Ducati has refreshed its manufacturing unit line-up for 2021, bringing in former Pramac pair Miller and Bagnaia to exchange the ousted Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci.
Miller ended pre-season testing quickest of all with an unofficial lap document in Qatar of 1m53.183s, whereas 2018 Moto2 champion Bagnaia was simply zero.281s behind him in fifth.
Many within the MotoGP paddock have already pegged Miller as one of many important threats to Joan Mir’s crown in 2021, a tag Miller says he enjoys, however Bagnaia notes this isn’t mirrored in how he’s being handled inside Ducati.
The Italian scored a primary podium final season with second at Misano, his first race again after recovering from a damaged leg sustained in a crash at Brno, however had a scrappy finish to the season as he crashed out in 4 of the ultimate 5 races.
“I’m feeling on the similar degree of Jack inside the workforce,” Bagnaia stated following testing in Qatar.
“I don’t really feel that he’s in entrance of me within the line of Ducati.
“For certain for the consequence he has finished final 12 months within the final races, for certain he’ll begin with extra strain possibly.
“However Ducati by no means made me really feel like I’m second on this workforce for the time being.”
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Crew
Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
When requested for his expectations for his first season as a manufacturing unit MotoGP rider, Bagnaia stated he’s focusing on high 5 finishes, noting that his modest predictions are a results of his troublesome finish to 2020.
“ my ultimate races of final 12 months, I desire to say that the highest 5 will probably be my goal as a result of I completed the season struggling so much and I desire to stay pondering on the highest 5 and never for extra,” he defined.
“So, my tempo is excellent, so I say high 5, however we’ll see in the course of the weekend.”
Bagnaia says he has “by no means felt so good” along with his Ducati regardless of the modifications to the GP21 being minimal over final 12 months’s bike, which he was additionally fast on at the beginning of the marketing campaign.
Explaining the place his beneficial properties have come from, Bagnaia stated: “My feeling with the bike is basically excessive, possibly greater than final 12 months once I was quick as a result of I’m making issues simpler in comparison with final 12 months.
“This take a look at of final 12 months was good for me, however this 12 months I improved the tempo by a second quicker, and likewise my lap time of the time assault was as second quicker. Additionally, I made a step with the arrogance on the bike.
“I do know that it’s similar to the bike of final 12 months, however I improved so much possibly my driving type and my feeling with the bike.
“I’m very completely happy at this second, as a result of I’ve by no means felt so good with this bike.”