Ducati expected to outperform the competition in 2022 with its new Desmosedici GP, as it closed last season with a bike that by all accounts was the best of the lot, as evidenced by the four wins in the last six races.
However, the changes made to the new prototype required a much longer adaptation period for the pilots, with the new engine appearing to generate difficulties when it comes to getting power to the ground under acceleration.
The best Ducati so far has been that of Gresini Racing entrusted to Enea Bastianini, which however is a 2021 version. The rider from Romagna has won two races, even if he crashed last weekend in Portimao, retreating to fourth place in the World Championship. 8 points behind Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins, who now share the leadership.
In Portugal, on the other hand, the best standard bearer of the Borgo Panigale company was Johann Zarco, who with his GP22 with the colors of Pramac Racing managed to conquer pole position and finish the race in second place. However, according to him, this result does not depend on the fact that returning to Europe can show a clearer picture of the situation.
“I understand when you think that Europe could represent a new beginning or make people understand who is stronger and who can have more problems,” said Zarco. “But there are too many riders vying for the podium this season, and I also wouldn’t have expected to be able to do such a good race this weekend.”
“I too am part of that group who are hoping to win or at least have the chance to try and get on the podium. But I think this will make the championship really difficult for everyone. The only one who has shown that he has something in it here. more is Fabio (Quartararo), but I don’t think he is the image of the start of the European season “.
“Anyway, I take the positive things and I am still improving the feeling, because Ducati is working well, but sometimes it is still difficult to manage everything. Once we – I say because Ducati has eight riders – we will be able to manage their potential. , we will be able to put more Ducati in front. “
Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Speaking of his race, Zarco believes the key to the podium was being able to make up positions quickly after losing several at the start. Which allowed him, for example, to avoid getting involved in the carom between Joan Mir and Jack Miller.
“I’m quite happy, of course. The pole position was the first step towards happiness. And the race was fantastic. I lost some time at the start, but I felt good under braking. That gave me confidence, so I tried to regain the lost positions immediately “.
“When I overtook Alex Marquez and Miller it was the key point of the race, because in third position I felt good behind Mir, but not enough to be able to think about going back to Fabio.”
“So it was better to stay behind Joan and stay focused on him. Then when Jack approached I’m happy to have attacked to take second, otherwise I would have risked getting involved in their accident too.”
“In the end I got worried with Aleix Espargaro, because he is having a great time in his career, so I knew he could be fast, but I managed to manage enough energy to push a little more on the last lap,” he concluded. , regarding how he handled the Aprilia rider’s attack in the final.
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