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Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) took a stunning second place in the Spanish GP, getting a great start and fending off the challenge of Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) to take his maiden Moto2™ podium.
A Moto3™ race winner – twice – Bagnaia talked to motogp.com after the impressive performance in Spain as he settles into intermediate class life.
How did it feel to cross the line?
Francesco Bagnaia: “It seems obvious and you could also see on TV how happy and satisfied I was. Getting my first Moto2™ podium in the fourth race of my rookie year is a dreamc come true. Me and the team started racing in this class in Qatar, so to get on the podium in the first European race in a challenging track like Jerez is an amazing achievement.”
Did you expect it to come so early?
FB42: “The satisfaction has maybe arrived a bit earlier than expected. Like I said, both the team and I only started in Moto2™ at the start of the season. We were competitive in the test at Jerez, in the first three races we didn’t make any mistakes and after Austin we made a good step forward. In Jerez we took full advantage of the work we did in preseason and got closer to the strongest riders since Saturday morning.”
It was easy to make a mistake – what did you think when you saw Morbidelli crash out?
FB42: “After the first laps I managed to find a good balance between fuel, the tank and the consumption and sliding of the rear tyre. I could do my own pace and make a gap. The last laps were difficult, it was spinning a lot and I had to try and focus and not make mistakes. When Pasini got closer I made a small mistake at Turn 11 and I risked falling off, but I got my concentration back straight away. I couldn’t leave anything to chance, I had to keep pushing so I didn’t relax. I got a small gap and I gave 100% to the flag.”
What are the key differences between Moto3™ and Moto2™?
FB42: "Definitely the weight and power of the bike. In Moto2™ there is a lot more data to consider and analyze. In addition, the handling of the rear tyre is important. At the exit of the corner you have to slide, and open the gas as soon as possible so you don’t lose power."
Now, is the podium your permanent target?
FB42: "This podium gives me and the team so much confidence. We wanted to hit the top ten from mid-season onwards. I want to continue working in this direction, grow and gain experience. ‘Rookie of the Year’ is the goal. "
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