The Ducati rider has his first match level within the 2022 championship battle this weekend at Sepang, as he leads by 14 points and solely must outscore Fabio Quartararo by 11 to win the title.
However Bagnaia dangers having to undergo Q1 in qualifying on Saturday after a sudden heavy downpour on Friday afternoon led to FP2 being run in moist circumstances.
Bagnaia ended Friday 11th overall having been certainly one of a number of riders – together with Quartararo, who was seventh – to not match contemporary slick tyres on the finish of the dry FP1.
The Italian says this was solely his resolution as he needed to work with the medium rubber as a part of his race preparations, however admits lacking out on a high 10 place on Friday with forecasts trying unsure for Saturday has upset him.
“The choice to not put the brand new tyre on on the finish of the primary check was mine,” Bagnaia stated.
“I did not count on the rain within the afternoon, however, moreover, it was essential to provide the medium tyre a spin.
“In fact, it pisses me off not being within the high 10. Particularly because it was my fault, a mistake I made.
“Regardless of this, I’m comfortable. Within the morning I’m one of many few who improved with the used rubber. And within the afternoon, with water [on track], I didn’t really feel fairly nicely however I completed nicely.”
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Staff
Picture by: Srinivasa Krishnan
Quartararo concedes qualifying on Saturday will probably be “an important of the season” as his continued title cost will hinge on a powerful grid slot.
However he says he’s not placing a lot significance on it as he continues to strategy the ultimate races with a “nothing to lose” mentality.
“Sure, however I’m not considering like that,” he stated when requested if qualifying in Malaysia was an important of the yr.
“I’m considering like ‘sure, I do know it’s an important qualifying of the yr’, however ultimately from Qatar to now I’ve given all the time the whole lot I’ve to qualify nicely.
“So, I feel I want to stick with the identical spirit.
“I’ve this mentality of getting nothing to lose, however already in Australia, Thailand I used to be with this mentality in qualifying.
“So, it is not going to make a giant change however I’ll push myself to the restrict.”
Quartararo confirmed encouraging indicators of improved moist tempo within the drying FP2, with the Yamaha rider electing towards a slick tyre run on the finish like RNF Racing counterpart Cal Crutchlow – who topped the session – to focus extra on his tempo on rain tyres in greasy circumstances.
“First run was troublesome,” he stated of his FP2 session. “So, I ended and it was spinning like hell.
“After which the second run I used to be right away loads quicker. On the finish I needed to cease and put the slicks on, however there have been six or seven minutes remaining and I didn’t wish to cease to make just one or two laps.
“So, I made a decision to [keep going], additionally as a result of when there are some [damp] patches nevertheless it’s fairly dry we all the time wrestle with the rain tyres. So I needed to observe and it was fairly okay ultimately.”