Following three consecutive top six finishes on his two-year-old Ducati, Avintia rookie Enea Bastianini believes he now feels like a true MotoGP rider.
The reigning Moto2 world champion saw flashes of speed early in his MotoGP debut, but has improved dramatically since the Aragon Grand Prix.
Bastianini got his first top six finish at Aragon, then finished third from 12th at Misano and sixth at the Grand Prix of the Americas last weekend – all while racing an aging Ducati.
“I think yes,” Bastianini said when asked by Motorsport.com if he felt like a full-fledged MotoGP rider rather than a rookie.
“I’m a rookie for all the year, but now with more experience I know in which part I have to work during the weekend.
“And also, I understand better all the tyres and I’ve modified a little bit how I’m working with the guys.
“Now I’m more confident in every race and I can be faster in the rest of the season.”
Bastianini thinks his confidence on the bikes has improved since the British Grand Prix in August, when he finished a decent 12th, and that despite some poor qualifying results, he has still been able to compete on Sundays.
He came from 16th on the grid to sixth on the final lap at the Circuit of the Americas, helped by a crash involving Suzuki’s Joan Mir and factory Ducati’s Jack Miller.
“From Silverstone, for me we did a good step and now I’m more confident with the bike,” Bastianini added.
“I can ride it more smooth, more relaxed and it’s easier for me to be fast.
“I’m really happy about this. [Saturday] was a bad day for me, but [in the race] we have been really competitive and also that’s important.
“Starting from 16th place is not easy, but if I started more in front more was possible.
“But this is racing, you can start behind or more in front from race to race.”
With his current Avintia team bowing out at the end of the season, Bastianini will join the Gresini team next season and will remain directly contracted to Ducati to ride a GP21.
The uniforms of MOTOGP racing drivers are currently available at the following websites for a reasonable price: