In the space of just nine races, Francesco Bagnaia has overturned the outcome of a world championship that seemed marked, passing from -91 from Quartararo to a comforting one +23 just one race from the conclusion. For the Italian Ducati rider, author of a capital performance under pressure at Sepang that gave him the seventh victory of the season, a 14th place at the finish line in Valencia will be enough to conquer the MotoGP title or that the rival Fabio Quartararo does not win the race . In short, the road to Bagnaia finally seems to be downhill and it is natural to try to keep concentration high, removing the ghosts of the past that can naturally peep into thoughts on these occasions. It is no mystery that Ducati management feared the duel of the recent Malaysian GP with Enea Bastianini, so much so that Paolo Ciabatti – sporting director – confessed that he had rethought Le Mans 2022 and the crash of his driver in an attempt to resist the Rimini, and that Davide Tardozzi – team manager – in the interviews evoked the ghost ofArgentina 2016when Iannone and Dovizioso eliminated themselves in the final stages of the race.
But another specter could hover in the last race of Valenciathat of Valentino Rossi and 2006. The champion from Tavullia was unable to crown the comeback on the Spanish track, after going from -51 from Nicky Hayden to six races from the end to an unexpected +8 just on the eve of Valencia. The Italian, who started from pole position, however, was the author of a nightmare start, passing seventh on the first lap. Rossi, in the urge to reassemble, however, ran into one slip on the second lap, which extinguished the ambitions of title. Hayden finished third and with Rossi then getting up and thirteenth at the finish, he graduated for the first and only time in his career world champion.
Francesco Bagnaia clearly hopes for a different ending and, prodded by journalists on the episode that happened to his mentor, he replied to the Spaniards of As: “I am not going to review or rethink that race. Right now I’m fine and I still don’t think I can cherish the idea of winning the title. But I’m calm enough. Now I don’t know what the days will be before arriving in Valencia, but I will try to stay quiet at home and relax a bit‘”.