First podium for Bezzecchi: “An incredible race!”

We’ve seen it coming for a few weeks and Marco Bezzecchi has now received his first major reward by climbing the podium at a MotoGP Grand Prix. The young Italian, second in the Assen race, welcomed this achievement with the pragmatism that characterizes him and explained the opportunism he was able to show trying to keep up with the pace of a leader he knows perfectly, Pecco Bagnaia, his buddy the VR46 Riders Academy.

Rather embarrassed by the choice of a soft rear tire whose resistance he hadn’t tested over 26 laps than genuinely destabilized by the onset of a shower nicknamed Bagnaia “the son of rain” delivered an impeccable performance. Managing his tires perfectly and in total control when the raindrops tend to slow down the leader, the VR46 Team rider leaves no doubt about claiming his first premier class podium.

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This is how he analyzed his race during the press conference after the award ceremony…

You are the only rider in the top 5 who opted for the soft rear tire. How did you deal with it?

For me it was an incredible race. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect with the app. We had worked well but with the medium I had put him over the distance of the race and I didn’t expect him not to be good. Since I was very fast in qualifying, I said to myself that it’s not possible that I’m so slow with the medium and maybe I’m running the wrong tires. On the other hand, I hadn’t done more than six laps with the software. But I ended up with the soft. Matteo [Flamigni, chef mécanicien, ndlr] really put my mind at ease with this choice because I wasn’t sure. On the starting grid I still didn’t know what to do and he said to me: “We will provide the software, don’t worry, you were good”.

When I saw Pecco in front of me, I thought I’d try to follow him. It’s not that I wanted to catch him – well, if I could I would have tried – but the goal was to break away from the others because Maverick [Viñales] was very fast. It’s an amazing feeling!

Marco Bezzecchi spent the first half of the race ahead of Jorge Martín

They were right behind Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaró when they came out: what did you see?

Fabio tried to overtake Aleix. In this corner, Jack passed me [Miller], but if you’re trying to squeeze the driver who’s overtaking you, it’s a tricky turn. I think in order to pass him Fabio might have had to go a bit too fast and as he approached him I think he pressed the brakes harder to try not to hit him but I don’t know. Anyway, when I saw her fall, I was like… “OK, I’m trying to walk!” [rires]

And how did you cope with the rain? In these conditions you were fast!

When it rains, that’s usually a situation I like. idealio [Gavira, coach pilotes] always tell me, as long as you don’t have rain on your neck, it won’t rain. I saw that Pecco wasn’t slowing down much, so I thought I might have a chance to actually get that podium. When it started raining, I increased my speed.

[Bagnaia] You are the son of rain!

[rires] My mother is the wind and my father is the rain!

You’ve never been on the podium at Assen and you succeed in MotoGP when it’s a particularly difficult track and dry testing has been limited. How have you been?

I do not know ! [rires] To be honest I was happy to come here, it’s a circuit I like. But I’ve always landed close to the podium without climbing it. When I left home I didn’t expect to be fighting for the podium. After saying that, I said something to my girlfriend… We ate, I looked at my house and I said, “Where can I put my first MotoGP trophy?” It’s amazing, it’s been happening to me for a few races. At Mugello, for example, I had a dream: I was inside myself, I qualified behind Pecco, I passed him on the straight, I was on pole and I heard the fans cheering. In qualifying I practically got pole, I started from the front row. And now here!

It’s awesome. To be honest I felt good. Maybe the key to my race was that I was working with a tire that had no grip at all, the medium, then I went for the soft one for the race and suddenly the bike was different. I tried not to put too much stress on the tires, to be smart with the engine mapping, I tried to be gentle on the throttle, especially on the right. And then I tried to follow Pecco and get away from Maverick.

#podium #Bezzecchi #incredible #race

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