Bagnaia: “No one will be the new Valentino Rossi”

Three thousandths were missing Francesco Bagnaia to go directly provisionally to Q2 of the Malaysian GP. If it were to rain again in FP3, the new overall leader would have to go through Q1, which would be an obstacle on his way to being champion already this weekend. In this interview with AS, the Ducati man looks calm.

-How do you feel about the most important weekend of your life?

-(Smile). I’m fine. I think that everything we have achieved to get here is because we have worked well and we have to focus on this.

-A victory of yours with Quartararo off the podium makes you champion here on Sunday. Do you see it feasible?

-It is different from 2018, when I had the same chance here in Moto2, but with a 24-point advantage. I have to win and for Fabio to finish off the podium, so the most important thing is not to focus on winning here but to think about having a good race and we’ll also have Valencia to finish it off.

-It has started out of Q2 directly provisionally. How much trouble would it be to have to go through Q1, a sure thing if it rained tomorrow morning?

-It could be a problem, because there are many drivers who are now in Q1 who go very fast in the wet, like Oliveira or Zarco, but we will see tomorrow. It’s better to be in the top ten and today I couldn’t because I made a mistake in a corner on my last lap, but the pace we’ve had with used tires is quite good and I also had a good session in the afternoon. We can be content with what we have done. It would be better to be in the top ten already and if it rains tomorrow, we have to take it as a good thing, because it could be a rehearsal for Sunday. And if it’s dry, then I’ll try to get into the top ten, which I think I can do.

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-How is it possible to overcome 91 points in eight races? Tardozzi told me the other day that he never stopped believing and that he always passed it on to the team. How is it possible?

-Because I am very ambitious and I always want to make it perfect. We have done a good job and I have also worked on myself at home, on being calmer in some situations and on being more concentrated. We started working from Assen, before the summer, and at Silverstone, just after the break, and everything was quite different, because I was more focused on the goal of coming back. Now it is the first time that I am leading and I notice that it is something different, but it is the consequence of what we have done and I know that our potential is very high.

-What was the young Pecco doing in October 2009 when Valentino Rossi won his ninth World Championship on this same track and gave Italy the last MotoGP title since then and until now?

-(Smile). I got up very early to watch the MotoGP race on TV.

“And did you dream that one day you would do the same?”

-It was a great day and I loved Vale’s message after winning, because he said Hen vechia fa good brodo (Old hen makes good soup), in response to those who said he was too old. And he won again. He was very good.

-Italy has been waiting for a new Rossi for a long time. Is it Bagnaia?

-No. Nobody will be the new Valentino Rossi. There will be no other like him, but the important thing will be to do it well.

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