Avintia rookie Enea Bastianini admits he was unable to advance on 11th in the final laps of the MotoGP Doha Grand Prix as “my hair got in my eyes”.
Bastianini emerged from the Qatar GP as top rookie in 10th on his two-year-old Ducati and put in another impressive display in last Sunday’s Doha race.
The Avintia rider came from 19th on the grid to finish 11th, and was in the group fighting for seventh headed by Suzuki’s Joan Mir covered by 0.662 seconds.
However, he revealed he “couldn’t see anything anymore” in the closing stages when his vision became obscured by his own hair.
“I’m very satisfied, because especially after a few laps I was able to come up, I found myself 1.5 seconds behind the one in front, and I started to lap quite strongly,” the reigning Moto2 world champion said.
“For a moment I even lapped faster than the leading group, so I’m definitely satisfied.
“Then unfortunately in the last laps the hair got in my eyes and with the sweat I couldn’t see anything anymore.
“I got distracted and I couldn’t overtake those three or four riders in front of me. Damn, I didn’t need that.”
Bastianini was comfortably clear of his Avintia teammate Luca Marini in the Doha GP, with the VR46-backed rider left in 18th after his front tyre “collapsed” in the closing stages.
“I learned a lot, the feeling with the bike has improved,” Marini said.
“I also understood in which areas I have to work harder in the gym to have a little more strength, especially the upper body and arms for changing direction.
“As for the race, I learned a lot about tyre management.
“I had a problem with the front tyre, after ten laps it started to drop on the right side and I tried to manage to be able to save the ride and have a better position at the end.
“But in the last six laps it collapsed, and it was very difficult to ride.
“I am a little angry about this result because I felt very comfortable all weekend, I was much more competitive than last weekend.”