Bastianini’s fourth MotoGP victory of the season has seen him close to under 50 points from Fabio Quartararo, after the Yamaha crashed on lap one following contact with Marc Marquez.
His first victory since Le Mans has also put the Gresini Ducati rider second on the highest wins of 2022 list behind Bagnaia, the man he beat in yet another last lap showdown between the two.
Describing the battle with Bagnaia, Bastianini said: “Another good battle like in Misano. My start of the race was difficult because when Aleix [Espargaro] passed me I went a little bit wide and lost some positions compared to my position at the start.
“But on lap number nine I was back on top but I made an error in turn 10 and I went outside [the track].
“I thought ‘I have to stay calm’ and close the gap again to Pecco [Bagnaia], who was really fast like in Misano.
“He didn’t make any errors like in Misano but [this time] on the last lap I was closer. It’s amazing for me to be back on the top.”
But despite the sensational victory, Bastianini believes his 48 point deficit is too much to close with only five races to go.
“Pecco [Bagnaia], and the other Ducati riders, are so fast, but Pecco has his strongest points like me, we’re riding the same bikes and to overtake him is really difficult but this time I won,” added Bastianini.
“48 points is too much to close the gap, for me, but I want to continue in this direction and be competitive in the last part of the championship.
“Let’s see what happens race by race, but I have a good setup for the future.”
Bagnaia to start thinking about about MotoGP standings – ‘we’re close’
While Bastianini might be playing down his chances, something Bagnaia has also done in recent rounds, the factory Ducati rider is arguably the favourite given his recent form.
In fact, Bagnaia has not been beaten in a race by Quartararo since before the summer break at Sachsenring.
Now just 10 points back from Quartararo, Bagnaia said: “Now it’s clearer: we’re close. 10 points now is the lowest distance I’ve had since the start of the season so for sure I’ll try to think about the championship but not too much.
“I’ll just think about my work. I know Japan won’t be easy, we have less time to test and improve the bike, it won’t be easy.
“We know our bike needs more time to be prepared compared to others. But I’m sure we can be competitive and I’ll try to work like we are doing and finish the races like we know to do.”