I was already thinking about that and here in Mugello I had the confirm: my riders are colorblind, there are no other ways to explain why they entered the track with both red flag and lights. Everybody knows we like it better when it’s difficult and what happened during the qualifying is the proof: the flag-waver was trying hard to show them the red flag but no way… they had already opened the gas. The result was Antonelli in 18th position and Suzuki 9th. It’s so absurd and rare to exit the pit with the red light that there is not a real sanction; it was improvised the same penalty Valentino took few years ago when, for no reasons why, he entered the track early, as my riders did.
I got angry, but not at the fullest: lucky them, that day I was happy. In the morning, Tatsuki made me an amazing present: his special helmet. It makes me laugh to think he didn’t make a special helmet in Japan, his own home GP, but he did it for the Italians here in Mugello. In the helmet it is represented my caricature, drawn by the designer Aldo Drudi, when I get angry and I raise my voice ten decibels more and I ask: “UNDERSTAND?” while moving my hand next to my ear.
Moral of the story, if you want to keep me calm, you have to give me a personalized helmet! To tell the truth, I did’t get too much angry because I’m conscious of their level of mental state in this moment: they are strong, the team is strong and we are physiologically ready. We can fight on the front and conduct the game with our hands. I doubted it a little when Tatsu tried to reassure me saying in our dialect “Paolo don’t worry, I’ll take care of it”. I thought immediately: “Help, are we going to be fine?” LOL
Mugello races are unpredictable, you are 1st and just a while after you end 10th. Maybe Tatsuki was the one and only who didn’t know this: he closed 8th after an amazing race, with heartbreaking overtakes, exiting in 1st position the last corner at 2 laps to go so everyone else of the group took his slipstream to get up to the front. I call this a lesson for the next time.
Also Antonelli was so good with a laudable comeback. Far from the unexpected in the first lap, he listened to my advise and he started calm, ending up 23rd at turn 8. From the 23rd position he came back to the top during the 17th lap, but after an aggressive overtake by another rider he ended up 4th. Races are like this, if you don’t want to get doored it is better if you join “The Bachelor”. After all I can say we’re satisfy with the result, he gained important points to get Canet on the Championship standing.
We leave Mugello already thinking about Pata Negra and of the hispanic turns, conscious that we can do more. We are in 3rd place in the teams standingand with Nicco 13 points to the top of the riders standing.
I want to say something also about Arbolino, who made a great race. Mugello has always been his track and even if our lives got apart and now we are adversaries, I can’t forget how many miles we walked together.