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MotoGP points leader Bagnaia ‘very scared’ in Qatar GP Turn 1 near-miss

Bagnaia led for much of Sunday’s 22-lap grand prix in Qatar, but was overhauled by Gresini’s Di Giannantonio on the 19th tour.

Trying to get past him again, Bagnaia found himself sucked into Di Giannantonio’s slipstream and almost ran into the back of the Gresini Ducati into Turn 1 at the start of lap 20.

Bagnaia ran wide onto the run-off area and allowed Di Giannantonio to escape to a maiden win, while the factory Ducati rider extended his championship lead to 21 points in second after title rival Jorge Martin struggled to 10th with a tyre issue.

“It was very scary and the two laps after I was completely scared,” Bagnaia said.

“I said to myself [after] ‘now I have to just finish the race without taking any risks’, because P2 was ok honestly.

“But winning was meaning a lot, not only for the championship but also for me because after this period, winning a race was very important.

“But in any case, we showed an incredible pace and this was fantastic.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team, Fabio Di Giannantonio, Gresini Racing, Luca Marini, VR46 Racing Team (Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images)

Bagnaia added that he wasn’t fully happy with his race and concedes that Di Giannantonio was faster than him.

“Happy but not happy 100%, honestly,” he noted.

“I did what I was expecting from myself yesterday. Yesterday I was expecting this pace, but I didn’t have the possibility to do it.

“Everything went perfect and from the start I tried to push, I tried to do my ideal race. And it was nice to be back leading and pushing and doing my pace.

“It’s a long time I wasn’t doing this. So, for that I am very happy. I’m not happy because I already did the same mistake as today, in 2021 I did the same with Johann Zarco.

“So, I’m not happy for that because normally I learn from my mistakes.

“But I was not expecting this suction from his slipstream this much, but in any case we have to be happy. DiGia was fantastic all the weekend and today his pace was faster than mine.”

Bagnaia revealed that he wasn’t given any information as to where his title rival Martin was in the race, saying “I was expecting he was fourth, but I didn’t know he was 10th”.

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