Di Giannantonio: "Aprilia were looking for me but first I have to win in Moto2"

VIDEO - "I'll be in MotoGP in 2022 with the Gresini team but I don't know with which bike yet. Marquez is a machine, he'll be back stronger than before"

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The world championship ended almost three weeks ago and in these days, after a bit of pause and relaxation from the pressures of a season on the bike, all the riders are returning to training in view of a 2021 season that will certainly be as challenging as 2020. Among the world championship riders there are also those who are taking advantage of the long winter break to recover from injuries, like Fabio Di Giannantonio who crashed at Portimao during the last race of the year and is now struggling with knee problems, which are now healing up.

The new rider of the Gresini team was the protagonist of one of our Live broadcasts that you can watch in full above.

"I did some damage - Fabio told us - a bit like when you go to those ‘all you can eat’ sushi places and take one of everything. I injured the internal and external collateral of my right knee, stretched the cruciate, crushed my meniscus and I have microfractures in the tibial plateau. Slowly I am recovering, I am in no hurry because the first tests will be at the end of February and fortunately I do not have to operate. Let's say that with Nicolò Bulega in the Portimao crash we have already started team building ".

You spoke of next year, when you will be in the Gresini team in Moto2. With Fausto you started your experience in the world championship, what effect does it have on you to come back with him?

“With Gresini the story is special, they gave me the opportunity to make my debut in the world championship and in the end we were also runners-up. Then we broke up a bit, but now I'm happy to be back. I went to Faenza to the workshop, the team is all new, we chose it together with Fausto and I'm very happy about this. I feel a bit back home ".

The contract you signed provides for a 2021 in Moto2 and a season in MotoGP. How does it feel to be set up OK for the future?

“I signed this contract which is great. There will be this first year in Moto2 where the goal will be to do well and fight for the win but I will certainly also be more mentally free since I already know that in 2022 I will be in MotoGP in the Gresini team. In reality we don't know the bike yet ”.

"Aprilia has a great history but I preferred to stay with Gresini"

However, to tell the truth, there was talk of MotoGP also for next year, with Aprilia looking for you to replace Andrea Iannone. How did things go?

“First of all I have to thank Aprilia for having thought of me. The Noale manufacturer has a great history and therefore obviously you think about that when they call you. But, in the end, evaluating things well with my manager Diego and with my staff we thought it was better to stay with Fausto. I feel ready to go to MotoGP, also from a riding point of view, but at the moment I wouldn't feel good about myself, I want to try to win in Moto2. I must know that I gave 100% in this category "

Let's stay briefly on the subject of MotoGP: what do you think of Marquez's injury? He was operated on for the third time and will remain inactive for at least another 6 months.

“I don't know exactly what he is feeling because I have never experienced such a long forced stop luckily. He is a machine, now he's thinking about getting ready to come back stronger than before. He is an animal, we saw him at Jerez when he got back on the bike after the operation, it was something that was not needed but he did it because his head is on another planet. On that occasion I believe he made a mistake but I think he will come back stronger than before ”.

Looking back, can you sum up the season that has just ended?

“I like to separate the result from the performance. From the point of view of the result I went badly, I would say that my marks are bad, while on performance I give myself a full 8 out of 10. The season was complicated and at the restart after the lockdown we struggled together with the team to find the right set-up for me. In any case, we never gave up and I'm very happy about this, in the end we got two podiums but we wasted many opportunities. At the end of the season I would not have accepted any other podiums, I wanted to win and do my best ”.

"The Grosjean accident? I crapped my pants"

In addition to being a Moto2 rider and a future MotoGP rider, you are also becoming a decent TV host. In fact, you will be in two episodes of Drive Me Crazy 2 together with Irene Saderini. Did you have fun?

“They put me on the programme because I’m game for a racket. The program is really nice, Irene Saderini gets into the spirit of things and we did some fun stuff together. I risked getting a fever and other things but I don't want to give too much away, you will see. We had a lot of fun ”.

Last week in the Formula 1 race at Bahrain we experienced some dramatic moments with the Romain Grosjean crash. Fortunately it all worked out for the best but what effect does it have for a rider to see such an accident?

“Honestly, I crapped my pants. Even if they drive cars in the end we still see each other in those situations and in those moments it knocked the breath out of me and I didn't know what to say, I was in crisis. We are all guys who like to do what we do but it is a dangerous sport, we know we have to take this into account but we pretend to ignore it. Seeing one of us having a crash like that is really tough, but it must be said that safety has really increased in recent years ".

 

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