Seven-time race winner grew up idolizing motorbike legends – The New York Times

Pecco Bagnaia has started to make a name for himself in the MotoGP world, but racing as well as cutting a fine figure on the track.

The 28-year-old, who made his debut in 2016, finished in seventh place at Misano two weeks ago and in third at Indianapolis last weekend, just a little behind the championship-leading Alvaro Bautista.

I got here seven years ago with the Urgashi KTM and I had no dreams, I just had me.

“It all started with a nightmare,” he said of his early days with the KTM RC213V. “I drove the bike at 100 miles per hour in the wrong gear. We crashed six races into it.

“I saw an open door at the garage and decided to jump on it to the garage. And I skidded off and crashed and I went to the hospital. I broke my spine, my leg and my wrist. And from this day the dream became my own.”

But he made a dream come true when he drove his bike to third on the MotoGP podium in Indianapolis. Now, after 12 races, he is sixth in the standings on only 116 points, three behind Yamaha rider Johann Zarco. He is also outside the top 10 riders for the World Championship, but believes he has some time left in the sport.

“I feel more at home here,” he said of his MotoGP experience. “I had two years with KTM and it wasn’t like that, I had a bad bike, I had to make a lot of changes, a lot of resources.

“You need to work hard. That’s where the Japanese have got a hard time, to understand that. You have to work harder than you have ever had to work before, that’s it. You have to work your heart out.

“The dream became my own and here I am at the moment. It’s fantastic to make this step and keep it like this,” he said.

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