Francesco Bagnaia finished in seventh place in today’s Sprint at the Chang International Circuit to maintain his Championship lead over rival Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing Team) – who took the win today – with an 18-point advantage.
With today’s result, Ducati has mathematically reached the certainty that the 2023 Riders’ World Title will be clinched by one of its riders: Bagnaia, Martin or Bezzecchi. In fact, Bagnaia’s 136-point advantage over Binder in the standings rules out the South African from title contention.
Starting from row 2 on the grid in sixth place after the morning’s Qualifying, Bagnaia’s race was conditioned in the early stages. Ninth at the end of the opening lap, Bagnaia took some time to overtake Zarco (Pramac Racing Team) and Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing), losing the chance to recover the gap on the leading pack. After moving up to seventh place, Bagnaia’s pace was on the same level as the leaders and completed the 13-lap race very close to the group battling for P4.
Teammate Enea Bastianini started from 21st place on the grid but moved up the field, and eventually finished in thirteenth position.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 7th
“My start went OK, but there was something strange when I released the clutch. After that, I also lost a lot of time with Zarco in turn 8 and the battle between him and Alex Marquez put us 1.6 seconds behind the second group. It’s a shame because my feeling was perfect like all the weekend. In terms of pace, I was one of the strongest and the rear tyre as well was in good shape, but it was too late. For sure, a better start tomorrow would be good!”
Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 13th
“This morning in FP2 we had some issues, and I lost lots of time. When I went into qualifying, I was a bit nervous and made some mistakes. I don’t have much confidence in the bike yet, so I’m focusing everything on remaining consistent in the race. The problem is that I can’t take advantage of the new tyre like the others. Tomorrow, we will definitely try something that will allow us to do a good race.”
On Sunday, the Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be out on track for ten minutes of warm-up at 10.40 local time (04.40 CEST), while the Thailand Grand Prix, to be held over 26 laps, will start at 15.00 (09.00 CEST).
- From Ducati Media House