Having lost his Gresini seat to Marc Marquez, it then became clear that the Spaniard’s former Repsol Honda ride was also slipping away in favour of Luca Marini.

When Marini’s VR46 team initially played down interest in di Giannantonio, there were fears he would be left without a MotoGP seat, despite his late-season heroics.

“I need to pay for my house, so for sure it’s extra pressure not to know what’s going on!” di Giannantonio said on the eve of the final event.

“But I’m trying to take it in a good way and be focused on my job; I think my only weapon right now is to be fast on the track, try to make you [media] write a lot of good things and have a lot of people pushing for me. That’s all I have at the moment.”

As if there wasn’t enough pressure, nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi then arrived at Valencia on Saturday to oversee the final decision on Marini’s replacement.

“Knowing that Valentino is trackside and maybe watching you is something that can make you a little nervous, because he’s the greatest,” di Giannantonio admitted.

“But I’m in a good moment, I’m super fast in almost every condition now and I think we’ve arrived at a stage where there is nothing more I can prove.

“I think in my second year in MotoGP we did a good season. I said there was a growth process and now you can see this growth.

“I’ve done what I can do and now we will see what happens…”

Fortunately for di Giannantonio, he was confirmed as filling the final place on the grid, at VR46 Ducati, the day after the season finale, where a third podium of the year had been stripped from him due to a tyre pressure infringement.

The 25-year-old then finished seventh fastest (+0.4s) in his first test with Rossi’s team, and debut on the Desmosedici GP23 he will race next season.