Pramac Ducati rival Jorge Martin has cut further into Bagnaia’s points lead after taking victory in Sunday’s grand prix, with the gap knocked down from 18 to 13.
The damage could have been worse had it not been for a penalty for KTM’s Brad Binder on the last lap promoting Bagnaia to second, gifting him four more points.
Making a better start from sixth than he did in the sprint, Bagnaia was involved in an early battle to stay inside the top six before eventually latching onto the fight for victory.
He said this early scrap forced him to use up too much of his rear tyre, which put him at a disadvantage for the final battle with Martin and Binder.
“I was happy that I had a really good start,” he told motogp.com’s After the Flag.
“So, I was already in front and I was trying to control everything. But unluckily – it was a nice race for sure – I started a battle that was very intense for the first 10 laps.
“And then when I started to push a lot to close this gap, I maybe used a lot the rear tyre but it was the only possibility to close the gap to the other two guys.
“And then in the last part of the race I was missing a bit of traction. But I’m very happy overall, we did a really good job all the weekend for the race.
“I’m just a bit angry I lost too many points in the sprint race and I think we need to improve a bit.”
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
Bagnaia came close to pulling off an incredible double overtake on Binder and Martin at the final corner late on, outbraking the pair of them on the outside on the way into the turn.
It didn’t pan out, but Bagnaia said he learned “something important” for the final three rounds from it.
“[It] was close to maybe being one of the best overtakes in the last years,” he added.
“But, I was missing the gap to close it. When you are on the outside and you have guys on the inside, it’s easy for the guys on the inside to release the brakes and touch you a bit.
“I would do the same if I was in this situation. I’m happy because it was a nice attempt, but I discovered something important for the next races.”
While conceding that his aggressive push in the Thailand GP ultimately cost him victory, he noted that without pushing he would have only finished fifth or sixth.
“Today was a race to attack, because I think without attacking today I was finishing fifth, sixth, because with all the contact I had today it was very difficult,” he said.
“So, [it] was very important to reduce the gap with the guys in front because they were doing a very good job with the lap times.
“We did everything perfectly, but I’m missing just a bit [with] the rear. But for the next ones I’m very happy we found again our speed.”