'Incredible that we have no Indian rider': MotoGP world champion Francesco Bagnaia

Bagnaia competes for the Ducati Lenovo team

71-francesco-bagnaia Francesco Bagnaia | Bhanu Prakash Chandra

Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia competes for the Ducati Lenovo team and is the reigning MotoGP world champion. THE WEEK caught up with him in the paddock of the first MotoGP race in India.

Q/The Buddh International Circuit has a new track for MotoGP bikes.

A/I have been doing laps and I will do one after this interview. The layout of the track is great. I like it.

Q/India has a high number of two-wheeler riders. As a MotoGP champion, what is your message for safe riding?

A/It is incredible that we have no Indian rider in the MotoGP championship considering the number of two-wheelers you have on the streets. Maybe this race could bring in a new era of riders.

Q/You have been competing with Fabio Quartararo for long, be it last year or your final season at Moto2. But now fellow Ducati riders are your main rivals. How do you see that?

A/It is very different, because they can see everything perfectly, including data. I can see the data of [Jorge] Martin. He can see my data. Same with [Marco] Bezzecchi. So this sure increases the level of Ducati [performance].

Q/What are your off-track plans in India? What are you going to explore?

A/No plans right now, because we have to fly to Tokyo [for the Grand Prix of Japan]. It is very important to remain focused.

Q/More and more tracks are being added every new season. Are new tracks a challenge?

A/We have set a limit because, for me, more than 20 races [in a season] is too much to manage physically and mentally. We are working a lot to improve ourselves, but adding races will be too demanding—not only for us, but also for the team.