This might just be the best GPOnecar of the year, if not ever. Starring Luca Cadalora, the multiple 125 and 250 champion and now 'COACH' to Valentino Rossi.
The nine-time champion - only he knows how he did that - was able to coax Luca out of retirement. Not just one of our fastest riders, a fronturnner in all categories, and a respected rival of Mick Doohan, but also one of the sharpest. A worthy successor, in this regard, to Walter Villa. The Modena air is obviously good for certain talents.
"I am a rider performance analyst - this is how Cadalora described himself, before continuing - Basically, I analyse the rider's performance and try to improve it, if possible. Here at Phillip Island, during winter testing, I made my first unofficial appearance in the paddock. It all started here in the pre-season tests. Then with Vale, and Yamaha, Lin, Maio, we decided to continue this adventure as it had gone quite well. Let's remember that this is always a job done by a team, not by one person".
More than an interview, this was a chat, as we made jokes and wound each other up, as well as getting some serious answers of course.
"I really like this work because I am a real part of things, and almost feel like I'm on the bike. There's a good exchange of sensations with Vale, I attend all technical meetings and this helps. Compared to when I used to race, there's a lot more data to work with now, and then I don't just see Vale but the others too. I follow Rossi but see Marquez, Dovizioso and all the others passing in front of me".
Cadalora also recalled his meeting with Vale at Misano, both on the new Yamaha R1.
"Was he a bit faster than me? No: he was a lot faster. Did I suffer? Well, a rider will always have his pride. But when we meet Gramigni at Mugello there's more messing around, and performance levels are similar…but I've definitely dropped off!"
The Modenese rider is also quick to analyse his own performance.
"In what areas have I lost it at 52? Through the slow, tight turns, while I'm still quite fast in the tricky sections"…
But there's a lot more to the video. The wit, congeniality and intelligence of the great Luca Cadalora, the quintessence of what riders in the 500 2 stroke days were like.