Francesco Bagnaia reckons he took “too much care” of his rear tyre during his intense battle with Jorge Martin in the German Grand Prix, allowing him to be re-passed.

The factory Ducati rider traded the lead with the Pramac racer throughout the closing stanza during Sunday’s full-length Sachsenring encounter, Bagnaia taking the lead away from Martin with nine laps to go with a brave move at Turn 12 before then losing it once again at the same bend just a few laps later.

Bagnaia then heaped the pressure on Martin over the final half-a-dozen laps as he enjoyed more late-race grip than his fellow Ducati pilot, though ultimately was unable to find a way past as Martin expertly defended en-route to his second career premier class success.

The reigning MotoGP world champion conceded after the race that Martin’s move to re-take the lead of lap 24 was due to him taking “too much care” of the rear tyre for the final laps, Bagnaia believing his final chance of victory was lost as a result of him running into the rear tyre of Martin at the final bend on the penultimate lap that cost him crucial bike lengths.    

“I think I was taking too much care of the rear tyre because he overtook me soon after (Bagnaia taking lead late on), but I’m happy with everything and I think more than this was impossible,” explained Bagnaia.

“I tried and with two laps to go I tried downhill (on run to Turn 12) but he closed the line well so it was difficult to overtake, and when I tried to have more corner speed in the final bend I touched him so I think I lost the possibility (for victory) there.

“I wasn’t expecting to touch him, I could see I was close but I felt the touch and lost some time but I was just trying to start off a manoeuvre to pass him at the first corner but it was maybe too ambitious.

“He was doing a really good job and he deserved the win because he was the most competitive, but I’m satisfied with my performance as we closed the gap from yesterday.”

Bagnaia added that he felt a potential title battle with Martin – who closed to within 16 points of the Italian as a result of sweeping both races within the German event – “could be fun”, though earmarked VR46 Ducati racer Marco Bezzecchi – who finished second in last year’s edition of the race as a rookie – as his main rival for this weekend’s outing at Assen for the Dutch TT.

“It could be fun (title battle with Martin), we can enjoy and we’ll see what happens in the future but right now he is in good shape with a third podium in a row, so he’s really competitive,” continued Bagnaia.

“Assen is a track I really enjoy, for sure it’s a track where I have a good feeling and one where I feel our bike is well suited, but (Marco) Bezzecchi will be competitive there.”

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