The old Dovizioso weapon that helped MotoGP’s newest winner

Bastianini kicked off his sophomore MotoGP campaign and his first with the Gresini squad with a stunning maiden win in the premier class on his 2021-spec Ducati.

PLUS: Why MotoGP’s newest winner can be a menace in the coming races

The 2020 Moto2 world champion made waves in his rookie season last year with the now-defunct Avintia squad on a 2019-spec Ducati – scoring two podiums at Misano having started 12th and 16th in the San Marino and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix.

Enjoying a strong pre-season phase on the 2021-spec Ducati, Bastianini’s Qatar win led six-time world champion Marc Marquez to peg him as a 2022 title favourite.

Since 2021, Bastianini has been working with Giriboula as crew chief, who previously helped guide Dovizioso to three consecutive runner-up spots in the championship.

Dovizioso feels his old crew chief has been an important element of Bastianini’s rise to becoming a MotoGP race winner, explaining that his vast experience of how things work within Ducati will have allowed him to steer Bastianini in the right direction.

“For me, it’s a big contribution,” Dovizioso said on Thursday ahead of the Indonesian Grand Prix when asked how important Giriboula was to Bastianini’s Qatar win.

“Last year, it was the first year for him [Bastianini] and to have the right person close to you makes the difference, especially when you can’t develop the bike.

Race winner Enea Bastianini, Gresini Racing

Race winner Enea Bastianini, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“And even from Qatar, I don’t know the details, but I know how good [Giriboula] is and I think for sure the team did a great job because you can’t win with just one person.

“But I think Bastianini is in the right situation because he had a person close to him who knows everything from Ducati, and I know how it works in Ducati.

“And to have a person who can stay focused on what you need to be fast on this bike and not waste time on different things and know what you have to do and don’t have to do, makes the difference.

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“This is a big percentage why he became very competitive at the end of the season last year.

“He did a very good test and in this first race he was able to win.”

Dovizioso finished the season-opening Qatar GP in 14th on his factory-spec Yamaha, and admitted at the time that neither nor Yamaha had an explanation for the front tire pressure issues which prevented him.