Enea Bastianini: “Wants to fight for the top 5 everywhere”

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With Nadia Padovani, Fausto Gresini’s widow, a woman is leading a MotoGP team for the first time. She expects podium places from figurehead Enea Bastianini.

For the last seven years, Gresini Racing has been allied in the MotoGP World Championship through a joint venture with Aprilia Racing, now a new chapter is being opened with Ducati. That’s why “THE NEXT” is clearly written on the bikes. This is supposed to announce the next chapter or the next challenge or, best of all, to attract the next main sponsor after FlexBox left again a few weeks after a binding commitment in August.

Fausto Gresini already lured Fabio Di Giannantonio to his 2021 Moto2 team before his death with a 2022 MotoGP contract. And the promising Enea Bastianini, 2020 Moto2 World Champion, became available because the Spanish Avintia Esponsorama Ducati team transferred its two team spots to VR46.

Enea Bastianini (24) caused a sensation in the last third of the 2021 season with third places in Misano-1 and Misano-2. He finished the World Championships eleventh overall, the second best rookie behind Jorge Martin, who finished ninth at the World Championships.

Team Gresini Racing MotoGP competes in a new light blue livery for 2022, a stark contrast to all other colors in the field.

“It’s a color that takes some getting used to, but it looks amazing,” the two pilots agreed at the online team presentation in Faenza.

Enea Bastianini has been a Moto3 rider in the Gresini team in the past. “It’s a pleasure to be back in this team,” said the 2020 Moto2 World Champion. “It was my first family in GP racing. Unfortunately, Fausto is no longer alive. But his spirit lives on, which is very important for this new project and the whole team. I can’t wait for the new season. We want to give the maximum at every Grand Prix. I want to fight for a place in the top five in every round of the World Championship. I think we’re capable of it because the team is really excellent. Team boss Nadia says she expects podiums from me. It’s actually my goal to always ride with the front runners. At the test in Jerez we were quick right away. Fabio and I will do everything not to disappoint Nadia’s hopes.”

Bastianini and Di Giannantonio have been teammates in the past. “Yes, that was more than six years ago,” recalls Di Giannantonio.

“That’s right, I drove with Gresini in Valencia in 2015 with a Moto3 wildcard. Yes, that’s unusual,” added “La Bestia”. “Back then we were temporarily teammates. Fabio is a very fast driver. I think he will be competitive again this year as a MotoGP rookie.”

MotoGP Test Jerez, November 19:

1. Bagnaia, Ducati, 1:36.872s
2. Quartararo, Yamaha, + 0.452 sec
3. Rins, Suzuki, +0.551
4. Pol Espargaró, Honda, +0.624
5. Vinales, Aprilia, +0.750
6. Mir, Suzuki, +0.762
7. Nakagami, Honda, +0.800
8. Bastianini, Ducati, +0.826
9.Miller, Ducati, +0.845
10. Alex Marquez, Honda, +0.888
11. Brad Binder, KTM, +1.070
12. Marini, Ducati, +1.153
13. Dovizioso, Yamaha, +1.157
14. Oliveira, KTM, +1.213
15. Morbidelli, Yamaha, +1,228
16. Aleix Espargaró, Aprilia, +1,277
17. Zarco, Ducati, +1.288
18. Martin, Ducati, +1,563
19. Di Giannantonio*, Ducati, +1.656
20. Raul Fernandez*, KTM, +1.819
21. Savadori, Aprilia, +1.852
22. Gardner*, KTM, +1.856
23. Guintoli, Suzuki, +2.168
24. Pedrosa, KTM, +2,313
25. Bezzecchi*, Ducati, +2,440
26. Darryn Binder*, Yamaha, +3,069

* = MotoGP rookie

MotoGP Test Jerez combined times (18th & 19th November):

1. Bagnaia, Ducati, 1:36.872s
2. Nakagami, Honda, + 0.441 sec
3. Quartararo, Yamaha, +0.452
4. Zarco, Ducati, +0.484
5.Bastianini, Ducati, +0.530
6. Rins, Suzuki, +0.551
7. Pol Espargaró, Honda, +0.624
8. Vinales, Aprilia, +0.750
9. Mir, Suzuki, +0.762
10.Miller, Ducati, +0.845
11. Alex Marquez, Honda, +0.888
12. Morbidelli, Yamaha, +1.012
13. Brad Binder, KTM, +1.070
14. Marini, Ducati, +1.153
15. Dovizioso, Yamaha, +1.157
16. Oliveira, KTM, +1.213
17. Aleix Espargaró, Aprilia, +1,277
18. Martin, Ducati, +1,280
19. Di Giannantonio*, Ducati, +1.656
20. Raul Fernandez*, KTM, +1.819
21. Savadori, Aprilia, +1.852
22. Gardner*, KTM, +1.856
23. Guintoli, Suzuki, +2.168
24. Pedrosa, KTM, +2,313
25. Kallio, KTM, +2.404
26. Bezzecchi*, Ducati, +2,440
27. Darryn Binder*, Yamaha, +3,069
28. Tsuda, Suzuki, +4,064

* = MotoGP rookie

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