Bastianini: ‘I tried my best to overtake Bagnaia, but it was impossible’

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Enea Bastianini insisted he “tried my best” to snatch away victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix from series leader Francesco Bagnaia, though conceded it was “impossible.”

The Gresini Ducati pilot remained towards the front of the action across the entirety of the 25-lap contest, though managed to drop from second on the grid to third as a result of Bagnaia’s blistering getaway that saw him rise from ninth on the grid to second.

The pair would move up into first and second respectively after leader Jorge Martin crashed out, with Bastianini subsequently pressuring the factory Ducati man for the leadership across the remainder of the race – briefly taking the lead of the race just past half-distance.

The Italian admitted though that he began to suffer with traction from slow corners, with this weakness twinned with Bagnaia’s superiority on the brakes ultimately preventing him from regaining the initiative – Bastianini affirming that it was “impossible” to beat his 2023 team-mate.

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“I’m happy about my race, though I’m not really happy about the last part of the race because my traction wasn’t very good, especially from the exit of the slow corners,” explained Bastianini.

“I tried my best to overtake Pecco (Bagnaia) on the last lap but it was impossible.

“At the start (after overtake) I felt I had the potential to try and make a gap but after two or three laps I felt something change and I lost some confidence with the rear.

“Pecco then overtook me again and I pushed hard to stay close to him to try and pass him again, but I couldn’t.

“I wanted to overtake Pecco on the last lap but it was a bit dangerous, sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture and he is battling for the championship, so it is like this.”

Bastianini added that he will “try and achieve the maximum” as he looks to try and end his final event with Gresini before joining the factory Ducati squad on a high.

“I think Pecco will win the championship in Valencia, he has a lot of point advantage over Fabio (Quartararo) even though he also did a really good race today, it will not be easy for him to catch up,” continued Bastianini.

“It’s been a great year for us so far, but we have to remain concentrated in the final race to try and achieve the maximum, I’m ready.”

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