Only three rounds remain in the 2021 MotoGP™ World Championship with Monster Energy Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo the overwhelming favourite to clinch a historic career-first premier class crown. 52 points separate Lenovo Ducati Team's Francesco Bagnaia and himself, meaning time is running out for the Italian to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. However, he's adamant that he's not throwing in the towel just yet.
It will take a remarkable turnaround and an unprecedented collapse for Bagnaia to be crowned the 2021 MotoGP™ World Champion but, because of that very fact, he believes all of the pressure is on the shoulders of Quartararo. "I'm more relaxed than Fabio," explained the 24-year-old following a seventh podium of the year at the Circuit of the Americas, believing that the expectation that the Yamaha man will wrap up the title in Misano could play into his favour.
"For sure, I will not give up," started Bagnaia. "Fabio this year has done a great job. He’s the fastest at the start of races and then is the one that remains the most constant up to the chequered flag. He’s a really great rider. So, for sure, he will have the possibility to win.
"We know where we lost these points. In the last three or four races we are doing a really good job. We are improving. We are learning. We are more competitive. But I think Fabio is also doing a really great job.
"I’m here just to try to close the gap. It looks like it's impossible to close, but I’m just trying. I’m more relaxed than Fabio I think because Fabio has to think about the Championship. All I have to think about is being as competitive as possible. I’m not saying that Fabio is not relaxed, but I think I am calmer."
A repeat victory at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for Bagnaia will prolong Quartararo's coronation for at least another fortnight. But the Italian will be secretly hoping that with another victory going his way, plus another two weeks of waiting for his title rival, the pressure and expectation will ramp up a few notches more for El Diablo. Can Pecco then pounce if Fabio falters? We don't have long to wait with three rounds in four weeks as the destination of the 2021 title is decided.