Bagnaia was “terrified” of repeating 2020 Misano MotoGP crash

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia admits he was “terrified” in the final laps of Sunday’s MotoGP San Marino Grand Prix about repeating the crash which robbed him of Misano victory in 2020.

Bagnaia led last year’s Emilia Romagna GP from the start and looked on course to claim his maiden MotoGP victory when he crashed in the closing stages.

In 2021, Bagnaia stretched out a dominant lead from pole in the early stages of Sunday’s Misano race and held onto his second-success victory this season despite late pressure from Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo.

Bagnaia admits he was scared about repeating his Turn 6 crash from 2020 while leading and says he almost did fall from his bike at the first corner with seven laps remaining.

“I was terrified in the last six laps to make the same error as last year, because I was thinking ‘don’t crash’ at Turn 6,” Bagnaia said when asked by Motorsport.com if his 2020 Misano crash weighed on his mind in Sunday’s race.

“But then when it was remaining seven laps, I was close to crashing at Turn 1 because there’s a bump there and I was close to losing the front a little bit.

“So, I was a bit scared about [crashing]. But it was not more difficult for that reason.”

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Bagnaia elected to run the soft rear tyre and push from the start to manage the expected drop in the closing stages, while Quartararo came on strong late on having chosen the medium option.

Having fended of Marc Marquez for his maiden win at Aragon, Bagnaia had to absorb massive pressure from Quartararo on Sunday at Misano to hold onto a home victory.

Asked if he felt his Aragon or his Misano race was harder, Bagnaia replied: “For me, this one, because this one is a shorter track with more laps and it’s more difficult physically this track, because you don’t have time to relax.

“In Aragon you have more time to stay on the straight and take more breaths.

“Also, because I was looking at the gap and every lap it was reducing, so it was very difficult to remain concentrated in that moment.

“I was knowing it was like this because pushing like this in the first part of the race also means that in the last part you maybe have a little less grip, so for me this one was a little more difficult.”

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