11 Sep
Event finished
25 Sep
Event finished
09 Oct
Event finished
16 Oct
Event finished
23 Oct
Event finished
European GP
06 Nov
FP1 in
7 days
Valencia GP
13 Nov
Next event in
13 days

Nakagami missed a “great opportunity” to win Catalan GP

Nakagami missed a “great opportunity” to win Catalan GP

LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami feels he had a “great opportunity to win” the MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix, but sluggish opening laps meant he got stuck behind Ducatis.

The Japanese rider had pace comparable with the frontrunners during the race-simulation FP4 session on Saturday, but gave himself work to do in the race after qualifying.

Nakagami didn’t make up any places in the first two laps, dropping to 12th position from lap three to 12 behind the KTM’s of Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder. Once clear of them by lap 15, Nakagami struggled to find a way past the works Ducati of Danilo Petrucci owing to the Desmosedici being slower mid-corner than the Honda – which killed the LCR rider’s acceleration onto the main straight – and failed to overcome the two Pramac bikes.

Nakagami believes he was “too gentle” on his tyres in the first three laps and could have fought Fabio Quartararo for victory having ended up just 3.6s adrift in seventh.

“At the end of the race I think I was absolutely [the] fastest man because I still had a lot of grip on the rear because I managed good at the start of the race,” said Nakagami. “But I was behind Ducatis again and I couldn’t overtake because mid-corner I was so fast but they are a bit slower. So, you have to stop mid-corner and then you lose the acceleration.

“I couldn’t overtake them. To end up P7 I was very disappointed because just from the top I’m less than three seconds [back], 3.6s, which means I think in this race we had a great opportunity to win the race. But in the end, P7 for me is nothing.”

Read Also:

Elaborating on his early-race struggles, Nakagami admits he was having difficulties under braking.

“At the beginning of the race, I think the first three laps, I was not strong on the braking,” he added. “Maybe I saved the tyre too much. I have to improve the beginning of the race because I lose the gap too much, then from the second part of the race to the end I’ve always got good pace, I’m not dropping so much and I’m able to manage the tyres good.

“I was too gentle in the beginning of the race. It cost [me] a lot.”

Podcast: All the Catalan GP talking points reviewed

Previous article

Podcast: All the Catalan GP talking points reviewed

Next article

Quartararo: Catalan GP win "best moment of my life"

Quartararo: Catalan GP win "best moment of my life"
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Catalan GP
Drivers Takaaki Nakagami
Author Lewis Duncan