He is the first person who wants to win the title again, “which is always the most difficult thing to do, never banal”. Giovanni Sandi believes in it 100%, as he scrutinizes the approaching world championship. Italtrans won the last one by putting heart, head and courage into it. This time, the Bergamo-based team in Moto2 is made up of Joe Roberts and Lorenzo Dalla Porta, and obviously Sandi, who continues his life in the midst of engines and success.
Harada, Biaggi and Lorenzo. And, finally, Bastianini. “I think about improving every day, I don't sleep at night, I swear. My mind is always running there, trying to understand what more I can give”. Italtrans has not given him carte blanche but almost. And he has built a strong team, full of firm bonds and ambitions. “I just brought many years of experience, many races. And an enviable database ".
What are your feelings about this season?
“There are always a series of complicated factors, as always, like every year. But the sensations are good, the desire is great, even if winning again is really the most complicated thing ”.
Do you fear any teams in particular?
"I have some idea about my opponents, that’s clear. But I never rule out anything or anyone, there is always an outsider who can come from nowhere. For sure the riders who did well last season and didn't win will be determined to win this year. I fear all of them”.
What does Dalla Porta have to prove?
“That he is a world champion. Last year I expected something more from him, and in the end, when he could have done it, he got injured. We did a test after the world championship, there he made me realize that he is there or thereabouts and that he can do what he knows how to do. I strongly believe in him ”.
What does he have to work on?
"Now after the past year we have found his position on the bike, which was a bit difficult, not easy. But now he is there. He has to work only on himself, on the mental aspect. Having improved that, it can make a difference ”.
You have had so many riders, who does Dalla Porta remind you of?
"Each rider is a bit apart, Lorenzo is a hard worker and therefore there aren't many riders like that. He is someone who is always on the ball. But I sincerely want to know him well when he is in front...".
Does a rider’s character change?
“A lot, when he's there, maybe up front, everything is different. He came here as a world champion, he took a bit of a beating and his morale dropped quite low. It was a difficult season for him. Being in front brings out different things in you”.
What about Roberts?
"I only saw him in one day of testing. Yes, I followed him before signing him. It will take a while, but I saw in him the speed and above all the desire to win. "
Are you someone who touches the heartstrings or are you more technical?
"Both things are equally important."
Do you prefer unconventional riders or the meticulous and serious ones?
“I'm only interested in the result. Then if one is a good guy and the other is an S.O.B., it doesn't matter to me. What matters is what they can do in the race, when the flag drops ”.
Does rivalry or friendship between two riders help more in a team?
"It takes rivalry otherwise one of the two is useless, both of them have to think about beating the other, they have to want to. This counts, especially in talents ".
How do you manage to follow two riders with the same amount of attention?
"It's difficult because your first opponent is your teammate. When you have both of them you just have to focus and bring them to the best result. Harmony is all about finding confidence, simplicity, a way of being together. But also the right rivalry. If you find this balance then that's fine ”.
You have forty years in the world championship behind you. What do you think you'll never change in yourself?
“No, I'm not like that. I have benchmarks, by now I have an incredible database, of many years of experience, but I never dwell on these things, there are no fixed points that I keep, if not my way of expressing myself with the rider, my way of doing , I consider that a bit my secret ”.
And what is it?
"It’s also psychological, not only technical. It is all about finding the right word, the stimulus, that certain having to communicate to make him perform at his best. This is something that I recognize myself in".
These past few days have been very sad days for the passing of Fausto Gresini…
"Yes, this thing hurts me a lot."
Who was Fausto for you?
“A great friend, a person I knew when he was a rider. In those years I was a mechanic. We parted ways after returning from the last test we did after the world championship, we came back together from Jerez. The thought that I won't see him again is really hard, it's really tough ”.
Is there something that ties you to him?
“So many memories, so many things. We have also experienced the last race together, we were on the track, we did two laps together, walking, talking. He was a great person ”.