“It was important for me to do something at Turn 5”

Catch up on the biggest Talking Points from a brilliant weekend in Barcelona

Francesco Bagnaia ended his Barcelona hoodoo in fine fashion over the weekend, with the factory Ducati rider bouncing back from Tissot Sprint disappointment to win Sunday’s race and earn his first-ever podium at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. There was also Saturday joy for Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) just days after announcing his retirement, while there were plenty of other stories from the weekend. Now that the dust has settled, let’s take a look at the biggest Talking Points from the Catalan GP.  

“It was important for me to do something at Turn 5”

Having crashed out of the lead of the Sprint on the final lap, Pecco Bagnaia sought Sunday salvation as he looked to claw back a 44 point Championship deficit. The reigning World Champion did just that, and even made the winning move at Turn 5, the same corner he crashed out at just 24 hours before.

“I’m very happy because, on Saturday, I was very angry and disappointed. It was important for me to do something at Turn 5 today because it was important to forgive what happened Saturday. Overtaking there was the best place because I was very strong at Turn 4. I was gaining a lot of time in the entrance and in the corner speed. So, I decided to go in there. I was just praying that I didn’t lose the front, but it went well!”

“I didn’t realize that I was fighting for P3 on the last lap”

There was yet more podium joy from the fifth row for Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) in Barcelona. The eight-time World Champion went from P14 to the rostrum in both the Sprint and the feature race, though he didn’t know he was battling for a top three with Aleix Espargaro on Sunday!

“At the beginning, it was difficult because some of the riders, like Morbidelli, were using the rear tyre a lot and I wasn’t able to overtake them. Then, step by step, I saw P5. But I didn’t realize that I was fighting for P3 on the last lap! I was just concentrating on the difference and on the riders. I’m super happy to be on P3 here in Montmelo after starting 14th. But if we want to fight with Bagnaia and [Jorge] Martin, we need to improve the qualifying practice.”

“I could have made a big mess”

Aleix Espargaro came out on the wrong side of his late battle with Marquez, though he did look close enough to make a late move at the final corners. The #41 however, opted to resist the temptation and close out what has been an incredible weekend for him with a P4.

“I tried everything because Marc had no grip on the right corners. I said to myself, OK, if you are close at Turn 13 or 14, maybe I can go inside. But he protected the inside and at the very last moment I decided not to do it. I could have made a big mess and with Marc, in Catalunya, on a special weekend for me, I didn't want that. Fourth place is good enough.”

"I didn’t agree with the dashboard"

Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) incurred the wrath of the stewards during Sunday’s action in Barcelona. The Italian was handed a long lap penalty after a clash with Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), but Bastianini deliberately ignored it, which saw him receive more penalties, which he also chose to ignore. The #23 crossed the line in 9th but was demoted to P18 post-race while he also paid a visit to the stewards after the chequered flag waved.

“The dashboard was very clear! But well, I didn’t agree with the dashboard. Because I overtook Alex on the straight and when we hit the brakes, I braked very, very late and he braked later than me and pushed me out onto the curb.

“I waited for a ‘drop position’ [penalty] for Alex for two or three laps, but then a long lap penalty came for me! I didn’t agree and I decided to continue racing without doing the long lap.”

“It can be a good option for me”

Bastianini has also been in the headlines for different reasons, with the Italian looking to secure a MotoGP™ seat in 2025. Currently battling with Jorge Martin and Marc Marquez for the factory Ducati seat next season, ‘The Beast’ has also been linked with a switch to Aprilia machinery. The Noale factory have stated their desire to have an Italian rider on the RS-GP, and it seems that Bastianini may just fit the bill, while the rider himself hasn’t denied the links.

 “Aprilia can be a good option for me. But we also have another offer and we have to evaluate the other offer. My mind now is only to go to Mugello and try to win. But let’s see.”