult. I have interpreted it in a different way from the others, I think, because I wanted to put a great rhythm from the beginning. Maybe not on this track, but on others it can be done. It is difficult because of the difficulty of pulling to the maximum in all the laps. With soft rubber there is a significant drop in performance and you have to be careful. When I did 1:38.1 I then had a slump and I was more constant with the medium tire. We will need to understand track by track how to understand this race.”
Favoritism: “Honestly, tests are always hard to understand because you don’t know what the others are testing, so I don’t feel like the favorite because this is not a race weekend. If it was a GP weekend, yes, but now I’m just focused on improving the situation. I must work in the remaining two weeks to arrive more prepared”.
Overall rating: “Yamaha has taken a big step forward today. They have improved a lot in time attack and race pace. Fabio (Quartararo) has been fast in the ‘sprint race’. Honda has worked on testing many things and when the race arrives they will have everything more aligned and they will be further forward. Enea (Bastianini) and Marini have been very fast. It is very difficult to understand everything in the test, but if I have to say three names of rivals I say Enea, Márquez and Quartararo”.
special preparation: “Having a good physiotherapist will surely help this year and we have all prepared ourselves physically to endure a weekend of high intensity. After two days of testing, I’m a bit tired.”