RTL Today – Motorcycles: The warning signs of Bastianini’s victory

A surprise, the victory of Enea Bastianini at the Grand Prix of Qatar? Many elements actually indicated that this was to be expected. Ascension since the summer of 2022, new high-performance motorcycle, tough weekend… GP-Inside looks back at the warning signs of a success that few had seen coming, and which were nevertheless before our eyes.

Because it was written in the past

The boy’s discretion and simplicity make him go more unnoticed than some, but we must not forget that Enea Bastianini did not arrive in MotoGP by chance. Six victories, thirty-two podiums, a Moto2 world championship title (2020), plus a bronze (2015) and silver (2016) medal in Moto3: the Bestia is above all pure talent.

“A year to learn, a year to win. This was the mantra applied by Enea Bastianini in her career. Arrived in the Moto3 world championship in 2014, he began to win from the following year. Rebelotte in Moto2, where he made his debut in 2019 and then won three Grands Prix in 2020. A pattern that repeated itself in MotoGP: he made his first start in March 2021, and won his first victory in March 2022.

It remains to be seen whether another of his performances from the past will be repeated: finishing in the top-3 of the general classification in his second year in a new category. He did it in Moto3 in 2015 (third), then in Moto2 in 2020 (world champion). Answer in eight months.

Enea Bastianini’s first world title in Moto2, in 2020.

‘Cause he was on the upswing

Arriving in MotoGP in 2021, Enea Bastianini immediately showed up. Equipped with an « aging » Ducati Desmosedici GP19, he nevertheless made a promising start, with three good results at the Grands Prix in Qatar (10th), Doha (11th) and Portugal (9th). Another rookie, Jorge Martin, occupied the media space with his exceptional performances, but Bestia was also making his way.

The sequel was a little more difficult, but he turned a corner at the end of the summer, and then became the protagonist of the category. His last six races of the season all ended in the top-10, including two on the podium. In detail: 6th in Aragon, 3rd in Misano, 6th in Austin, 3rd in Misano (2), 9th in Portimao (2), 8th in Valencia. The machine was launched.

The transition from GP19 to GP21, a motorcycle

, gave an extra boost to this build-up. And it came out in the

compiled by GP-Inside, based on test results from Jerez, Sepang and Mandalika. Although not an expert in the exercise of the fast lap, Enea Bastianini was in fourth place behind Francesco Bagnaia, Fabio Quartararo and Pol Espargaro. This also made him the best satellite pilot.

Enea Bastianini’s performances in 2021, on a GP19, showed us his potential.

Because he is paradoxically in a better material situation (for the moment)

Who says new season says new motorcycles. But with just five track days in February, seven counting Jerez 2021 testing, the 2022 prototypes are not yet properly tuned. Especially since the pre-season was marked by rainy episodes in Sepang and Mandalika, and a concern for cleanliness on the Indonesian track. Valuable hours of work were lost. Drivers and engineers must therefore still accumulate kilometers to put everything end to end on the machines.

However, Enea Bastianini does not have this problem: he received the 2021 version of the Ducati, with which Francesco Bagnaia dominated the end of last season (four wins in the last six races). This Desmosedici GP21 is already ready, the Ducatistas knew how it was going to react to Losail – where two races took place in 2021 –, and Bestia had no development or testing work to do. Unlike others, he was able to focus solely on his performance and arrived on the grid better prepared.

At Ducati, the GP22 is not yet ready. While the GP21, it does.

Because he had worked well in the tests

Enea Bastianini’s name did not appear at the top of the standings during the Qatari race. The Italian first distinguished himself by winning the third free practice session (FP3), thus earning his ticket for Q2. He then answered present in FP4, where even if he finished “only” tenth, the gap with the second was only 148 thousandths.

A few minutes later, he qualified second, 147 thousandths behind Jorge Martin’s pole position. The best Q2 of his career in MotoGP (previous record: ninth place in Aragon 2021), and his best qualification since… Assen 2018, at the time of Moto3 (!). On Sunday, he reinforced his status as a candidate for victory by being the fastest in the warm-up, the last session before the race. This made him the only driver to dominate two practice sessions over the weekend.

His very good tests foreshadowed a good race.

Because when he qualifies well, he ends up in front

GP-Inside explained it to you this winter,

: Enea Bastianini is a Sunday man. In 2021, he had often qualified far away, before making solid comebacks. Evidenced by his ranking in the qualifying championship (19th) with the real championship (11th): 8 places difference. It was therefore to be expected that by finally starting in front at Losail, he was going to be able to be immediately among the leaders.

Another statistic is then to be underlined on the subject. The last four times he started from the front row (Qatar, Andalusia and Czech Republic 2020 in Moto2, plus Aragon 2018 in Moto3), Enea Bastianini had finished on one of the three steps of the podium. That’s now five with Losail 2022.

Because Losail responds to its specificities

As the Qatar Grand Prix takes place at night, the temperature drops over the kilometers of racing, and this requires special tire management. Fabio Quartararo’s victory in 2021 bears witness to this: the Frenchman first spent time behind in order to save his rubbers, before engaging the second and starting a comeback which led him to victory.

However, Enea Bastianini is one of the drivers who manages the tires best. Preserve them in the first part of the race to finish strong in second, when the others lose pace: he had already shown on several occasions that he excelled in the field. What Losail’s 42 minutes of effort required was what he knew how to do. And he implemented this perfectly, remaining cautious with his tires until halfway through the race before raising his voice, while the leader Pol Espargaro followed the opposite path.

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