Bagnaia Confronts “Stressful” FP2 Sessions Under Revised MotoGP Weekend Structure Current MotoGP titleholder Francesco Bagnaia concedes that the 2023 MotoGP season’s freshly implemented sprint weekend arrangement has turned Friday’s FP2 sessions into “stressful” experiences for those off to a slow start.
Last week in Portugal, Bagnaia dominated both the sprint race and the grand prix, although he encountered a challenging Friday at the Argentina Grand Prix. After finishing 10th in FP1 due to difficulties establishing a solid base setup, Bagnaia and Ducati managed to enhance their performance in the afternoon session, ensuring a direct spot in Saturday’s Q2 pole shootout.
The new sprint weekend structure determines the Q1 and Q2 qualifying groups based on the cumulative times at the conclusion of Friday’s FP2, with the top 10 riders advancing directly to the pole shootout. Bagnaia acknowledges the substantial contrast between the first day of running in Argentina and the prior testing in Portugal, where the grid was already established.Bagnaia: FP2 sessions “stressful” under new MotoGP weekend format
Bagnaia emphasized the “stressful” nature of the hour-long FP2 session for riders who do not begin well, as they must both refine their bikes and avoid jeopardizing their weekend by falling into Q1. He expressed satisfaction with his improvement but noted the need for a different strategy to enhance competitiveness from the outset and reduce the workload in FP2.
According to Bagnaia, he continues to seek improved front-end feel with new tires in qualifying trim, an area where Aprilia riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales, who led Friday practice in Argentina, possess an advantage. He admitted that his bike was challenging to manage in FP1, but the situation improved significantly in FP2. Although Bagnaia is content with his pace and feels competitive on used tires, he is still struggling to find a good front-end feeling with new tires, an aspect he and his team are working to resolve.