“If the first step to becoming a sports icon is a title, then rising MotoGP star Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia has had a hand since birth.” – CNN.
“My sister is only 20 months older than me,” Biko Bagnaia told the Austin Circuit of the Americas center. When we were young, it was difficult for her to call me ‘Francesco’, so she called me ‘Pico, Pico, Pico! “Every morning, like that, and I really enjoyed it.”
It is a more familiar name than ever in its homeland, not least because one of Italy’s most famous and appreciated stars is about to finally bow on the podium of the MotoGP.
On November 14, Valentino Rossi will drop the curtain on a career that has redefined the sport. Rossi may be as unique as he is irreplaceable, but there are indications that Italy may have found its successor.
Last month at the MotoGP in Aragon, Bagnaia catapulted his Ducati into the lead from pole position, before Repsol Honda’s indomitable Marc Marquez started luring him.
With three laps to go, the Catalan passed to the young Italian, but Bagnaia immediately took the lead again. Heavy fighting followed before the Ducati rider burns the finish line, just 0.673 seconds behind Marquez, to secure his first Class A win.
Marquez evaluated Bagnaya’s performance after the race: “I tried to analyze where he was fast, where his weaknesses were, but there weren’t any. He was fast on all circuits ”.
After a week in front of the crowded Marco Simoncelli circuit in Misano, Italy, Bagnaia led the entire 27-lap race, crossing the line to win in front of a partisan crowd and take second place in the championship.
For an Italian rider, winning a race in Italy on a Ducati is a moment to appreciate.
“Winning is always winning, which is special. The first win at Aragon was a great moment for me and it was very emotional, but doing it in front of our fans was like a dream for me, ”says Bajnaya with a smile.