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Bastianini 'surprised' by rapid rise from rookie to race winner

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

The Italian rider has risen to the upper echelons of the World Championship.

Second-year MotoGP™ sensation Enea Bastianini admits he's surprised by the gradient of his rise to the upper echelons of the World Championship this season but isn't yet planning to change his approach as the 20-race campaign nears its second half. 

Bastianini, 24, finished in 11th place overall in his rookie MotoGP™ season in 2021, ending the year strongly with six consecutive top-10 results and podiums at the San Marino and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix. This year, the Italian has become a front-running force, riding a year-old Ducati for the Gresini Racing MotoGP™ Team, winning three of the first nine races of the year and sitting third in the world standings after the Grand Prix of Catalunya last weekend.  


Speaking to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation's official podcast In the Fast Lane, Bastianini admits his strong start has made him consider how to approach the final part of the season, which includes the return of the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to Phillip Island from October 14-16.

"It's a surprise also for me," Bastianini says of his 2022 form.

"We come from a rookie season that was not so bad, but this year is starting better. I'm happy about my first part of the season, I make three victories for the moment, and we have to continue in this direction. 

"When you win three times, your goals can change. I want to continue like this … and don't see the championship standings for the moment. In the last five or six races, if I'm up the front, I have to understand when it's time to be more conservative. For the moment, all I want is to do my best in every race."

Bastianini's maiden MotoGP™ victory came at the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix, which doubled as the first MotoGP™ win for the Gresini team in 16 years, and the first since team founder Fausto Gresini passed away in February 2021 after a two-month battle with COVID-19. Bastianini also rode for Gresini in Moto3™ in 2015-16, making the victory in Doha even more significant.

"I win the first race in Qatar and it was an explosion of emotion," Bastianini said.

"The first victory in MotoGP is sensational, with a new team and a new bike, but also for the first one without Fausto. I cry a little bit also inside the helmet. Fausto was very important person for me, especially when I was young during my first year in Moto3. He was a second dad for me, because inside the paddock he (taught) me the way."

The In The Fast Lane podcast is available on Spotify, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts platforms.

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