Enea Bastianini revealed that he never planned to attack Francesco Bagnaia at Turn 7 on the last lap of the Aragon Grand Prix, electing to take a chance in the moment.
The Gresini rider scored a fourth premier class win of 2022 at the Motorland Aragon venue having had to catch and pass the factory Ducati on two occasions, Bastianini having run off the track at Turn 12 just prior at mid-distance the first time he passed his countryman.
Bastianini looked to be setting up a pass into the final corner on the final tour having seemingly rehearsed an attack on the few laps prior to the end, though he ultimately managed to make a race winning move with a bold dive at Turn 7.
The 2020 Moto2 world champion said post-race that he wasn’t thinking about passing his 2023 team-mate at the tight right-hander, though a conservative line by Bagnaia allowed him to get a run and subsequently a chance he was keen to not pass up.
“I’m really happy to be back on the first step of the podium, it was a difficult race for me because at the start I had contact with Aleix (Espargaro) and I lost some position but I recovered the gap and the lead, though then I lost it again with a mistake at Turn 12,” said Bastianini.
“At the end I pushed hard to recover the gap again to Pecco (Bagnaia) and in the last laps I caught him, I made the decision to pass him at Turn 7 and I could win the race so I’m very happy.
“Pecco always brakes really hard and also with the same bike we have the same strong points, so I made the decision to try to go on lap nine but I made the mistake and then tried to be calm to not make another (error.)
“I only made the decision (to pass at Turn 7) on the last lap because he stayed tight at Turn 5 and I was able to have really good acceleration and attack him into seven.”
Bastianini’s victory – twinned with the crash that eliminated Fabio Quartararo from the race on the opening tour – means he has closed to 48 points adrift of the Frenchman in the overall standings with five event left to run.
The Gresini rider says though that his focus is not on crafting a late championship tilt, but rather to learn the upcoming tracks that host the flyaway races having never run on them with a premier class prototype.
“The team told me after the race about Fabio’s (Quartararo) crash and now I’m closer (in the championship) but still 40 points too much I think because I have three riders in front of me,” added Bastianini.
“My target is to doing races like this one and Misano to try and stay on top as much as possible in the end of the season.
“I also now have new tracks for me in MotoGP and it will be good to try and learn from the more experienced guys in practice and be fast in the race.”