Francesco Bagnaia made his MotoGP return after missing 3 races due to injury and scored his maiden podium finish.
At the start of the weekend when Francesco Bagnaia returned to the MotoGP paddock after three races off, nobody expected him to do what he did come Sunday and take his first MotoGP podium.
Bagnaia is currently locked in a contract battle with Johann Zarco for the factory Ducati seat, a battle Bagnaia seems to be winning at the moment given the Misano result, Bagnaia arrived at Misano hungry, itching to ride and solidify his name as a true contender for the full factory Ducati seat.
This extra motivation was what was needed to make the Italian push at Misano and take his best result yet of second place, just two seconds from race winner Franco Morbidelli, the podium is bittersweet, something ‘owed’ to Bagnaia following his Ducati breaking down whilst he was in second place at the Andalucian GP.
This result and the confidence it will have given Bagnaia will be enough for him to make a charge for the title and also for race wins, he has had the taste of champagne and he’s a racer, therefore he will do all he can do taste the champagne once again and improve on his result, scoring a MotoGP class win.
Following the race Bagnaia said, “I’m very happy to have started again from where we left. I’ve had a bit of pain during the weekend and I was thinking I was not able to make a podium. Then in the warm-up, I saw that I was strong and fast with my pace, I thought it was possible to finish in the top five. Then in the race, after the first four laps where I was struggling with the tyre, I was pushing and recovering the gap.
“The only problem is in the last four laps I was struggling a lot with the leg, the change of direction, the right corner was very strange for the leg. But I’m very happy. To finish second at home in the first race with people around the circuit, is something incredible. I want to dedicate this podium to all the people that have helped me in the last five weeks. They, we have done an incredible job.”