Bagnaia has enjoyed a purple patch of late, scoring back-to-back wins at Aragon and Misano, while adding a third-successive podium appearance to that run with third in last Sunday’s Grand Prix of the Americas.
However, with Quartararo finishing second to extend his championship lead to 52 points over Bagnaia, the Yamaha rider will have his first chance to wrap up the title in the upcoming Emilia Romagna GP.
In the MotoE finale at Misano three weeks ago, Dominique Aegerter collided with Jordi Torres on the final lap and took the title – only to be penalised post-race, awarding Torres back-to-back titles in the series.
When asked if he would have to make risky moves on Quartararo to keep his title hopes alive, Bagnaia said: “I’m here just to try to close this gap that looks like it’s impossible to close.
“But I’m just trying to… I’m more relaxed than Fabio, I think, because Fabio has to think about the championship.
“I have to think only to be as competitive as possible and I’m not saying that Fabio’s not relaxed, but I’m more calm I think.
“For sure, I will not do something like Aegerter because if you have the possibility to overtake, you overtake, and if you don’t have it it’s too risky to do something.
“We don’t have eight, seven points between us, but 50, so I think that’s not something that I have to do.”
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
Photo by: Dorna
Bagnaia added: “I will not give up, but Fabio this year has done a great job.
“He was the best at the start and is the one who remained more constant, so he’s really a great rider. So, he will have the possibility to win.
“We know where we lose these points, so in these last three, four races we are doing a really good job, we are improving, we are learning.
“So, we are more competitive and Fabio is doing a really great job.”
Quartararo said after his Austin podium that he “doesn’t need to be obsessed” with winning the title at Misano later this month and will approach the race like any other.