Features 8 Nov 2022

Fast Thoughts: Francesco Bagnaia

Latest MotoGP world champion on 2022 season and achievement.

Capping off what was a remarkable comeback, Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia did what he needed to secure the 2022 MotoGP World Championship at Valencia. Having ended a 15-year MotoGP title drought for the Bologna factory, the Italian provides his Fast Thoughts on the season and his outstanding achievement.

Image: Supplied.

Winning the 2022 MotoGP World Championship…

I’m very, very happy because on the day of the worst race of the calendar I’ve had a special sweet taste. When I crossed the finish line and saw my pit board with writing saying I was the world champion, everything was brighter and nicer. My emotion is incredible in this moment. It wasn’t easy because after the fight with Fabio [Quartararo] I lost a winglet and from that moment everything was a nightmare. I’ve done lap by lap trying ride defensive lines, but it was very difficult, and it took so long to finish the race. I’m very proud of my team, myself and of what we did because it’s incredible.

Being 91 points down after the Sachsenring…

Yeah, like I said one or two races ago, I lost the faith in the championship for one hour after the Sachsenring race but then after that I knew there was still a chance to be world champion. Sincerely, the work we did this year was incredible. We performed in an incredible way in the second part of the year. We tried to analyze everything, at home also, to see what to improve, why I was crashing and I was making so many mistakes, and from that moment we’ve just done some incredible. I’m very happy for that because we really deserve this title.

Image: Supplied.

Most difficult and the best moment of the season…

The most difficult was Sachsenring because I was very competitive like in Le Mans. I was there with the possibility to win the race, but I crashed and in that moment I realised my weak point was that. I was a rider with a lot of ups and downs, with good speed but no consistency. To accept that was not easy. From that moment I recognised I had a problem and I tried to improve myself, also thanks to the people at home that worked with me everything day and helped me a lot. I think I improved myself a lot this season.

Ducati’s 15-year wait to regain the title…

I saw many faces crying, and it was incredible. I was crying too. It was an amazing victory because I was feeling the weight on my shoulders to give back this title to my team, to Ducati, and to Italy. When I spoke to Vale [Valentino Rossi], he said to me yesterday that you have you be proud to have this possibility, not everyone can have the same feeling. It’s true that you feel the pressure, you feel anxiety, you feel fear, but you have to be proud of it, be happy to have it, and try to enjoy it. I tried to do it, and today in fact it didn’t work but sincerely I’m very happy to think who we have as a mentor and leader.