The Italian leads the points table for the first time in his MotoGP career by 14 points after finishing third at Phillip Island on Sunday to take advantage of a disastrous day for his title rivals.
Former champions leader Fabio Quartararo is out, while Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro can only ride to ninth at Phillip Island, 27 points behind third.
If Bagnaya scores 11 points over Quartararo in Sepang next week, but insists he won’t go to Malaysia to consider his championship spot because “if I start thinking about pressure, I’ll put it on myself” pressure”.
“It’s definitely going to be very important,” he said of next week’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
“But I’m going to try to do the same thing like summer.
” Just thinking over and over again, getting ready for the game and getting ready for the game, and then See if it’s possible to be crowned there.
“But be smart and take care of each one because it’s important to finish the race and get ahead.
“Seriously, if I start thinking about pressure, I’ll give myself put pressure on.
“So, I’m not going to think about it. I’m going to stay calm and spend the weekend as usual in this championship game. So, being smart is definitely key.”
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
Photo by Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Bagnaia said once he knew Quartararo had pulled out of the Phillip Island race he had chosen to play was less risky in his battle to win, when eventual champion Alex The Ducati driver didn’t force the issue when Rings and Honda’s Marc Marquez passed him on the final lap.
“My goal today is to win and be further in the championship,” Bagnaya added.
“When I lead, I see Faby O’s on my pit lane.
“So, I just try to be smart and push because when I’m up front, I just try to push for a few laps.
” But then I see My rear tire started to drop a little so it was hard to pull the gap today.
“Then on the last lap, when they passed me at Turn 2, I said ‘Okay, if I see a possibility I’ll take it, but I don’t want to take any risks’ bec because it’s easy to make mistakes today.”
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