Bagnaia must now take “risk” to beat Quartararo to MotoGP title

Bagnaia must now take “risk” to beat Quartararo to MotoGP title

Bagnaia begins this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix just two points behind Quartararo having overturned a 91-point deficit since June’s German Grand Prix.

The Italian has only recently begun publicly to consider himself as a championship challenger but remains adamant that he will not change his approach in races right now.

As a result, he admits he must “risk” to beat Quartararo now, though concedes Phillip Island is “not the best” for the Ducati.

“I have to risk for sure, like him,” Bagnaia, who ended Friday’s running eighth overall, said when asked about the title battle. “We all have to risk in this moment because it’s so important to be in front.

“These two races for sure are not the best for our bike, but we already demonstrated in tracks where we were slow last year we were competitive this year. So, let’s see. In any case I will do the same strategy as in past races.

“We will be pushing and try to do the best possible and try not to think too much about the championship. It’s good to think about the championship, but this is the moment to attack.”

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia says across both practice sessions on Friday at Phillip Island he was affected badly by the windy conditions, and is losing out on one-lap pace in the first and third sectors.

“Sincerely, this morning I was struggling with the wind,” he added. “Then we did something that helped a lot in the second and third exit and I improved my pace quite a lot.

“Then in the afternoon the wind was even worse, and maybe for my setting or for my riding style I was struggling a bit.

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“Then we did another step in front and in the third exit with used tyres I did quite a good pace and I’m happy about that.

“But in the time attack I didn’t do a very good laptime. So, it’s true I’m quite happy with the feeling I had before the last time attack in FP2, but I’m not happy for the time attack.

“It seems that in sector one and sector three I’m so behind, sector two and sector four I’m in front. So, it’s strange, but we already know what to do.”

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