Friday mistakes key to Bezzecchi’s Indian MotoGP Ducati domination
Bezzecchi was a class apart from the rest of the field at the Buddh International Circuit last weekend, recovering from a sluggish start to win the grand prix by over eight seconds – the biggest victory margin seen in MotoGP this year.
The Italian lost positions to fellow Ducati riders Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia with a poor getaway from pole, but was back in the lead by the end of the opening lap as he clinched his third Sunday win of the season – and the first since the French GP back in May.
The 24-year-old was also rapid in Saturday’s sprint after being hit by team-mate Luca Marini into Turn 1, charging his way through the pack to finish fifth.
Recounting MotoGP’s maiden visit to India, Bezzecchi said two scrappy 70-minute practice sessions on Friday where he went off multiple times in Turn 1 were key to his dominant Sunday ride, as he was able to understand the braking limitations of his year-old GP22 Ducati.
“I focused myself on braking because this track was tough for it,” he said. “It was a difficult condition to stop the bike, the front lock was a lot.
“And so I focused myself a lot on braking because normally Pecco, Jorge make the difference on that part of the track, of every track.
“On Friday I made a lot of mistakes, I went straight or wide many times but that was just to find the limit, and once I found it I was able to move it a little bit forward and this gave me the possibility to be very fast.
“So Saturday I already felt amazing with the bike and I started to see that I was able to make more difference compared to other riders, but Jorge was impressive. So today wasn’t easy.
“To win is always beautiful but by eight or nine seconds is even better, so I can’t complain.”
Bezzecchi took less than a full lap to regain the lead of the race after dropping to third at the start, passing Martin when the Pramac rider went wide at Turn 4, before sending his Ducati up the inside of Bagnaia going into the final corner.
The VR46 rider said it was important for him to run in clear air to conserve the front tyre on his GP22 and bounce back from his collision with Marini in the sprint race.
“On Saturday, I was strong, I was fast but unfortunately in the start I lost a lot of time [in the incident with Marini],” he said. “To bounce back like this was amazing.
Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“I tried to keep myself calm as soon as Jorge and Pecco passed me in the start because I knew they have something more.
“So I tried to stay close and I was very close and then I tried to pass Pecco. I knew that for the front the front tyre was important, so I put myself in front.
“I was a bit aggressive but I needed to do it because if not [then] like the past races I would have been in trouble. It was amazing. After I felt very good with my bike. I rode very well and I had a good pace.”
Victory on Sunday brings Bezzecchi within 44 points of championship leader Bagnaia with six rounds to go after the factory Ducati rider crashed out of the race on lap 13 while running second.
Although Martin remains Bagnaia’s lead championship rival after finishing second at Buddh, with only 13 points separating the duo at the top of the standings, Bezzecchi said he wouldn’t give up on his hopes of securing a maiden MotoGP title until the end of the season.
“The team didn’t communicate to me but I discovered after the race [that Bagnaia had retired],” he revealed.
“I saw something from the big screen but I wasn’t sure. I didn’t have time to check but after I went to the parc ferme they told me.
“I’m sorry for him but yeah, I’m not thinking too much about the championship, I have to be honest, but it’s always nice to be close to the possibility to fight with Jorge and him, who are very, very strong.
“For me it’s an honour and I will try to give my all till the end of the season.”