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The Ducati rider has his first match level within the 2022 championship battle this weekend at Sepang, as he leads by 14 factors 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 situations.
Bagnaia ended Friday 11th total having been one in every of a number of riders – together with Quartararo, who was seventh – to not match recent slick tyres on the finish of the dry FP1.
The Italian says this was solely his choice 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 take a look at was mine,” Bagnaia mentioned.
“I did not anticipate the rain within the afternoon, however, moreover, it was vital to present the medium tyre a spin.
“After all, 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 completely satisfied. 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 effectively however I completed effectively.”
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Workforce
Photograph by: Srinivasa Krishnan
Quartararo concedes qualifying on Saturday can be “a very powerful of the season” as his continued title cost will hinge on a robust 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 am not pondering like that,” he mentioned when requested if qualifying in Malaysia was a very powerful of the 12 months.
“I am pondering like ‘sure, I do know it is a very powerful qualifying of the 12 months’, however ultimately from Qatar to now I’ve given all the time every little thing I’ve to qualify effectively.
“So, I believe 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 won’t make an enormous 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 in opposition to 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 situations.
“First run was tough,” he mentioned of his FP2 session. So, I ended and it was spinning like hell.
“After which the second run I used to be immediately lots sooner. On the finish I needed to cease and put the slicks on, however there have been six or seven minutes remaining and I did not need 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 comply with and it was fairly OK ultimately.”