Giacomo Agostini is living the coronavirus emergency in the front line. The man from Bergamo is experiencing the suffering of his city and despite having all the means and opportunities to maybe move elsewhere during this period, he has decided not to run away, preferring to stay right there, in his beloved and at this time tormented Bergamo.
The great champion of the past’s best weapons were always tenacity and unassailable determination when he was a racer and when he retired from the sport, he continued to show off exactly this attitude even afterwards. Our colleagues in Sky Sport got in touch with him for a video interview and the great Giacomo has, as always, sent a message to everyone asking for their total responsibility.
"Terrible. I was away, but I decided to go back to Bergamo - Agostini said - and shut myself in home, stay under 'house arrest' here because I have all my things; here is the house where I lived for many years, so I didn't want to stay away. But the situation is very critical: I have a lump in my throat when at night I hear the ambulance sirens passing by. It is a very sad condition, especially in Bergamo which is the epicentre".
The former racer also commented on the behaviour of some of his fellow citizens, who despite all the recent bans and the appeal for common sense, continue to go out from their homes without any real necessity.
"They are stupid. It’s not a matter of saying: ‘but it’s only me out there’: of course, it’s only you, because there are other people who, unlike you, respect the rules! I don’t think this is right. Each one of us must make his own personal sacrifice. United, together, we will be able to win this war ".
Agostini also spoke about the issue relating to a stop on sport and MotoGP in particular.
"For someone like me, who loves this sport, it brings immense heartache. The excitement that the races still give me today, even just watching them. Waiting for Sunday to see who wins, who is the best. I miss everything very much, but we have to realize that it was an inconceivable misfortune. I would never have thought that, given the level of medicine and technology, a virus could bring us to our knees. We will be able to defeat it, but for now we are only seeing dead people, every day there is just great sorrow. We will get out of it, but it will still take a long time, because when it passes, we won’t be able to immediately return to our old habits. Even for the Grands Prix, sporting events: we cannot think of bringing together tens of thousands of people, because the entire world is in a crisis, not only Italy. This is the big problem: even when the infections start to drop, there will still be sick people, so we will have to wait not only for the transmission to stop, but for everyone to be cured ".
At some point, however, the races will resume, and Ago is convinced that the values will not be affected much by this stop.
"Everyone will start at the same level, in the sense that they will all be a little less in form than before: instead of lapping in 1m30s, they will lap in 1m31s; that’s okay, but the best will always win. Then they are all young, this makes the difference".
Agostini can’t hide the fact that he is also a bit afraid in this delicate moment, inviting everyone to respect the rules.
"Of course, there is a bit of fear around, given the suffering that the sick feel, and the way we are dying. But I also have confidence, because I’ve shut myself up at home, I respect the rules, and everyone should respect them. It is a big sacrifice but if we do it all together, we will come out from this situation, otherwise we will continue to drag on the problem for many months ".