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The four-time race winner got here into the brand new marketing campaign as scorching favorite to problem for the championship after ending 2021 runner-up, whereas declaring in November’s Jerez take a look at that Ducati had improved on an already “excellent bike”.
However the pre-season for Ducati was troublesome, as a problematic 2022 engine – with an aggressive energy supply – prompted him and team-mate Jack Miller into using a hybrid 2021/2022 motor for the brand new season.
Bagnaia struggled to ninth in qualifying and dropped to 14th on the opening lap, earlier than ending his race on the 12th tour in a collision with Pramac poleman Jorge Martin, whereas Gresini’s Enea Bastianini on a year-old Ducati received the race.
The Ducati rider says he struggled to seek out the sensation he had with the front-end of the bike in 2021 throughout the Qatar weekend, and believes he hasn’t targeted sufficient on his personal driving model with the GP22.
“It’s a bit unusual as a result of in my scenario I work an excessive amount of,” he stated.
“We completed our work in FP3 and this isn’t doable for me, it’s not nice. My feeling was again in FP4, however simply because we re-decided and I discovered once more my feeling with the bike.
“From that time we didn’t contact the bike till this morning [in warm-up] once I was driving and I used to be fifth, and I used to be not prepared for the race as a result of I used to be a bit quicker however the electronics and the setting of the bike was not good for the grip and the observe.
“We needed to do one thing for the race, however we have been behind.
“Contemplating our tempo of yesterday, what we have been doing throughout this race was fairly good as a result of I used to be recovering, I used to be quick.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Group
Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“Not like the primary [guys] clearly however I used to be fairly quick, and it’s clear that the bike of final yr that was profitable the final races at present has received.
“Enea [Bastianini] from his first day of testing began simply to place gas on the bike and was driving, and we have been an excessive amount of targeting growing.
“In my half, from that time we’ll by no means contact the bike once more and can simply experience.”
Bagnaia added that it was “too bold” to suppose he may have fought for victory on Sunday because the bike merely “was not prepared”.
“I used to be 16th at Flip three, so was not the most effective begin for positive,” he started.
“Then I began to push to get well positions, however we weren’t prepared in any respect to combat for the win at present.
“It was too bold to suppose on the victory, however we tried to get well positions.
“My tempo was fairly good, serious about what now we have performed this weekend.
“The principle factor shall be to start out from this and don’t contact something on the bike anymore, as a result of I actually must be extra targeting me and pondering extra on my driving model and to have once more the identical feeling of final yr and the identical outcomes of final yr.
“I do know now we have the chance to win races, however for now now we have to only take into consideration me and this would be the key to being in entrance once more.”
Bagnaia defined on Sunday night that his crash with Martin was right down to a “unusual” locking of the entrance finish, whereas the latter stated he had “fear” for his life in the incident.