With the second place finish he achieved last year, Alex De Angelis can say, and does so in fact, that he is one of the only riders to have reached the podium in every category in which he has competed.
Alex, from 2002 on, has scored 41 podium finishes - from 125 two-stroke, via 250 and then from Moto2 to MotoGP and SBK, the San Marino rider has drunk the podium champagne and, at last year's German round, he mixed wine and tears, after a long ordeal following the injury suffered at the Motegi MotoGP in 2015.
But he has bounced back, by training and undergoing extensive physiotherapy and for 2017, which begins in Australia, he wants to put it all behind him:: “I struggled all season long due to my previously injured arm. Over time, I've improved a lot and, by modifying my style a bit, I've made some progress. It's all water under the bridge now, thankfully”.
Have you ever thought about stopping?
“Never. I told myself - 'I'll try, I'll go and fight. If the day arrives when I can no longer do that, I'll stop'. But then I reached the podium in Germant, so I didn't think about it anymore. But I had known for a while that it was the right thing to continue. A rider, when on the bike, listens to his sensations and communicates with his body. I'd already realised that I was getting back into shape. The Lausitzring was important for those around me, as it was an injection of trust”.
Let's talk about your most recent decision…
“All those riders who've raced with the Pedercini Kawasaki last year were often inside the top ten, Leon Haslam even finished fifth in Qatar, without having even tested the bike before. All great results, achieved in the dry, which left me interested in working with Pedercini”.
You'll be in an environment where you breathe a love and passion for racing…
“They refer to themselves as a family and not a team and I hope that's the case, because it's the ideal atmosphere for a rider. If I think about it, in the years I've been strongest, I was always alone on the team and that will be the case again in 2017. I like that, and it bodes well. Being the only rider on team is an added value for me”.
Will you enjoy yourself?
“Absolutely! Now I know the SBK world better, the Pirelli tyres, I know how to deal with the two races per weekend and the new regulation will make it more of a show. The first round is in Australia, which is great, as Phillip Island is my favourite track”.
The atmosphere in the Pedercini camp is great, they eat and drink well…
“(He laughs) Perfect! I'm an athlete who trains every day, so I have to eat and drink a lot to stay in shape”.