Bagnaia searching for answers on braking after India crash

Francesco Bagnaia. Image: Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia. Image: Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia is seeking answers to his braking woes after crashing out of the Indian Grand Prix and blowing the MotoGP title race wide open.

The 2022 world champion had just overtaken closest title rival Jorge Martin for second place when he slid off the Lenovo Ducati at the Buddh International Circuit.

Martin – a double winner at the previous round at Misano and victorious in Saturday’s Sprint race – prevailed in a last-lap battle with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo to claim 20 points for the runner-up spot behind runaway winner Marco Bezzecchi, cutting Bagnaia’s title lead to 13 points with seven rounds still to go.

Bagnaia held his hands up to the mistake afterwards but said his team has work to do in order to resolve the braking issues he has been struggling with since Misano.

“Today, Bez was too fast but we were there with Jorge, but as soon as I overtook him I lost the front; in the same moment, the [rear] slide was pushing the front and I lost it,” he recounted.

“I did a mistake, I already said sorry to my team because I don’t have to do this kind of mistake, but I also think that I don’t have to be in this situation.

“It was a really difficult weekend, we never found a solution for the problems in the braking because it was something strange and I’m not feeling great on our strongest point.

“This is happening from Misano, so we will try to figure it out in Japan and we already spoke last night, but for today it was impossible to find a solution,” he added.

“We have to be back where we need to be and where I want to be and fight back.”

Bagnaia expects Pramac Ducati’s Martin and VR46 Ducati rider Bezzecchi to be in the mix once more when the season continues this weekend at Japan’s Motegi, and says it is vital that he returns to winning ways again.

“I’m quite sure that Jorge and Bez will be competitive in Japan but my ambition is to be in the front again and fighting for a win, and it’s already two weekends that we are missing from the first positions. I just want to fight back,” said Bagnaia.

“The points are important but the most important thing is to understand what is happening, understand how to be back at our potential and fight.

“We still have seven [rounds], 14 races, so we will never give up – we will keep fighting and our ambition is to win always.”

The incident comes after Bagnaia was fortunate to escape without any broken bones in a violent highside on the opening lap of the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona earlier this month.

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