The Gresini team inaugurated the 2022 season with a resounding success and restarts from Mandalika continuing to get some satisfaction. On the Indonesian track it is Fabio Di Giannantonio who makes the Faenza team smile at the end of qualifying, in which he hit his first Q2. The Roman rider is only in his second weekend in MotoGP, but he managed to make his way even among the most experienced in Q1, accessing the final qualifying phase which was decisive for the assignment of pole position.
“Diggia” will start from 11th position on the starting grid, a very good result if we think that he is a rookie. Undoubtedly, having already had the opportunity to familiarize himself with the track during the February tests helped the Roman to arrive at the race weekend with greater awareness, but the Gresini team can be satisfied with having brought both drivers into Q1.
Despite the enthusiasm of a decidedly good qualifying, Di Giannantonio remains realistic and sincerely affirms that he cannot aim to maintain 11th position if the situation remains unchanged: “Surely the fact that we carried out the tests here helped us a lot, because in the end when you do more kilometers on this track it has more references. We can start from that point and work on what we have seen in the tests. I knew that with the soft tires I would be fast in the time attack. We have to be honest, our potential is not to be in the starting position we have, it’s a little bit worse than where we are. But the guys work in the garage to see something for tomorrow and, if it works, we can try to stay in the top 10 group ”.
Fabio Di Giannantonio, Gresini Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Furthermore, in qualifying, Diggia took the opportunity to follow some riders and learn from the more experienced, in particular with Bagnaia, who is also equipped with Ducati: “Surely following other riders always helps you, so to try to give you something I have been more behind and Pecco and this obviously helped me. He gave me the opportunity to improve especially in the second run of Q1. Then obviously Q1 didn’t help me for Q2, because in the first phase I was very tired. When you do the time attack your body gets very stressed, so I got to Q2 a bit tired. This is also why I was unable to do the same time as I did in Q1, but I can’t say bad things about today, I’m very happy with this day ”.
What the Roman driver certainly does not forget is the fact that he is a rookie. The satisfaction with today’s result is great, but we are still in the second race of the year and there is a full season to be able to get to know the class and the bike: “I’m still learning a lot, I still have to learn a lot of things. But certainly with the big change we made from Qatar, I focused a lot more on driving and improving my aspects. Instead in Lusail we had entered a loop where I was having a hard time trying to concentrate on riding and I almost had to be careful on the bike and on going fast, also because I threw myself on the ground a couple of times. Surely this step we have taken allows me to be more serene, to drive well and slowly to concentrate on pushing. But from here to say that I have the bike in hand, it will take at least a couple of races ”.
Moreover, the track on the island of Lombok represents a considerable degree of difficulty, considering the track conditions and the atmospheric conditions: “Mandalika is a track that forgives little because unfortunately it is very dirty, there is dirt on the track, there is a line maybe 50cm or one meter. As soon as you want to do even just one attack, you are much more in difficulty, in crisis. In fact, in my opinion we are not in good shape for the race, tomorrow morning we want to try one more thing and if it works we can aspire to stay where we are now. Otherwise tomorrow will be a survival race, because it will be 27 laps, with crazy heat. It will boil everything from physique to tires. It will be a competition of experience for those who have it and for me of pure growth and data collection “.
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