Enea Bastianini is ready for another challenge, or rather the Portuguese GP taking place from 16 to 18 April. Making his MotoGP debut this season with Team Ducati Esponsorama, the Italian knows he’s not in for an easy race at what is a tough track, but he remains optimistic: “The track is good to me, I won the title there last year!”

“I’ll be fast at Portimão”

“I’m pleased to go to a new track after so many laps in Qatar - comments Bastianini - That time was useful though as we were able to work hard and test many new things in terms of the settings and electronics. I’d say Portimão is a friendly track, as I won the title there last year. I’m sure I can be fast, but I need to work well right away and try to get things sorted for qualifying which is very important in MotoGP. Then we’ll see”.

Qualifying, room for improvement

Enea speaks about the areas in which he can improve aboard the Desmosedici: “I think I can improve all round - he adds - I have more experience, so I know what to do in certain situations, and how to manage the sessions. I need to use the tyres well at the right time and then improve my qualifying performance. That was my Achilles' heel in Qatar and I had a few issues but I’m sure we’ll be able to do well at Portimão. I feel confident”.

The Esponsorama rider remains convinced that qualifying is a key area for improvement: “It’s a problem area to work on, and it was in Moto2 too. So I need to understand how best to exploit the new rear tyre and then I know I can manage it in the race and be quick in the final stages, so if I can modify my style a little it’ll all be a lot easier”.

Top ten goal

Enea finishes by setting himself some goals for the weekend: “Portimão is a technical, fast and unique track, there’s a lot of undulation and I don’t know what it’ll be like to ride a MotoGP at this track. It won’t be easy but it wasn’t easy with the Moto2 either, as no electronics makes it all a little more complicated. I think it will be easier in that respect, but with more power you have be able to manage everything effectively. So my goal will be to finish in the top ten with less of a gap to the leaders, though I know it won’t be easy at a new track”.

Translated by Heather Watson

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