MotoGP points leader Francesco Bagnaia says that while he is happy to have extended his overall advantage over Jorge Martin across the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, it is “not enough.”

The factory Ducati rider aimed to open up a greater margin at the Sepang International Circuit as he saw his lead whittled down to just 13 after Martin won in Thailand two weeks ago. His weekend started well after securing pole on Saturday, though lost two points to his chief rival after finishing third in the sprint race.

He enjoyed a stronger Sunday outing though, Bagnaia fending off an attack from Martin in the early laps before pulling away to the tune of six seconds across the remainder of the race to claim third behind victorious team-mate Enea Bastianini and sprint victor Alex Marquez. He extended his points lead to 14 in the process, a total gain of one over the event.

While Bagnaia admitted that he was “satisfied with the work” he had achieved in Malaysia, he is hoping to extend his lead by a greater margin next weekend in Qatar having admitted that his current point margin is “not enough.”

“I’m satisfied with the work, but not completely the result because I prefer to be more in front but we have to be happy because we ended the weekend a point further ahead than we started and the feeling was back,” explained Bagnaia.

“I was able to push at the start (of the weekend) and get pole position for the first time since Barcelona, and everything went well apart from yesterday in the sprint where I had an issue with chattering from the front. I had a great feeling with the bike, so I’m very happy overall.

“It will be important to open the gap more (in Qatar) because 14 points of a lead is good, but not enough so it’ll be important to do a good weekend.

“I’m glad that Enea (Bastianini) is performing well again, and I’m looking forward to going to Qatar as it is a good track for us.”

Bagnaia added that he struggled to make much of an impact on the lead duo in the Malaysian GP due to suffering from a “strange feeling under braking”, which he put down to the front end of his machine moving around too much.

“Today was quite good and the battle with Jorge (Martin) was fun, and we managed to open up the gap to him. I did everything to try and close the gap to the front guys, but I had a strange feeling with the front under braking due to a lot of movement,” continued Bagnaia.

“It maybe was the temperature, it was risky to push more so I did everything I could to close on the front guys, and this is the result.

“Considering the pace we had after the (Martin) battle, we were more competitive than him today so this is important after many races (where he was faster).”

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