“For sure Enea has a special feeling with the front tyre, so it’s like watching Márquez when he’s riding at his best,” said Giribuola on Sunday evening. “For example the other riders go slower when the rear tyre is used but Enea improves because he uses the front tyre more. That’s why his pace during the race is very consistent, because he doesn’t use the potential of the rear tyre so much but more the front. In today’s race the front tyre made the difference for him.”
Bastianini used the same hard front/soft rear compounds as Bagnaia and Miller.
Last year Bagnaia started practicing saving front-tyre slides with his elbows, because he knows this is what he will have to do if he is to better Márquez and the other top riders.
“I hope for Enea and also for me that he can become another Marc Márquez because I hope we will make some good results in the future.
“If I have to say one characteristic that makes him special it’s his way of really using the front tyre. At the moment he’s not really using his elbows to save front slides but I think this will come.”
The fact that Bastianini took third on such an ancient bike was hugely impressive, but in fact the 2019 Duke works quite well around Misano.
“I think this is one of our good tracks with the bike – there are some strong points for us at this circuit,” added Giribuola. “It’s important to tell the rider where he has to really push and gain the maximum from our bike, because if you concentrate on the other areas for sure you can’t go through those areas like the Yamaha. We accelerate really well, so you have to gain in two points in this track that are really key.”
Which points are those?
“I cannot tell you!”
Bastianini’s manager is Carlo Pernat, the MotoGP paddock perennial who’s been around since the early 1980s, working for all the Italian factories at one time or another and managing riders from Max Biaggi to Marco Simoncelli and now Bastianini.
“Enea is a natural talent,” said Pernat from behind his blackout shades. “He races in MotoGP very well because for him the consumption of the tyre is nothing, because he rides in a very good way.”
Bastianini raced in Moto3 for five years, winning only three races, scored a podium in his rookie Moto2 season, took the title the next year and has now achieved a podium in his rookie MotoGP campaign
“Enea’s riding style is better for MotoGP than it was for Moto3 and Moto2,” added Pernat. “He was born for MotoGP because his riding style is important for the tyres. He’s a big talent. He’s also very quiet in the box, so he’s similar to Dovizioso, but a bit more talented. With Alberto he uses many things that Dovizioso used; their riders styles are quite similar.”
Pernat has managed Bastianini for the last four years, since he split with previous manager Emilio Alzamora. The youngster has always done things his own way – he was born and raised in Rimini, a few minutes from Misano – and yet he has never been involved with the VR46 Riders Academy and he never rode for the Italian Federation team, another of Italy’s rider-development programmes.
Misano has always been kind to him – he won his first Moto3 race there in 2015, won last year’s Emilio Romagna Moto2 race there and now a first MotoGP podium at the track.
‘Bestia’ – his nickname, Italian for ‘beast’– will be in high demand with other teams and factories. Ducati has so many young talents on its books that maybe him and Pernat will go looking elsewhere for a full-factory ride if they can’t get one from the Bolognese…