Enea Bastianini has blamed his current struggles to find speed so far this term on his 2023-specification Ducati feeling “like riding a chopper”, which is affecting his agility when turning.  

The factory Ducati ace has struggled so far to make an impression in his first year as part of Ducati’s factory operation – his job made all the harder after having to miss the opening five events of the season after sustaining a broken shoulder as a result of a clash with Luca Marini in the season opening Portuguese Grand Prix’s sprint race.

Having returned for his home race at Mugello in June, Bastianini has only managed to notch up a best result of eighth in the subsequent four encounters – the Italian confirming that he is fine from a physical standpoint but that he is struggling to get a handle on the “nervous” 2023-spec Desmosedici.

Explaining how the bike “is like riding a chopper” due to his current compromised position on the machine, Bastianini conceded that sorting out the issues “will not be a simple fix” and that continual changes would need to made across the rest of the season in order to re-discover the blistering 2022 form that earned him a seat at the factory table in the first place.

“I’m not happy about the weekend in general, we have changed a lot on the bike to be prepared for the race to achieve something more but nothing has changed and the race was really difficult,” shared Bastianini following the British Grand Prix.

“Only in the hard braking was I strong and everywhere else no.

“The main problem is that I feel like my position on the bike is like riding a chopper (low down), and for turning this is not good and we are trying to modify the rear suspension to improve things but we need to do something more.

“Pecco (Bagnaia) has changed the set-up a lot from last year’s bike so I need some time to understand it, it was important to complete the laps so I have more data to give to my team.

“It will not be simple to fix, and I don’t know if it will be able to be fixed in a short time.

“Last year’s bike felt normal but the new one is completely different, the engine is different and my sensation is that it’s harder and aggressive for me, so I don’t think it’s a good choice.

“Physically I’m OK but the bike is so nervous and means I don’t feel relaxed on the seat.” 

Bastianini recorded his second-successive DNF at Silverstone as a result of sustaining damage after Marc Marquez’s ran into the back of him through the rapid Turn 11 with only a few tours left to run, the four-time premier class race winner describing how it was “impossible” to stop his Ducati following the impact.  

“I think something happened after the contact with Marc (Marquez) on the bike, I think the tyre was broken after he hit me,” added Bastianini.

“He (Marquez) touched me at Turn 11 on entry and then at 15 I tried to stop and it was impossible so it felt like something was wrong with the bike and I went straight.”

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