Here we are, after almost eight months, two of which were spent locked down inside our houses, we’re finally back on track with the CEV. Thanks to a huge work done by Dorna, we’re here again, in Portugal. Yes, it is a little weird to race on Tuesday, but once the team found the right set-up, both technical and mental, the air we could breath was the same as always. How much did we miss the smell of gasoline? The smell of brakes on the asphalt? The smell of the paddock? It didn’t seem real until it was. During this winter I had to make some important choices to build the team: to cut off someone, to welcome new mechanics and riders… and I can say I did a good job.
It could seem the beginning of a funny joke, there are: one Portoguese, four Spanish guys, three Italians and three Australians, (yes, no nationalities missing lol) an amazing working squad.
In Moto3 we have Josè Julian Garcia, a great choice who will give us big satisfactions: his goal is the title but on Tuesday he didn’t ride at his best. He tried to maintain the control of the race till the end, maybe a little too much because when it was time to push a little harder he didn’t play all his cards, closing the race in 4th position.
Senna Agius is Australian and this was his debut in Moto3. His first time on track has been a little difficult, maybe for the huge emotion, both for him and for me, as for a while I thought: “OMG, this bike will crash on the gravel at least ten times today!” but my vision was too pessimistic: Senna revealed he is a brave kid, with a big wish to ride and very educated: if he’ll learn to listen and if he will eat more steaks than french fries, he will leave a mark. He finished the race in 20th position, after being pushed on the gravel by some “first-lap’s hauntings”. He didn’t crash and it surprised me the way he reacted: instead of demoralizing, he did a great comeback doing alone good lap-times, good job!
In the ETC we still have Volpi, who is in great shape; the problem is he decided to ruin his weekend with a 12 positions penalty for riding too slowly in some sectors, and this is not ok. I can’t accept such a distraction from a guy like him. Anyway he made a huge comeback closing 7th.
A good race also for Harrison Voight, another Australian who jumped in the ETC as Volpi’s mate from the Asian Talent Cup. I think he is strong but he underestimated the Championship, I think he didn’t expect the level to be this high. As his team-mate, he took the penalty too, but in addition he has also been kicked out during the first lap, so he had to fight to come back, closing 10th.
In RACE2, tiredness and physical problems came out. Volpi, after a good start and a great first-half race, he lost the leading group due to a leg soreness, but he ended the race anyway in 8th position.
It was the first time for Voight to compete in two races on the same day, and if you add the jetlag Australia-Italy-Portugal, you can see as result an exhausted guy in 15th position.
Looking at those results I can’t complain, after all it has been a good first weekend on track. I just want to recommend to my riders that: “You have to pay attention, often, but when there is the chance to win, you have to play all your cards, you must try, always!”
My biggest congratulations to Montella, an ex riders of ours who won both the Moto2 Races. Well…. it should mean that after all we do are a good school, right?!
It all seems quite normal, if not for the disinfections, the social distances and the face masks, which could be a good trick for the ugliest as it covers half of their face, but for all the others it is very difficult to work with it. We’re already in Portimao, a new track for all of us so…. well, dear Fabio (Balducci, our crew-chief) come back soon, as I need someone to get angry with!