Christina Bulpett |
Picture: GeeBee Images
Ducati Lenovo’s Pecco Bagnaia scored his first victory of 2022 with a dominant ride from pole in the Spanish GP at Jerez.
While his race fitness was initially in doubt just seven days ago, Bagnaia has since showcased his renewed form with a stellar fight through the pack in Portugal followed by a commanding, and record-breaking, pole to flag victory at the Andalucian circuit. The Italian has well and truly found the sweet spot he had been searching for with the GP22.
“For sure we are back in my best shape,” Bagnaia said after the podium celebrations. “Not physically but riding,” he confirmed. “This win is for all the Ducati guys that have worked a lot at home and here, and also to my people at home – my family, my girlfriend. I was not easy in this period, I was always more nervous. They have helped me a lot, Vale, Uccio, Carlo, Gianluca, everyone.
“Today was good. It’s a beautiful day. Yesterday was a beautiful day and I hope and I want to start from here and start the recovery. Because I think that today we have finally found what we were reaching for.
“Was so important today, for the condition was very important to stay in front because it’s very easy for the front pressure become higher,” he said of his breakaway performance in the high temperatures of the south of Spain.
“Was the best start I ever did in a race so I’m so happy about that. I just tried to don’t let the possibility to Fabio to fight against me because I know that Fabio is very strong on that. In the last part of the race I was struggling a bit with the rear grip so I just tried to push and don’t let the possibility to have a battle. But I think that if he was more close in the last lap, for sure, would be one of the best last lap ever because the fight can be very, very strong.”
Having struggled to find his rhythm with the 2022-spec Desmosedici in the opening stages of the season, the 25-year-old was once again displaying his smooth and faultless style that took him almost to within grasp of the MotoGP title last year.
We worked a lot for that,” he said of his returning form on the GP22. “For sure this new bike have better things and worse things. So it’s very important to understand how to ride it because it’s a bit different.
“But finally, in Portimao, I found how and it’s not a big difference, but when we’re speaking about tenths, for sure small things can make a big difference. Today everything was okay. I started working from FP1 and we were always more close to that best position and I think and I want to continue like this.”