During the 2016 Moto3 season, Pull & Bear Aspar Mahindra rider claimed his first Moto3 win in Assen, and the first win for the Indian manufacturer in the 250cc class. His team bosses then made a bet with; if he won another round during the season he could have a go of the MotoGP Ducati… so he did!
Bagnaia claimed two race wins during the Moto3 season
After a fantastic ride, and the race getting cut short, Bagnaia went on to finish first in Sepang, claiming his second win of the season and therefore meaning that the bosses had to stick to their end of the deal. So, as the MotoGP class remained in Valencia to do two days of testing after the Gran Premio Motul de la Communitant Valenciana, so did Bagnaia to make his debut on the Pull and Bear Aspar Ducati.
Bagnaia completed nine laps in Valencia
First thing in the morning, on the first day of testing when proceedings got underway, he carefully ventured out. After spending the first few laps, particularly the first few corners, familiarising himself with the Ducati, especially the carbon brakes, he went on to remain on track for nine laps.
His fastest time recorded was on lap eight out of the nine, just 6.010 seconds off the fastest time of the day and finished at 1:36.940. He initially lapped at 1:40.969 and so was able to improve his own time by over four seconds. What an experience for the Italian who finished fourth in the 2016 Moto3 championship; one he won’t be forgetting in a while surely.
Incredible experience for excited Bagnaia who wanted to continue
Bagnaia described his experience as “incredible” and was very grateful to the Aspar Team and Ducati. He said, “If it was down to me, I would still be out there turning laps” even though after the nine laps he completed he felt “drained” as he found it was “very physically demanding”.
He first “had a look at the bike” on the night previous to his run, and was “looking forward to getting out on track”. He woke early at 5am “thinking about the test”. He revealed that he had “already spoken to Valentino Rossi” before going to Valencia to learn “how to ride the first few laps”. He found this conversation “very useful” mentioning it was especially handy “with regard to the braking”.
Shocked Bagnaia compares the MotoGP machinery to Moto3
He found that the “thing that impressed [him] most” was the “acceleration and the braking”; he said, “It is scary because it feels like the whole world is stopping around you”. Comparing it to the Moto3 bike he said you have to be “really careful getting this one stopped because you don’t need as much brake pressure”. He also found “when you open the gas it is impressive”, and again comparing to the Moto3 he said, “You have time to do everything but here you open the gas and it’s time to brake”.
He said that is was “incredible how it brakes” and also “how it turns” and as well, “the feeling from the front end”. He revealed that his “top speed was 315km/h” and admitted that he has “never been that fast before, not even on a train”. The Italian said, “I knew it was fast, but not that fast!”