If you were to ask Italian motorcycle enthusiasts who could mirror the figure of the blue talent right now, they would probably respond Pecco Bagnaia without hesitation. That's right, since the rider from Turin who lives in Pesaro is undoubtedly one of the gems of the Italian panorama in terms of two wheels, this is also why Pecco was one of the guests at the presentation of the “Talenti Azzurri" project coordinated by the FIM.
"It's great that the federation has finally started to do a great job with youths. They make them grow and make them learn so many things. I'm happy that Italy wants us back up front," explains Pecco, "given that there had been a bit of a decline for a few years. Instead, since the federation is now in the hands of others, the work has become really wild."
You were also a promising rider a few years ago. Now you're back from your first weekend in MotoGP. With a fresh mind, what are your thoughts?
"It was a good weekend, we worked well and, in relation to the tests, we made progress. I'm happy with what we've done even if, unfortunately, the race did not go as we had hoped. It helped me understand how a MotoGP weekend develops."
What surprised you the most?
"I'd say everything. It's very different from Moto2. Everything seemed more challenging but in a positive sense. I'm happy it's like that."
You already experienced the thrill of finding yourself side-by-side with Vale. How was it?
"It was really great and fun. Certainly, my bike goes faster than his on the straight. We were side-by-side for a moment, but I went long when braking, and he passed me. Unfortunately, it ended there, but it was an exciting race moment."
You probably also talked about this during the post-race?
"We talked a little about how our respective weekends went, what we worked on, and what we preferred."
How is your relationship with Morbidelli since you're back to being adversaries?
"We're friends, and we talk a lot. We're together every day. It's right and essential that our relationship is good. It's difficult to exchange information having two different bikes and everything that goes with it, but if there'll be an opportunity, we'll surely help each other."
Did you expect to already be so prepared and so in the spotlight?
"I'm very happy with this. The other rookies have also done a good job and are strong. I think we were all good. This year the rookies will be very interested in their ranking. We're all competitive, and I really like it that way."
Moving on to Moto2. Your roommate, Balda, did well.
"He raced a wild race. He was good. After the tests, he didn't look so good. I knew he was working differently than others but he surprised me. He’s been constantly ahead of the race and had a weekend like a rider who wants to win the world championship, and we undoubtedly saw the results."
Now you have some time to rest before Argentina. Are you already thinking about what to improve?
"There are so many things to improve, such as entering a turn. We come from a first race where we took many steps forward, so we just have to be confident and see what Argentina will bring us."