Italy’s world champion Fabio Quattararo overturned a 91-point deficit following June’s German GP, just 10 points behind.
But Bagnaia’s gap to Quattararo could have been just five points had Innea Bastiani not won at Aragon last weekend, raising further questions about the Ducati team’s pecking order.
While Ducati has remained steadfast in its stance that it will not rule out any rider from the four-field squad from fighting for victory, Bagnaia says he does not want any team order to help him.
“I don’t think I need help to be in front with integrity,” Bagnaia said when asked if there had been any discussion about the team order at Ducati.
“I prefer to win on the road and not because someone passed me. But in any case, I am not in this decision. It is definitely something that I have expressed my desire, which is to allow me to do what I want. To work.
“And if you decide otherwise, it has nothing to do with me.
“So I will race, I will try to be in front and I will try to win, this will be my main goal, as I did in Misano and Aragon.”
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Gresini’s Bastianini, who is 48 points clear of Quattararo in the 2021 special Ducati and the outside bet in the championship, says he has received no instructions from the Italian manufacturer to help Bagnaio at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
“There is a big question about this situation,” he said when asked about the team order.
“Also, the media pushes this a lot. But I think the situation in my box is pretty settled for now.”
“I feel good and I think Ducati wants this for the moment.
“At the moment I don’t have a command of the team and we will see what happens if Peko is in front.
“As for the championship, I’m close now, but for now it’s just a question, I have to do 100% to be fast.”