Bagnaia, who has at times crumbled under pressure – the second race in Misano last year and Le Mans earlier this season are two examples – fought off Vinales and Bastianini at different stages in order to claim one of his more impressive MotoGP wins at Misano.
In the form of his life, Bagnaia was aware that he had company throughout the San Marino MotoGP although going defensive was never an option.
“I was feeling like someone was here [touches the back of his neck] all the race. I was not thinking about anything, I was just trying to be smart and to be very constant with the pace,” added Bagnaia.
“I didn’t try to close the line also, because I was thinking that closing the line was more of a possibility for the riders behind me.
“I just tried to be competitive and do the best line possible to be fast. This made me be more constant during the race.”
In what was one of the closest MotoGP finishes ever, Bagnaia managed to get the better of Bastianini, who unbelievably set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap.
+0.034s separated the future teammates, and when asked if Bastianini’s presence had him worrying about making a similar error as Le Mans, Bagnaia said: “No, I think I learned my lesson from Le Mans.”
30 points ‘still a lot’, Bagnaia not getting carried away
Despite winning for the fourth time in succession and with it becoming the first-ever Ducati rider to do so in MotoGP, Bagnaia is not thinking about winning the world title.
“30 points are still a lot so I don’t want to think about that [the championship]. I just want to be focused on my work and on all the races in the last part of the season,” claimed the Italian.
“[I want] to be smart and understand in which position we can arrive. Like today, if I see the possibility to win I will always try to be in front.
“I think we are doing a really good job in terms of working during the weekend because we are always so competitive which is different from the start of the season.”
Vinales misses out on first MotoGP win with Aprilia
For much of the race Vinales appeared to be the favourite based on how much he was pressuring Bagnaia.
The Aprilia rider was especially strong in sector three, often closing up on Bagnaia heading through the incredibly quick ‘Curvone’ section.
But after trying to force Bagnaia into a mistake, Vinales conceded that both Bagnaia and Bastianini were too strong in the final part of the Grand Prix.
Vinales, who secured his third podium in four races, said: “I always had in my mind the race from 2020 when I put a lot of pressure on Pecco and he made a mistake.
“Today I was trying it but he improved. He didn’t make even one slight mistake.
“On the beginning of the race I was feeling very good and also in the middle part of the race, but when Enea [Bastianni] passed me I started to struggle a little bit. Then I just said ‘today it’s third Maverick. It is what it is’.”