Bagnaia scored his first podium on his return from injury at last weekend’s San Marino GP at Misano, beating Yamaha rider Rossi en route to second place.
The Pramac rider has continued his strong form into the second Misano weekend, setting a lap record to first FP3 and was on pole in qualifying with a record 1m30.973s before having to abandon the lap for exceeding track limits. This relegated Bagnaia to fifth place in the middle of the second row.
Rossi – who was seventh in qualifying – followed Bagnaia briefly during the Q2 session, noting that the 2018 Moto2 Champion’s style is able to ‘fix’ some of the 2020 Ducati’s problems.
“Pecco drives very well because he can use the Ducati perfectly with his style,” said Rossi. “He is able to fix some of the Ducati’s problems. but [he is also] Make the most of some advantages that Ducati has, such as the engine and acceleration.
“Ducati is a high-performance bike, but [it] is not easy to drive. So he drove very, very well behind Pecco, but unfortunately he touched the green [run-off area]. If not, he takes pole position. And I think tomorrow he will be very strong in the race because he had a very good pace.”
Bagnaia commented on his own qualifying session, admitting his mistake in the last corner was due to him being “too hungry”.
“I set a very, very good lap time for qualifying,” said the Pramac driver. “In sector three I was very strong and very fast. But I was too hungry in the last corner and pushed too hard and went too far. Anyway, the lap time was unbelievable.
“It’s always nice to have a record at a circuit, but we’ve definitely shown that we’re very strong and that pace is more important than lap times. We showed that we can do that lap time, but also the pace. So it was definitely better to start on the front row. But in any case, the pace is so good that the race might not be a problem.”