After two difficult campaigns in 2019 and 2020 on the Pramac Ducati, Bagnaia enjoyed a breakout 2021 season as a factory team Ducati rider.
Winning four races, Bagnaia was a factor in the championship battle until the latter stages of the campaign – but only ended up 26 points adrift of world champion Fabio Quartararo in second in the standings.
Bagnaia was just one of several riders to star for Ducati in 2021, with team-mate Jack Miller winning twice, Pramac rookie Jorge Martin taking a sensational win at the Styrian Grand Prix, while Avintia debutant Enea Bastianini managed two podiums on his 2019 bike.
When asked who surprised him the most this season, Dall’Igna said: “All the guys did a great job, that’s obvious.
“Martin scored pole in his second MotoGP race, which is very difficult to do.
“He won a race in his first season, that’s not easy. But Pecco did a great job as well, especially in the second part of the season, he was the best.
“He won four of the last six races, which should have been five if he hadn’t crashed in Misano.
“He was on the podium in Austin. To be honest, Pecco is a rider who keeps improving every year and when you expect him to really reach his level, he takes another step.
“I don’t know who surprised me the most. Even Enea, he didn’t have the official bike.
“He had to use a GP19 because we couldn’t do anything else, even with that bike he was brilliant at certain moments like in Misano.
“What is especially impressive is that he is very competitive in the last part of the race – often as strong as the winner of the race.
“He needs to improve on Friday and Saturday, but if he can start further up front I think he’s going to be part of the game.”
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Earlier this year Ducati announced it would be the sole bike supplier for the all-electric MotoE World Cup, taking over from Energica from 2023.
Commenting on this new venture for Ducati, Dall’Igna says there are “many things that are interesting from an engineer’s point of view” and is “glad” he can work on it.
“It’s new for us, but we have to make sure that with Ducati Corse we bring a good bike to the track,” Dall’Igna said.
“I think the electric bike is a nice challenge for an engineer, you can develop something in a completely different way.
“How are you going to get power from the battery, how are you going to recharge it?
“There are many things that are very interesting from an engineer’s point of view, I really look forward to that challenge.
“I’m glad I get to work on that, I’d rather start right away.”