In the head to head between Alessio Salucci and Davide Brivio, Valentino Rossi’s inseparable friend had to concede military honours. Despite the defeat, Monza is still a must-see event, where an atmosphere of true challenge is tangible in the garage. Now the holidays have arrived for him too, and then he will test next season.
“Unfortunately, I took the blows this time too. Every year the rivals are really strong. Brivio is truly impressive. Let’s say that I am just behind the real rally drivers.”
In 2017 will Cadalora and Meregalli be there too?
“Perhaps. It would be great to see them together in a rally car, I would certainly beat them.”
What is different with the Fiesta compared with the other Fords?
“This is a car that transmits confidence straight away. With the Focus it was harder to do the hairpin turns, but also the whoops.”
We saw Locatelli hanging around in your garage.
“Andrea proved to be a great rider, very fast. I would like to have him in the Academy. It would not be bad.”
In 2016 Binder ruined your plans.
“Brad dominated the season, plus we had some problems with Romano. We were able to see Bulega; he came very close to winning Rookie of the Year. A pity they knocked him down twice. I think we have a good foundation for 2017.”
Will 2017 be the right year for the Championship title?
“On paper we have what it takes to make a play for the Championships. We are very close to the top riders and that means that we have done a good job.”
Whom should we bet on?
“I am partial, but I say Migno, Antonelli and Bulega in Moto3, Baldassarri and Antonelli in Moto2.”
Did Fenati surprise you in the Jerez tests?
“I had no doubts about Romano. He was fast and I am happy for him, since I have never had anything against him. I was always fond of him and no one can deny that.”
Who are the favourites in Moto3?
“Hard to say. Bastianini, but Fenati too. I want to be optimistic about your young riders.”
How much are you lacking to get to the level of Estrella Galicia?
“We are a Championship away. They have certainly built up great experience over time, but so have we, achieving important success in CEV.”
Meregalli has said that Rossi has everything it takes for his tenth title.
“I think that Vale is ready. In the Sepang tests he was very fast, especially on the second day. We will all be alongside him to give him the support he needs for his tenth Championship title.”
How long will the cohabitation with Viñales be able to last?
“I hope that there is respect between Maverick and Vale, although it seems unlikely.”
Lorenzo said that it is one thing to be fast in the tests and another to be fast in the race.
“I agree with Jorge. The race is another thing with respect to tests and qualifying. I am still convinced that he has great talent and he will not need much time.”
Will Lorenzo be Championship title material?
“Lorenzo was fast on the Ducati. I see him doing well, and he may do some good races, but I do not think that he will be a contender for the title by the end of the season.”