SportMotoGPRossi: "Bagnaia is the favorite next year even if...

Rossi: "Bagnaia is the favorite next year even if he is not the champion"

At the end of his third season in MotoGP, his first as a rider for the official Ducati team, Bagnaia has become the strongest man in the championship. The Italian got the third victory of the year in Portimao, also certifying the runner-up in the world.

Since five races ago he premiered his record of victories, Bagnaia seems to have lifted a weight off his shoulders. He has won three of them, was third in another and left in Misano two weeks ago, a mistake that deprived him of extending the fight for the title with Fabio Quartararo.

There he decided not to follow the tire choice advised by Valentino Rossi and ended up paying for it. Here, he did not follow the suggestion of #46 either, who after the race recognized that this time the man from Turin was right.

“Today he was very good, he was the fastest this weekend. The Ducati is scary and he drives it excellently. I really enjoy watching him ride, especially when he does the time attack . He’s ready, it’s a shame he doesn’t “I would have chosen the tire well in Misano, otherwise I would have continued in the fight. Today I advised him to mount the rear hard tire and he has put the medium, but this time he was right. If he manages to choose the tires well, next year will be difficult for everyone,” Rossi commented.

In the final stretch of the season, Bagnaia has been the rider who has scored the most points and the one from Tavullia not only sees him ready to fight for the title in 2022, he even thinks he is the favorite if he is right with his tire choices.

“I know Pecco very well and what impresses me the most is his ability to do what he wants with the bike. He is a calm person, but when he gets on the bike he is very brave. He has a particular way of riding, which made him winning the championship in Moto2, and when he was able to adapt to the Ducati he became the fastest rider on the track. I don’t know if he reminds me of Lorenzo , because maybe Jorge was a bit finer and Pecco is more aggressive, even He is a very polite and calm character on the track. He is prepared, but winning the MotoGP title is difficult because there are many strong rivals. But he will certainly be among them. He could have won this year. The key to his season was at Mugello, where he crashed when he was in the lead and Quartararo won. It took him a few races to recover. This end of the season should bode well for next year, because if he continues like this in Valencia, he will present himself as the number one contender, perhaps the favorite though not be world champion,” he said.

Il dottore , meanwhile, managed to cross the finish line in Portimao in 13th position, scoring points again.

“The first objective was to score points and we achieved it. The race was very fast and I kept a good pace at all times if we compare it with practice. I managed to overtake several times, then I got behind my brother [Luca Marini], He was slightly faster. We had a good race together and at the end I could have tried to attack him, but then the red flag was shown. So it was a positive race.”

Rossi will retire at the conclusion of next Sunday’s race in Valencia .

“This season has been difficult for me, I thought I could be stronger. So retiring is the right decision. There is only one race left and on the one hand it is a bit sad, because I know that my life will change from next year, but on the other hand it’s good because the season is very demanding and the level is very high. Valencia has always been a difficult track for me, but I want to be focused and try to score some points there too”, he concluded.

The photos of Valentino Rossi at the 2021 MotoGP Algarve GP

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