Bagnaia Struggles to Explain Austin Sprint Race Woes

Bagnaia Struggles to Explain Austin Sprint Race Woes

Moto GP Champion Francesco Bagnaia had a rough sprint race in Austin on Saturday. Despite starting fourth on the grid, he got off to a poor start and fell out of the top 10.

He managed to recover to eighth place, but only scored two points. More concerning than his finish was his lack of overall pace throughout the race.

“Above all, at the start I skated and everything was ruined. However, it was very difficult to attack.” Bagnaia said.

“Every time I tried to attack, the rear slipped a lot, I lost the rear everywhere and it was very difficult to be at the level I wanted.” Bagnaia added.

Bagnaia’s lap time of 2’03″236 was nearly a second slower than race winner Maverick Vinales’ 2’02”275.

Notably, all other Ducati riders were under the 2’03 mark, except for Fabio Di Giannantonio who retired early. This significant difference in pace has Bagnaia suspecting an issue with his machine, but the exact cause remains unclear.

“This morning, I had a tire that had 14 turns and a new tire this afternoon, and I was six tenths slower than this morning ,” Bagnaia said.

“Today it was bad to such an extent that we’re not going to change anything, because maybe it will work out if we change the rear [tyre].” Bagnaia added.

The Italian rider also admitted his teammate Enea Bastianini faced similar issues.

“We both struggled. These things can happen, but it’s frustrating because I had excellent pace this morning.” Bagnaia said.

“I felt very comfortable on the bike, but that feeling was completely gone this afternoon.” he added.

The 2024 MotoGP standings have seen a shake-up with the Aprilia riders’ positions following Maverick Vinales’ back-to-back sprint race victories at the third round of the MotoGP Americas series.

Vinales capped off Saturday (13/4/2024) perfectly in the MotoGP Americas race weekend at the Circuit of The Americas, Austin, USA.

After securing pole position in qualifying with a new fastest lap record and a 0.3-second advantage, Vinales was untouchable by his rivals in the sprint.


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