In his second season in the premier class, Bastianini switched from the defunct Avintia team to Gresini Racing, which after seven years as Aprilia’s works entrant is once again becoming a truly independent team.
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Bastianini – who started his Grand Prix career with Gresini Racing in 2014 in Moto3 – took two podiums in his rookie campaign with Avintia last year and finished third at both the San Marino and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix.
The Italian will also ride a Ducati in 2022, but instead of the 2019 machine he rode last season, he will ride a factory-spec 2021 Desmosedici.
After testing the bike at Jerez back in November, Autosport asked Bastianini during Gresini’s launch event on Saturday what the main differences between the GP19 and GP21 were.
“I’ve only tried this bike at a track in Jerez at the moment, but when I rode it for the first time I could see that it was getting easier and easier [I was] more relaxed during the session,” he said.
“Even if you push you can make some mistakes and end up not losing a lot of time and that’s important but even when I tried that I could see it [I could push] more on braking, I can brake later compared to the 19er bike, but also [with] less movement.
“It’s fantastic for qualifying.”
Bike by Enea Bastianini, Gresini Racing
Photo by: Gresini Racing
He also noted that the 2021 Ducati had better corner speed, adding: “When I first tried the 21 bike, my feeling of riding the bike was better from the start.
“Ducati, the DNA of Ducati, is incredible to me.
“Also you can drive more speed in the middle of the corner and that’s important for the race to save the tires, but I don’t think that’s my biggest problem during the race.”
After his double podium in his rookie season, Bastianini admits “expectations are high for this season” but pointed to his “disaster” in qualifying as an area where he needs to improve after winning just once in 2021 started in the top 12.
“Expectations for this season are high because last year, especially in the last part of the season, we got two podiums and I thought I could be competitive in MotoGP,” he said.
“For this year I have to improve because last year I learned a lot from the category and now I have to be more consistent throughout the season.
“Even during qualifying because my entire qualifying session was a disaster last year, but now with this bike it will be easier for me to do faster laps in qualifying.”