Francesco Bagnaia says he is “100% sure” that whatever caused him to fall to 14th by the end of the Silverstone sprint race was not to do with his setup.

The factory Ducati pilot struggled for grip from the outset in Saturday’s sprint encounter as he was passed left and right by his rivals having started fourth on the grid, the Italian eventually taking the chequered flag 14th having dropped ten spots in just ten laps.

With title rivals Marco Bezzecchi and Jorge Martin both securing points in the sprint – the duo ending up second and sixth respectively – Bagnaia saw his series lead shrink from 35 to 27 ahead of Sunday’s British Grand Prix, leaving him with work to do in the full-length encounter to not lose any further ground.

The reigning premier class world champion insisted that he is “100% sure” that whatever caused him to freefall through the field on Saturday was not setup related, though wouldn’t be drawn on whether a similar tyre problem to the one that caused him to fall back in the 2021 edition of the British GP could be to blame until he and Ducati had investigated his Desmosedici.  

“I don’t know if it was because of the tyres,” began Bagnaia.

 “My team is already working at checking the data to see what happened because this morning we were second in FP2 and in qualifying I was in a good position, but as soon as I started the warm-up lap I could tell something was not working well.

“It was difficult to do anything and riders were overtaking me on the inside and on the outside, I was on the limit going slow like this so it was very difficult but we know our level and 14th is not it and we have a higher target and will work hard tomorrow to improve.

“I’m 100% sure the problem did not come from our setup, so we have some time to solve the problem for tomorrow.”

Bagnaia remained confident that he has the pace in the full wet or dry conditions to “fight for the top positions” come Sunday, though warned that any chance of success could be dissipated should he not look after his rubber effectively.

“Yesterday afternoon was great as with the new and used tyres I was quite competitive, and at this track compared to other one it’s quite difficult to make the difference because you have to consider the rear tyre consumption more,” added Bagnaia.  

“It’s very important not to push to the maximum in the early moments (to save rear tyre), and I think we have the package and the performance to be at the front to fight, and whether dry or wet I think we can fight for the top positions.”

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