“He risked too much, we don’t like it” - Ducati boss critical of Bastianini

Little more than a week after being chosen as Ducati's factory rider for 2023 MotoGP season, Enea Bastianini lands in hot water with boss Claudio Domenicali

Enea Bastianini, Pecco Bagnaia - Ducati MotoGP

Enea Bastianini has come into criticism from Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali for ‘risking too much’ in his battle with Pecco Bagnaia for victory in the San Marino MotoGP at Misano.

While agreeing that Bastianini rode well to take the fight to Ducati’s prime title contender Bagnaia right up to the line in Italy, Domenicali was unhappy with how close the pair got on the final lap.

His words, broadcast on Sky Sports Italia, come little more than a week on from confirmation that it has chosen Bastianini over Jorge Martin for its prized factory seat for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship alongside Bagnaia.

An absorbing race that built in momentum until a frantic final few laps as Bastianini launched a signature late race attack on Bagnaia - who had led since lap three - the Gresini Racing rider got his braking wrong into Turn 4 and was forced to sit up to avoid clipping the back of the bike in front.

Despite this, Bastianini quickly clawed back the second he lost and very nearly snatched the win on the sprint to the line, remarkably setting the fastest lap of the race despite the earlier error.

However, while many praised Bastianini for justifying Ducati’s decision to promote him over Martin with a punchy performance, the opinion wasn’t reflected by Domenicali who felt he was ‘too risky’ around Bagnaia, the Italian now back in the title fight after four wins in a row.

“When two riders don't work well together, I'm half happy. We talked to all of our riders, they know they don't have to be too aggressive with each other. 

"Enea did well, but on the last lap, maybe it was better not to do it, he risked too much, we don't like it.” 

“I know it is part of the nature of the drivers, but there are 150 people working behind them, there is a company, you have to try to work for the team, otherwise we are criticised for not winning the Drivers' World Championship: better, but without doing stupid things.”

Victory for Bagnaia has lifted him to second in the standings at the expense of Aleix Espargaro, 30 points behind Quartararo. Bastianini, meanwhile, has risen from sixth to fourth, 53 points behind the Frenchman.