Bagnaia crashed at Motegi because he was “too ambitious”

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia says he crashed out of the last lap of the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix trying to overtake points leader Fabio Quartararo because he was “too ambitious”.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

The Italian endured a difficult race as front tyre pressure problems riding in the pack starting from 12th hindered his advance through the order.

When he was able to rally in the latter stages, Bagnaia moved up to ninth and was hounding Yamaha’s Quartararo on the last lap when he made his unsuccessful overtaking attempt under braking for Turn 3.

It marked Bagnaia’s fifth DNF of the 2022 season and sees him drop 18 points behind Quartararo with just four races remaining.

Asked whether pushing so hard to gain one point was his real mistake, Bagnaia said: “One point can make the difference, so I was trying to do it.

“I was too ambitious, because finishing behind Fabio, or waiting to have a better opportunity to make a safer move was for sure better, thinking after the race.

“But in that moment, when I’m racing I’m always thinking about big things and my ambition was to overtake Fabio, and then try to be close to Maverick [Vinales] if he did a mistake.

“So, I was ambitious, it’s the only thing I can do to try to win the championship. So, the mistake was the crash for sure.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team after crash

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team after crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia admitted he was lucky to not hit Quartararo, while clarifying that his sarcastic slow clap while he walked away from his crash was directed at himself.

Japan ended a run of five-successive podium appearances for Bagnaia – which includes four wins – but he doesn’t believe he has to alter his approach in his quest for the 2022 title in next weekend’s Thailand GP.

“For sure this weekend was quite strange for all what happened,” Bagnaia said. “This morning I was competitive, so what happened during the race was a bit strange.

“But we know starting from behind is difficult for your pace. 

“So, next race I will try to do my work as always, try to be competitive. I will not be more aggressive, I don’t need to be more aggressive.

“I just need to do what I did in Aragon or Misano, keep my pace, hammer down and try to gain points.”

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