Bezzecchi Believes He's Not Part of the Genuine 2023 MotoGP Championship Battle


Bezzecchi Believes He’s Not Part of the Genuine 2023 MotoGP Championship Battle

VR46 Ducati rider Marco Bezzecchi believes “the real fight” in the 2023 MotoGP championship race does not involve him and is between Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin.

The reigning world champion, Bagnaia, has seen a steady decline in his points tally since the Catalan Grand Prix. He began that race with a substantial 66-point lead over Martin from Pramac Racing. However, an unfortunate crash during the first lap of the Catalan GP significantly impacted his physical condition for the subsequent San Marino GP. To make matters worse, he suffered another crash during the Indian Grand Prix, allowing Martin to narrow the gap to just 13 points as they head into the upcoming Japanese GP.

India witnessed Bezzecchi’s impressive third victory of the 2023 season, bringing him within striking distance of Bagnaia, with a deficit of only 44 points. Despite this, Bezzecchi is cautious about declaring himself a genuine championship contender at this stage.

In his own words, Bezzecchi expressed his perspective during a recent interview at Motegi: “Well, I am quite relaxed at the moment because the real battle is unfolding between Martin and Bagnaia. I’m closely trailing them on the points board, but I haven’t quite caught up yet. Of course, if I can maintain proximity until the season’s end, I’ll give it my all to compete for the championship. That’s only natural. I’d be dishonest if I said otherwise. However, for now, my focus is on taking things one weekend at a time, aiming to stay competitive for at least another three or four race weekends. After that, we’ll assess our situation and see where we stand.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
Photographer: / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia’s Recent Point Deficit Reflects on Past Challenges and Present Mindset

Francesco Bagnaia’s recent setback in the championship points race may seem reminiscent of his struggles at the beginning of the 2022 season when he found himself trailing by a daunting 91 points at the midway stage. However, the talented rider is quick to emphasize that the pressure he faced last year while attempting to break Ducati’s 15-year title drought was significantly more intense than his current situation.

I’m the prey. Right now, we still have 14 races ahead,” Bagnaia remarked about his ongoing title defense. “So, I’m not perceiving any additional pressure at the moment. Last year was a different beast, for sure. It was a championship that Ducati had been longing for over a decade, and the circumstances were quite different.

Bagnaia is acutely aware that, under favorable conditions, he and his team can contend for race victories, while even in less ideal moments, they have the potential to secure second or third place. This self-assurance is vital to their strategy, and they remain committed to a singular focus on delivering flawless performances.

I believe it’s crucial for us to remain poised and do what we excel at,” Bagnaia stressed. “I genuinely believe we can be competitive consistently. Currently, I’m not overly concerned about the pressure; I’d rather not let it affect me right now.”

In Martin’s view, savoring the present moment is imperative. He acknowledges that he finds himself in the prime of his career and is determined to relish this period to the fullest. His approach centers around achieving strong results, striving for race victories, and consistently staying at the forefront during practice sessions.

I feel like I should relish the current moment because I believe it’s the pinnacle of my career,” Martin expressed. “So, my approach is to enjoy the ride, secure wins, and stay ahead during practice. I think this mindset is the key, and when you savor the moment, everything else falls into place.


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