KTM snatches engineer from Bastianini to Ducati
According to information from Motorsport.comEnea Bastianini will have to do without Alberto Giribuola when he enters the official Ducati pit in two months, for the first tests of the off-season. The engineer who accompanied his debut in MotoGP and his first victories, and who was also the emblematic right-hand man of Andrea Dovizioso at the Reds, has in fact accepted an offer from KTM to be in charge of the coordination of those responsible techniques of the Austrian brand.
A few days after his driver was chosen by Borgo Panigale to succeed Jack Miller in the official team, the Italian informed his bosses of his intention not to renew his contract. Giribuola, who has worked at Ducati since 2008, represents a choice recruit for KTM, which does not hide its desire to strengthen its technical team, giving priority to aero (which involves recruiting engineers from the F1 team Red Bull Racing) and tire wear, an area in which the Italian will bring his expertise. He is indeed highly respected for his ability to analyze and anticipate tire behavior, which has been reflected in Bastianini’s performance since joining MotoGP.
Mattighofen has among his other targets Cristhian Pupulin, who works alongside Jack Miller and who has received an offer to follow the Australian into the KTM factory team next season.
Bagnaia awaits the adaptation of his new teammate
If we do not know for the moment who will accompany Enea Bastianini to the Reds, he is expected there firmly by Pecco Bagnaia. The current title contender will change teammates for the first time since joining MotoGP. First aligned by Pramac for two years, he was immediately associated with Miller, then followed the Australian in the official Ducati team when he was promoted there.
His rise in this new framework led Bagnaia to take the upper hand, until early this year winning an extension of his contract for two more years. At the same time, his sidekick had on the contrary to resolve to operate a change of course, his place being intended for a new pilot from 2023.
Once this decision was made, the Italian manufacturer gave itself time to reflect, before finally deciding in favor of Bastianini last week, more than three months after having guaranteed him that he would remain in the group. “I did not answer the first call”, tells this one by evoking the moment when the news was announced to him, “because I had gone riding my motorcycle. I then stopped in a parking lot to see who it was and saw that it was Gigi [Dall’Igna] who called me. So I imagined that was the call about my future.”
“It’s a dream for me”, assures the lucky winner, who nevertheless seems to have succeeded in putting his hopes into perspective until the end. “In reality, I didn’t worry too much. In both cases, I would have been happy anyway. Obviously, being in the official team is something more, I will have to work even more hard, but I didn’t have too high expectations, neither positive nor negative.”
“I think it was not easy for Ducati to make this decision because Jorge [Martín] is also very fast in the race, he is an incredible driver on the track. For the next races, it will be important that I do a very good job, not in relation to this situation but for me. I know that I was not consistent enough during the first part of the season, and I want to manage to be consistent in the future to claim the title.”
Pecco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini
While Jack Miller had openly taken a position in favor of Martín, Bagnaia has wanted to be more discreet lately, seeking to keep his distance from a duel whose collateral effects he could easily have felt. “I am happy”, promises the Turinese today. “I didn’t want to decide who would be my teammate because I think it’s a decision for the team, not the driver.
Bagnaia knows, however, that this choice will concern him directly when he has to establish a working relationship with his new sidekick, after the last seven races he has left to compete with Miller, with whom the agreement is perfect. “I’ve known him very well since we were young, so I think we can do a good job. [avec Enea]. The most important thing will be to let him learn our way of working.” he explains.
“When you come to a factory team, the way of working is totally different during testing, because then you have a lot of people around you asking us for things. But during a race weekend… With Jack, we’re doing a really, really good job, we’re talking about the tires, the corners, and that’s something that helps us progress. If he tries tires, I try others, that’s the kind of work what we normally do. It is certain that with Enea it will not be so easy to do at the beginning, because he is not used to it. We will have to try to do it during the first weekend and see if he will be able to accept this kind of work.”
Bastianini knows for his part that he will take a step forward in 2023, for what will be his third season in the premier category: “I’m very motivated, but I know it will be a very tough challenge because the pressure will be more for me next year. I’m happy to be Pecco’s teammate. We’re friends; I raced against him since we were young, on a pocket bike and we will be teammates for the first time. I’m ready.”
“I think I can learn a lot from Pecco”, underlines the current Gresini driver. “He’s very fast but he also manages his weekends very well, in all circumstances, and I have to learn from him. He too can learn things from me, so we’ll see.”
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