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Gerhard Berger: MotoGP is the only real motorsport!

The ex-Ferrari driver: "I am fascinated by the power/grip ratio. Happy that Rossi did not go to F1"

Gerhard Berger: MotoGP is the only real motorsport!

Gerhard Berger needs no introduction: in F1 from 1984 to 1997 he participated in 210 Grand Prix races, winning 10 and twice finishing third in the championship (1988 and 1994).

On the track with ATS, Arrows and Benetton, he was one of the most beloved Ferrari drivers and also the unforgettable teammate to Ayrton Senna with McLaren. Gerhard is also a motorcycling enthusiast and he did not let the Austrian round slip by, enjoying it from the Honda garage along with Mick Doohan.

"Right now, the only real motorsport is MotoGP, I have no doubt about that – said the Austrian driver – the key to understanding motorcycling is the weight/power ratio. Practically without aerodynamics to keep them on the ground, and only two wheels, motorcycle riders have an incredible power/grip ratio. This is the key to admiring what they do. The F1 championship, on the other hand, has too many complications and it needs to decide whether to be a real sport, a show or just a test bench for the car industry. Obviously the fans want the show, and that is why, as a fan, I am here."

In F1 the drivers also seem less free to express themselves.

"It’s true. They are not able to express their own personality. In the ‘80s we were a type of cowboy, and people liked that. After all, success is a combination of personality and performance. When you put those two things together, a superstar is born. Today F1 has Hamilton, the bikes have Rossi."

Are you a fan of his?

"Obviously I like him a lot, but I also love the way Marc Marquez rides. Let’s just say that I root a bit for everyone, down to the last corner."

For a short time Valentino was attracted to F1. He even tested the Ferrari.

"I prefer him riding a motorcycle. I’m happy that he stayed in his sport."

We are in a very lucky time in terms of protagonists, with three champions like Rossi, Marquez and Lorenzo.

"Sports are like that. There are times when in F1 we had drivers of the calibre of Senna, Piquet, Mansell and Prost all together, and even before that we had Lauda and Rosberg. Fantastic periods."

You have raced on circuits all over the world. What is your opinion of the Red Bull Ring?

"Ours is a dangerous sport and it is impossible to entirely eliminate all the risks, but this seems like a rather safe track. I rode here a couple years ago with a KTM supersport and I had a lot of fun."

Did your knee touch the ground?

"For me it’s easy. I have very long legs (he laughs)."

Translated by Jonathan Blosser

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