Bagnaia scores a podium with 3rd in #MalaysianGP Sprint, Bastianini 4th
Ducati Lenovo Team riders Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini were third and fourth respectively in the Malaysian GP Sprint at the Sepang International Circuit this afternoon. Four Ducatis finished in the top 4 places at the end of the 10-lap race, with the win going to Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing) ahead of Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing).
Bagnaia was the protagonist of an exceptional Q2 qualifying session in which the championship leader edged out Martin from the top slot by a fraction with an all-time circuit record lap of 1’57.491 which he set right at the very end. As a result, Pecco lined up on pole ahead of Martin and Bastianini in third.
At the start, Bagnaia powered away well to head Bastianini, Marquez and Martin into turn 1 but after leading for 5 laps, he suffered a drop in performance due to a frontend vibration on his bike and was passed by both the Spanish riders. Pecco was unable to respond and took the chequered flag for the final podium place.
Enea Bastianini crossed the line in fourth place behind teammate Bagnaia after a solid performance in today’s Race. Things started to go Bastianini’s way on Saturday morning for the rider from Rimini, who first qualified from Q1 with second place and then improved even further in Q2 with a time of 1’57.590 which put him third on the front row. In the race, Bastianini dropped down into sixth after the first few laps, but he battled hard with the two KTMs of Binder and Miller, bringing his Desmosedici GP home in fourth behind Bagnaia for one of his best results of the season. Enea also set the fastest lap of the race in 1’58.996.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 3rd
My feeling wasn’t the same already at the start with the bike compared to yesterday, then I started to struggle a lot with the front. It was very difficult to stop the bike to enter fast in the corner and make some corner speed. Fortunately, we have time to understand everything and try to be faster tomorrow. I don’t know what it was that the front wing of the bike picked up but for sure it didn’t help. Being in pole position is always positive and doing the all-time lap record is something to be proud of but it is more important to finish at the front of the race to take more points from Jorge so it will be important tomorrow to push hard.
Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 4th
Today I feel that I’ve come back up after my head was underwater because I did a really good qualifying and a good race so I’m happy. I struggled at the beginning but after a few laps, I found a good rhythm and managed to move forward. Then something happened in the sense that I wasn’t very comfortable on the front, and when I had Pecco in front, I preferred not to take any unnecessary risks. I know that he and the team are fighting for something big. For tomorrow we must try to understand exactly what happened, but I think it’s something that can be solved.
On Sunday, the Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be out on track for ten minutes of warm-up at 10.40 local time (03.40 CEST), while the Grand Prix of Malaysia, to be held over 20 laps, will start at 15.00 (08.00 CEST).