until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

MotoGP

‘Quite intense pain’ – How injury is affecting Bagnaia at Misano

by Valentin Khorounzhiy, Simon Patterson
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

MotoGP championship leader Pecco Bagnaia has been in “quite intense” pain during Friday practice for the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, following his violent crash at Barcelona last week.

Bagnaia had a high-side on the opening lap of the Catalan GP, leading to a hard impact with the ground and then something scarier still: the KTM of Brad Binder hitting him in the legs.

He’d remarkably avoided any fractures in the incident, but arrived to Misano preparing to manage a pained coccyx and, more pertinently, a “big hematoma” on his right leg.

On Friday, this hamstrung him both in terms of pain and in terms of bike position – even though, after ending first practice in 20th, he improved to seventh place in the hour-long second session to book his place in tomorrow’s pole shoot-out.

“I was hoping that I’d feel better this morning, because honestly I can’t move the foot. Because I feel pain for the hematoma. But this morning was more tough because I wasn’t understanding where to put the foot,” he explained.

“This afternoon we moved the rear brake lever – because I was pushing on the rear brake lever, I was losing the rear in all the fast corners, it was quite scary. But this afternoon I understood where to put the foot.

“I can’t lean like usual but we did a good step forward. The pain is quite intense but I feel a bit better compared to this morning – because we were competitive and this is also something that helps a lot.”

1069458

Bagnaia said grabbing a direct Q2 spot was “like a pole position” and something “emotional” for both himself and his team.

The Italian would’ve arrived at Misano a favourite – perhaps a very heavy favourite – had he been 100% fit, given his well-known affinity for the track that has always been reflected in his pace.

Asked how much laptime his injury was costing him, Bagnaia replied: “It’s very difficult to know”.

“What I feel is that normally I put out my leg [under braking] to help me to have more balance, to brake more,” he continued. “And I can do it, but it’s not the same. I’m more unstable on the braking.

“So, this is for sure something that is a bit of a limit.

“When I have to lean, I miss a bit of degrees on leaning. But it’s normal. I really can’t force that with the leg.

“It’s a bit of a limitation but we have the luck that this track has a lot of grip and the tyre consumption is not so high – so I can turn the bike with the gas [throttle].”

As far as his prospects go for the sprint on Saturday and the longer-distance race on Sunday, Bagnaia said he didn’t want to think about it.

“I want to relax a bit, do the physiotherapy that for sure will help. And I feel a bit tired because it was quite difficult days to prepare for this weekend. So I need to rest a bit.”

BARCELONA NEEDS TO GO – BAGNAIA

1067819

Though he has only cited the low-grip Barcelona surface as a contributing element rather than the overriding factor in his crash last weekend, Bagnaia has been very vocal in his criticism of the Catalan GP venue.

He took it a step further on Friday.

“I think that, what I will say in the safety commission this afternoon,” said Bagnaia, referencing the regular meeting attended by riders after Friday practice, “is that it has to be mandatory, a level of grip like this [at Misano].

“Barcelona is a disaster. It’s too slippery, it’s impossible to plan the weekend with the tyres because on the second exit [from the pits] you already lose a second or seven tenths.

“For me it’s not possible to have a level of grip like Barcelona in our championship.

“They removed Brno from the championship for this problem. For me it has to be the same for Barcelona.

“And I’m not happy with that, because it’s a track that I love.”

Bagnaia dismissed the argument put forward by last weekend’s race winner Aleix Espargaro that Barcelona’s lack of grip was simply a modifier to adapt to rather than a safety issue.

“It’s unsafe,” he disagreed. “It’s unsafe to have this kind of grip. You do a little mistake, you crash.

“It’s not enjoyable anymore riding in a track where you need to be [so] patient, patient with the gas. It’s like, the feeling you have riding at the Ranch [dirt track owned by mentor Valentino Rossi] is the same one doing Barcelona corner 3 and 4.

“For me it’s not acceptable.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks