Francesco Bagnaia has still not had time to celebrate as, straight after yesterday’s second-place finish, he was back in his leathers and helmet for today’s test at Jerez. A day that came to a premature conclusion for the new championship leader, who completed his work ahead of schedule.

“Today I’ve completed work that we’d been wanting to do for a while, so that’s good. I was able to do away with a few doubts I’d had since Qatar, so it’s all gone really well. I think I’ve improved my pace too, which is definitely important”.

The Italian is also quick to heap praise on the Ducati, which, in his hands, now leads the way in the standings.

I definitely think the Ducati is the best bike on the grid. I can ride it well and have real confidence in the front. All the bikes have their pros and cons, and with the Ducati perhaps the only weak point is a slight lack of traction, something we’ve worked on today. Aside from that, I’m pleased with the bike and think we still have room for improvement.

Life as championship leader

The fact that Pecco is the new championship leader is definitely a recurring theme, but number 63 is trying his best not to think about it, for various reasons.

“I’ve been leader for 25 hours and still need to get used to it (he laughs). I’m not thinking about it actually, both because it’s something big but also because we’re only four races in. I’m focusing on Le Mans right now, and how to be fast. Being on the factory team helps in many ways, particularly in remaining focused”.

In line with this thought, Pecco looks to the future, analysing the next tracks at which he and his rivals will compete, and remaining fairly sceptical about the idea of MotoGP heading outside of Europe this year, Qatar aside.

“The next three tracks, so Le Mans, Mugello and Barcelona, look good for us on paper, while the Sachsenring could be one where I struggle. The non-European tracks? I don’t think we’ll be heading to those this year, but if we do it’s great for me, as they are tracks I like and that suit our bike”.

Translated by Heather Watson

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