Once upon a time, in the World Championship, there was a breathtaking circuit, with a very long straight that put you into sinuous turns: the Estoril Circuit. The problem is that there has been almost nothing of magic or fairy in this weekend: it was a very long time since I last see such a dark weather, which didn’t help our new riders in this first round.
I joined the team on Friday, still messed up because of the jet-leg from Argentina and I immediately feel proud seeing my five kids, dressed up with team’s uniform and on the back the scenery of our amazing box.
Opening dancing in those conditions, on a completely wet track, didn’t give an easy chance to both Matteo, Bertelle and Patacca, neither to Hikaru: they all started from the bottom of the grid.
Bertelle charged his battery during the Rookies Cup’ test, maybe a little too much because he immediately crashed at turn3.
In ETC (standard Honda) instead were riding both Mattia, Volpi and Falzone. Volpi is just 12 years old and he immediately got conscious of the asphalt, or better, of how tough this year will be. In addition, he qualified in the bottom of the ETC1 grid. 1 because this year the 70 kids are competing in the European Talent Cup will be divided in two groups, with two different races and so two different podiums: to determine who will join the first group or the second one is the rider’s best lap-time in qualifying; this was a great idea of Oscar and his guys, to permit to race also the riders which qualifies after the 36° position.
In Moto3, top performance of Matteo Bertelle, who is in a good shape, he has a great personality, he believes in himself and he demonstrated all of this in a very aggressive race. He closed in 8th position; he maybe could have reached the 6th place but he had already used a few jolly so the risk wasn’t worth it. I’m proud of his determination.
Patacca is coming back one step at a time, he’s finding his new balance. An accident like the one he had last year in Sachsenring is impossible to be forgotten while on track. It was very bad for his arm, which was broken in three points; he was taken on surgery with urgency and he spent almost six months in&out from hospitals, plus all the rehabilitation and training, and the body which has to adapt again. Now he rides with a little less trust on the bike, his mind automatically turns in a “safe-mode” and that makes him unconsciously cautious. But after all, he started from the 31st position and he did a great comeback gaining 12 positions.
Hikaru is a good kid and a great rider, but he lacks in agonistic history; because of that, on the starting grid he committed some mistakes, switching off the bike accidentally. He started from the PIT-LANE, the worst condition for a rider. In-between anxiety and heavy rain, he rides alone, without any reference, growing his experience in a difficult condition. Well done. At the end I gave him an accelerated lesson on starts; he definitely doesn’t speak Italian, he speaks a very little of English, which is not my native language, so I just told him some words in our dialect and at the end of the conversation he said “yes, ok!”. I want to believe he understood everything perfectly.
Here in Portugal, ETC riders joined two races. In the second one, the track was drying lap after lap, but Volpi, with the determination of his young age, went on riding with rain-tires pretending the track was still completely wet, so he crashed. What a pity! Mattia is up-and-coming, he’s fast, brave, but he crashed three times: it is important for him to understand that is not a strong breaks that makes a rider great; sometimes you should break some meters before, to take home a result and some points. Watching the race at 360°, I can say a lot of ETC riders need to understand this, even the oldest ones.
We had our revenge with Falzone in ETC2, after a little private “telling-off”. He understood and he did the step up he needed, something happened for sure because he closed 3rd. He should believe more in this, in himself, he has all the cards to play, he just needs to take out a little bit of anger; without it they can stay home. Well done, I’m happy!
After this Portugal experience, I go home satisfied, but with a little bitter taste in my mouth, for example because of a lot of liveries to fix…
I want to compliment to Yari Montella, our ex-rider, who stepped up to Moto2 in the team of Ciatti; even if he crashed because of the bike, he demonstrated to be worthy for this category and we modestly want to take a little bit of credit.
For today that’s all….