Pecco Bagnaia Gives Reason For 'F***ed Up' Portimao Sprint

Categories:   MotoGP 

Published:   23rd March 2024

Following a rather unusual error, world champion Pecco Bagnaia missed out on MotoGP points at Portimão. He highlights a crucial oversight.

Pecco Bagnaia led the Sprint race in Portimão until shortly before the end. The world champion controlled the gap to the chasers, including Maverick Viñales and Ducati teammates Jorge Martín and Marc Márquez, to within a tight second.

However, the double champion made a costly mistake while braking into Turn 1. The rear end lifted, and after a wobble, Bagnaia narrowly avoided running off into the gravel.

“I messed it up myself,” Bagnaia admitted, later having to fend off Jack Miller. “I think I’ve managed much more critical situations under more pressure,” Bagnaia added somewhat defiantly.

“I finally felt good, got off to a good start, could control the gap. But I didn’t consider the fuel consumption.”

“Turn 1 is a bit strange. The downhill section makes the rear end rise. I felt it for the first time after four or five laps – and then I just managed to avoid the crash.”

Regarding the incident in lap 9, he specifically says: “I was fully focused on managing the gap. I had just inserted a slower lap with a 1:39.0 – because I had previously done a 1:38.7.”

“I then saw them getting closer and wanted to push harder again – like in Doha. But you should always do the same thing to be consistent.”

“It wasn’t enough to avoid the mistake. I’ll consider this tomorrow. But with the medium rear tire, everything will change on Sunday anyway.”

Francesco Bagnaia after the Portuguese Grand Prix Sprint // Photo by Michelin Motorsport

Bagnaia admits: “After that, I just tried to finish the race and get the points. Of course, I wanted to win. I hadn’t felt so good in a Sprint race for a long time.”

“Such mistakes don’t help, of course. But we take the positive that I managed well with the soft tire, which doesn’t usually give me such a good feeling.”

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