He's not someone who likes to be in the spotlight, preferring to remain in the background, despite carrying a lot of responsibility on his shoulder. We are talking about Alberto Tebaldi, “Albi” Valentino Rossi's right-hand man, who takes care of all the Doctor's activities, including the Ranch and the project linked to the VR46 Academy.
The Monza Rally Show is his last event of the season. After winning with Morbidelli last year, 2018 brought further success, Francesco Bagnaia celebrating the win in the same category. There is also a touch of regret with regard to the difficulties the Doctor's faced on board the M1 this season, forced to settle for third place in the championship.
Alberto, one question - why don't you take part in the Monza Rally Show?
“Because I'm not fast or competitive, I love all kinds of racing, but in a car rally I wouldn't do well. Roberto Brivio and Uccio definitely have more experience than me and I also admire the fact they never do damage. An aspect not to be underestimated (he smiles)”.
It's been a year to remember for the VR46 Academy. Did you expect it?
“It's been incredibly satisfying, as Pecco's result really serves to confirm our hard work. It's thanks to us, to Bagnaia of Sky of course. I say that because when the project launched, the aim was not performance, or to win the title, but to develop talent. I'd say it's a project designed for the people. If to that we can add two titles then the satisfaction is tripled”.
How did Morbidelli and Bagnaia's championships differ?
“Not by much, also because the work is the same. Both have a similar approach to racing and this then impacts on everything else. They are two talented guys and, above all, two great people”.
There are high hopes for Luca Marini in 2019. What should we expect?
“Luca has had a fantastic championship this year, despite his health problems. He closed testing with the best time on board a new bike and that is significant. It doesn't worry me that Luca may feel pressure, this is encouraging. The approach will change of course, but he has a great base on which to work. If he achieves a result, it's because he's builds it”.
Over to MotoGP. Next year Valentino will be on track with Morbidelli and Bagnaia. Will he be even hungrier?
“Yes, definitely. This is something to think about, as today we find ourselves in an unexpected situation, with both Pecco and Franco in MotoGP. When I look at Vale I think about his sportsmanship, because he is giving them so much, aware that he'll also be up against them. Franco and Pecco are the pupils who understandably want to try and beat their master and I think it all makes for a great message and healthy competition between them”.
Alberto, let's look back at the 2018 season for a moment, one in which Marquez proved unstoppable. What can you do battle him in 2019, also considering that he continues to raise the bar?
“At this point no one can deny Marquez's qualities. What we need to do is put him under pressure and force him to give even more, so that he's not focusing on the championship as he did this season. We know Yamaha is working hard and we all trust in them”.
You are always at Valentino's side. What was the toughest moment of 2018?
“i'd say Aragon, one of those complicated weekend, where I felt he was particularly weary. And that was very strange for me, as Vale's biggest strength is just that, his continual strength. he's a steamroller who never runs out of energy. But that weekend he was really down, also because he found himself dealing with problems with his M1, issues that he'd believed to have been solved during the previous races”.
Finally, what kind of Bulega will we see in 2019?
“We're relaxed about it. Beyond what you've heard in recent weeks, we are aware of Bulega's potential and the reasons for which he was unable to achieve certain results. In addition, we are well aware of what we are able to offer him. He's now part of a work group that has great human qualities and excellent abilities”.