Bezzecchi dismisses suspicions, does not help Bagnaia: “Team orders never arrived from Ducati”

Marco Bezzecchi exclusively tells the balance of his first season in MotoGP, the anecdotes about his relationship with Valentino Rossi and the truth about Ducati’s alleged orders to help Pecco Bagnaia in the fight for the World Championship with Quartararo .

Author: Michele Mazzeo

On the eve of the Malaysian GP, ​​penultimate round of the season, the fight for the world title MotoGP 2022 remains very open with Pecco Bagnaia who, after a historic turn, arrives at Sepang with a 14 point advantage over the current world champion and leader of the classification until the last Grand Prix Fabio Quartararo. After the race in Malaysia, the Italian can bring back to Italy the title he had been missing since 2009, that is, the last triumph of his mentor Valentino Rossi. And from the Doctor’s Academy also comes Marco Bezzecchiflag-bearer of the Mooney VR46 team and new winner of the 2022 MotoGP Rookie of the Year title, which we have interviewed exclusively on the eve of the Malaysian GP.

Many subjects were raised in the long conversation with the 23-year-old from Rimini with whom, in addition to taking stock of his first year in first class, he recalls the best moments of the season as the first (and so far only) podium won in Assen they mistakes madeto reveal the precious advice given to him by Valentino Rossi and reveal your new objective after having achieved what you had previously set (i.e., the achievement of Rookie of the Year title), inevitably there was also talk of the close fight of the world championship between his great friend (and gym partner) Pecco Bagnaia and Fabio Quartararo.

And, inevitably, it was also the hot topic of the alleged “team orders” given by Ducati to its riders to help Bagnaia win the title. Advantage that, if confirmed, could be decisive in relation to the last two races of the season while on track, in addition to the 25-year-old Turin rider, there are 7 other riders who have a Desmosedici (all capable of fighting for the top 10) while Quartararo cannot benefit from any kind of help from his brand mates as all the others Yamaha centaurs (teammate Franco Morbidelli, and the two standard-bearers of satellite team RNF WithU) struggle to find the right spot and almost always sail behind the pack.

A hotly debated issue in the paddock where the suspicions were fed in the fact that the other centaurs of the queen category moved by the house Borgo Panigale had a special attention to Bagnaia and that this was due accurate team orders arrived directly from Ducati. The outburst live on TV by AD Claudio Domenicali after the aggressive entry of Enea Bastianini (standard bearer of the Gresini team, but under contract with the Emiliana manufacturer and future teammate of the Turin team in 2023) in Misano with Yamaha that even accused rivals of psychologically terrorism the drivers and the words of Johann Zarco (pilot of the Pramac satellite team and also directly linked to the Borgo Panigale racing team) after the Thai GP, inevitably contributed to fuel doubts on the matter. These two episodes actually led us to think that the “indications” mentioned by the Frenchman in Buriram reached all the riders who compete on a Ducati, so much so that many assumed that Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 team pilot, client team, but not Borgo Panigale house satellite) did not try to undermine the third place held by Bagnaia in the final, precisely because he would have received precise orders from the Ducati team.

To categorically deny this was Marco Bezzecchi himself who, without hiding in any way the affection that links him to his friend Bagnaia, wanted to clarify that there are no special instructions from the Borgo Panigale company in this regard and that each driver is free to run his own race. “There is no team order, the other Ducatis can therefore facilitate Pecco and also Fabio. We each run our own race and try to get as far as we can.“, revealed among other things the 23-year-old from Rimini who expects the last two high tension races with regard to the world clash between Bagnaia and Quartararo.

Proud to have won the MotoGP Rookie of the Year title with two races to spare?
“Yes, first of all I’m happy. It’s a good result, which I wanted and hoped to achieve because in the other categories I never had the chance to win. MotoGP and even better to have done it with two races. focus on going even faster.”

His performance gradually improved throughout the season: was there a real turning point or was it just due to the adjustment to the new category?
“In my opinion, there was no real turnaround. Everything happened in stages: at the beginning we had to familiarize ourselves with the bike, the tires and everything, and anyway some good races arrived like in Mugello, like in Assen where I did it. my first podium, then we continued with a path of gradual growth without particular achievements but constant. In my opinion we did everything as we should. We did a great job”.

What was the best moment of your first season in MotoGP?
“Certainly the first podium was the best moment. A podium is always a podium. Then having also done first and second with Pecco (Bagnaia, ed) from the Academy was a very good moment. So I would say the podium in Assen”.

And the ugliest instead?
“Obviously there were also some difficult moments. The mistake I didn’t want to make was the crash in Barcelona because I was too fast so I could have had a great race. Unfortunately I made a mistake I shouldn’t have made. And then another one. bad moment was the race in Thailand after taking pole position. I struggled a lot and ended up falling far behind. So I would say those two races were the worst for me.”

Valentino Rossi was also close to you this season despite not coming to the races, is there any advice he gave you that helped you in any way?
“One in particular, no, because in reality we almost always listen to each other. Both when he came to the races and when he couldn’t. We talk about everything: I tell him all my feelings, my problems, my strengths and he just gives me his opinion or maybe he’ll tell me how he fared on that track. But there’s no particular advice, luckily I’ve had plenty (laughs, editor’s note)”.

And what did he tell you after winning the Rookie of the Year title at Phillip Island?
“Actually we didn’t talk much about the title but we talked mainly about the race which was certainly one of the best races I’ve done in MotoGP so far. We talked right after, but above all to relive the race together. Rookie of the year I had won, but let’s just say we talked a lot more about performance.”

There are still two races to go until the end of the season and the fight for the world title is still very open: how do you think it will end between Bagnaia and Quartararo?
“For sure it will be two very tense races: it will not be easy for any of us. I think Fabio (Quartararo, ed.), especially in Sepang, is very strong and Yamaha is very strong. So Pecco (Bagnaia, ed. ) will have to try to do his best at this track to maintain a decent lead over Valencia and not have to get too close to Valencia in the standings. But I am convinced that Pecco is very, very strong and that he can have two good races in the last two races. to aim for the biggest piece of cake. (the world title, ed)”.

How much influence does the fact that there are so many riders on competitive Ducati while, aside from Quartararo, Yamaha’s struggle this season affect the struggle?
“In my opinion, not so much. At the end of the day, there is no team order. So the Ducatis can help Pecco as much as they can help Fabio. Everyone does their own race and tries to get as far as they can.”

Are there any riders who positively surprised you in your first season in MotoGP?
“I was actually a little impressed with everyone. Seeing them up close at the beginning was very strange: seeing the differences in riding between the various bikes was very interesting.”

And in the negative instead?

Next year you will have a Ducati 2022: what do you expect from this update?
“Not sure what to expect: the bike is a little different, but the base is very similar to mine (GP21, ed). I hope I get used to it quickly enough. I’m very curious to try it out, I hope it happens as soon as possible. I took a few steps forward because in any case you can see the data and how Pecco, Luca (Marini, ed) and all the other guys who have the factory bike ride. But until you try, you don’t know”.

The goal you set for yourself at the beginning of the season has been achieved, what is your new goal now?
“As there are still two races to go, I would like to get at least one more good result: be it a podium or a top 5. I hope to have two good races, but anyway, doing at least one really good one would be a good goal. because I really care about that. finish the job as best I can. So this last part of the season we were particularly good, so we deserved to do a little more to finish with a flourish.”

For the first MotoGP victory, a commitment postponed to next year?
“If there was a race today, I would run to win, as I do every time I enter the track. But I want to keep doing things gradually, step by step, and take things as they come, a little at a time, like we did.” . yet”.

Source: Fan Page IT