Bagnaia has tallied up two DNFs in 2022 so far after crashing out of the Qatar GP in March and at the French GP two weeks ago while fighting for victory with Gresini’s Enea Bastianini.
This left him 46 points adrift in the championship standings coming to his home round at Mugello this weekend, though he has now closed that down to 41 after storming to victory on Sunday.
When asked if himself and Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro – who joined him on the podium on Sunday – were the main title challengers now, Bagnaia replied: “I did more mistakes, so I have to be more like a machine already from this race.
“I can say yes [us three are the favourites], but I would like to put also Enea [in that group].”
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Bagnaia’s Le Mans mistake came at a point where he had finally made a breakthrough with his 2022 Ducati, having had a tricky start to the campaign in finding a good set-up on the new bike.
With Mugello typically a strong venue for Ducati, Bagnaia was expected to be a favourite for victory in Sunday’s race.
But despite the knock his Le Mans crash dealt to his title hopes, Bagnaia says he felt no added pressure coming to Mugello.
“For sure for the championship it was important to take points this race,” Bagnaia added.
“But I have to say I was not feeling more pressure. The pressure is always there, we are doing a job where you have to live with pressure. But when you are enjoying your thing, mistakes can happen.
“But the good thing is to restart and don’t think about your problems. Just think about the things you enjoy and I really enjoyed this weekend a lot.
“It’s not always easy because sometimes you can be angry, like I was yesterday afternoon after the qualifying.
“But you have to be positive always and mistakes can happen.”