Bagnaia “not scared” of facing Q1 battle in MotoGP Indonesia qualifying

The world champion comes to the Mandalika track on the island of Lombok just three points ahead of Jorge Martin in the standings, having seen a 66-point lead eroded since the Catalan GP.

Bagnaia looked out of sorts on Friday in Indonesia and could only manage 16th after making a mistake on his final flying lap.

This had dropped him into Q1 for the first time since the Spanish GP in May, but he insisted he is not concerned as he was able to come through the first part of qualifying at Jerez to win the grand prix.

“In Jerez I was in Q1 and we won the race the day after,” Bagnaia said on Friday.

“So, I’m not so scared about it, not so worried about it. I know the problem we have to adjust on the electronics side is easier to improve.

“But will be very interesting tomorrow, because I think we have a very small racing line because outside is very dirty.

“Starting behind can be a problem because doing overtakes here is not easy, already in a normal situation, but here it’s even worse.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia joked that he dropped out of the Q2 places in order to gain a bit of attention, having been sat in a press conference on Thursday alongside Marc Marquez following his 2024 future announcement.

The Ducati rider explained that he felt strong on his bike, but the electronics didn’t work as expected and led to him a “very aggressive” rear end.

“It’s just because yesterday you spoke too much about Marc, so I wanted to be more in the argument,” he joked when asked what went wrong on Friday.

“No, honestly, I was not expecting to be out of Q2. My feeling with the bike is finally back.

“I’m feeling incredible with the bike, I can brake very hard, the corner speed is insane. The level of grip was huge compared to the last three, four races.

“I was very happy. We improved on that, but unluckily we lost something on the electronics, which today didn’t work as we expected.

“Maybe because of the different tyres, the tarmac is different, many other things.

“So, maybe for that reason I was struggling. Normally our bike is very smooth on acceleration, very smooth on the braking.

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“But today the rear of the bike was very aggressive. I was losing the rear in conditions I was not expecting.

“When I lost the rear in the time attack in the last corner, at that time the engine brake was very low. So, losing the rear like this is quite strange.

“But I’m happy the problem comes from the electronics side.

“It’s not a problem, just something to improve. And thanks to that I’m quite sure it’s easier to improve. If it was a problem with the set-up, I think it would be more difficult.”

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