Ducati: Cota Motogp Podium Essential Step For Bastianini

Published: 18, Apr 2024

Ducati's general manager, Gigi Dall'Igna, says Enea Bastianini's third-place finish at the MotoGP Americas Grand Prix was "an essential step" for the Italian, whose future is uncertain.

Bastianini is in the penultimate year of his two-season contract with the factory Ducati team, and Pramac's Jorge Martin's failure to win the championship in 2023 saved him from being demoted in 2024.

Bastianini, who won four grand prix in 2022 on the Gresini Ducati, struggled for form in 2023 due to injuries.

However, the start to 2024 has been considerably more promising, with Bastianini qualifying on pole in Portugal and finishing second in the grand prix. In America, he passed Martin late on to finish third, making him the highest Ducati at the finish line in what proved to be a difficult race for the Italian manufacturer.

In his race debrief, Dall'Igna praised Bastianini's progress: "It was a lengthy and thrilling race, energetic and dynamic, on a physically hard circuit.

"Many duels and overtakings saw us as characters in a no-holds-barred struggle characterized by chiaroscuro, lights, and shadows.

"For Enea, this is a crucial podium, demonstrating that he is one of the major players on the track, race after race, and that his consistency is progressively returning.

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"His was the first Ducati under the chequered flag, with a finish that culminated after a tentative start, putting him second in the world championship standings.

"What he needed was greater continuity, and this is another essential step in the right direction."

Francesco Bagnaia and Martin both had chatter issues at the Americas GP, a condition that has affected all Ducati racers this season.

This contributed to Bagnaia's "very meagre haul" of points in sixth place in the sprint and fifth in the GP, according to Dall'Igna.

With this problem affecting Ducati early in 2024, Dall'Igna has placed a high value on a private test with Michele Pirro ahead of next weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

"The championship is long and difficult, and there will be no shortage of ups and downs for everyone," he said.

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"We have to offer our all to provide our riders the opportunity to showcase their finest performance.

"That's why the next test with Michele in Barcelona will be of great importance: there we will be testing some changes to the bike's set-up, to then be reconfirmed with the factory riders during the tests scheduled for the day following the Jerez Grand Prix."

Dall'Igna also congratulated Gresini's Marc Marquez for temporarily leading the Americas Grand Prix before crashing due to a brake issue.

"Even though he crashed, Marc proved to be an extraordinary interpreter of the race, even taking the lead, and this says a lot about his skull and experience as well as his determination and enthusiasm," he went on to say.