Top rookie Bagnaia 'mix of Lorenzo and Dovizioso'

'For corner speed for sure Lorenzo and in the exit more like Dovizioso' - Francesco Bagnaia, Jerez MotoGP test.
Top rookie Bagnaia 'mix of Lorenzo and Dovizioso'

Francesco Bagnaia wrapped-up 2018 MotoGP testing where he aims to finish the 2019 season; as top rookie.

The reigning Moto2 champion featured as high as third on the Thursday Jerez timesheets before being nudged back to ninth, albeit only 0.388s from test leader Takaaki Nakagami (Honda).

Having also been top newcomer (in eleventh) on his Pramac Ducati debut at Valencia, it's been a highly encouraging start to the Italian's MotoGP career - with 'Pecco' crediting a geometry change for his surge up the Jerez timesheets.

"We made a great step today with the setting," Bagnaia said. "It has been very positive and finally I'm happy because this direction was better for everything. The last setting that I tried was a good point to start next year."

Overseeing Bagnaia's set-up is Jorge Lorenzo's former crew chief Cristian Gabarrini: "Everything that I've asked Cristian for, he gave to me and this is a thing that every rider wants. At the moment I'm happy."

Suzuki's Joan Mir (14th) had been Bagnaia's closest rookie rival at Valencia, with Sepang Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo next best newcomer at Jerez (12th).

"My objective next year for sure would be to arrive in front of the other rookies and it was important for me to finish the test here as the first rookie," Bagnaia confirmed. "Other than that, I just want to make experience for next year.

"The next step is the holidays! Then in February we start again with the first test in Malaysia. It's another difficult track, but very good for understanding what we have to work on.'

Bagnaia suspected his riding style would be similar to Lorenzo before climbing aboard the GP18 at Valencia.

Does he still feel the same after four days of testing?

"I'm a mix between Lorenzo and Dovizioso, at the moment," he replied. "For corner speed for sure Lorenzo and in the exit more like Dovizioso."

That wouldn't be a bad combination, given the seven race wins by the former factory Ducati line-up in 2018.

Bagnaia's Pramac team-mate Jack Miller, riding a GP19, was eighth fastest at Jerez.