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26 days ago
By Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3

Bagnaia: “It’s difficult to stay calm with bikes all around you”

An incredible effort from Francesco Bagnaia nets the Italian his third podium of the year and his first at home.

The Moto3™ World Championship race didn’t disappoint in Mugello as a group of 20 young, fierce riders fought it out for the entirety of the race. In the midst of it all was Francesco Bagnaia, he and his Mahindra machine a wonder to watch through Mugello’s fast, sweeping corners. He held his own and picked up positions when he could, careful to avoid any incidents in the hectic battle at the front. Unfortunately with three laps to go ‘Pecco’ made a small mistake at the first corner and dropped down to ninth, forced to work his way back towards the front once more. As the final charge to the line began he was in the perfect position to make the most of the slipstream and stole third position by 0.006s from his fellow Italian Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold). The end of the race had everyone on their feet but none were more excited than Bagnaia himself, thrilled to get a podium in front of the adoring Italian fans.

Maybe if Quartararo had been further away from me I could have fought for the win. Francesco Bagnaia

Third place helps reinforce Bagnaia as the leading Mahindra in the World Championship, now fifth overall and just one point behind Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46) on the factory KTM. This is by far Bagnaia’s best start to a season, having only once failed to finish in the points.

Francesco Bagnaia: “A good weekend for me and the team – I think my best in the World Championship so far. We’ve been consistently in the top five, and finishing third at Mugello is amazing. I pushed to the limit in the last lap to try to close the gap to Brad, and maybe if Quartararo had been further away from me I could have fought for the win. But third is a good result, and I am happy with my third podium this year. It was an amazingly close race, and you could go from first to eighth in one lap – which is not easy. It’s difficult to stay calm with bikes all around you. I tried to stay at the head of the group on every lap, but I went wide at the first corner with a few laps to go. I managed to go fast, overtake a bunch of riders, and finish on the podium. Hopefully we can continue with the work we’ve been doing here and will do at tomorrow’s test, and continue to fight at the front.”

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Bagnaia: "Another podium for us"