Past, present and future, but also the track and beyond. At a time when the bikes are stopped in the pits and the riders locked up at home, Mattia Pasini has taken the opportunity to talk about himself at 360 degrees. The coronavirus has changed the habits of all of us and in some cases has even affected our loved ones.
This is the case of the rider from Romagna, who hasn’t seen his grandfather for ten days, because he was hospitalized to fight the biggest challenge against COVID-19. It’s not an easy time for Mattia, and as a result it’s putting him to the test, even more than a MotoGP race. Yet, despite the difficulties, Mattia is facing this challenge with the determination and optimism that has always characterized him.
"Unfortunately, it is not an easy period - he declared - my grandfather has been in hospital for almost two weeks because of the virus and we are a bit worried about what is happening. But he is tough, he is one of those with a hard skin and I am convinced that he will be able to win this battle. Just think that until one month ago, he was flying in his plane despite his 90 years of age. "
Mattia, a bit of a blunt question: but why didn't you become an airplane pilot?
“Sometimes I think about it, it wouldn't have been bad (he smiles). It happened on some occasions to fly with him, it’s a very beautiful and special moment, but above all an exciting one. I would like one day to get the pilot’s licence. "
In the end you had to settle for the bike…
“In this period not even that. It’s a strange, really strange effect not being able to ride a motorbike, also because we practically always live with engines. In the meantime, now we are now locked up at home. We train constantly to keep fit and to get back as soon as possible. "
How much has your life changed in these last two weeks?
"Staying at home means having more time to devote to your family or to those chores that you have overlooked during the year. As I said, we can't ride a motorbike, but I still train, as if I am going to race tomorrow. "
The fact is that we don’t know when everything will resume...
"I hope Mugello, it would be something truly unique to start again from the Italian Grand Prix."
Mattia, what do you think of a calendar packed into 20 races to be held possibly until December? Is this the right decision or is 13-14 races better, as proposed by Valentino?
“I am in favour of what Vale said. Doing 20 races would be truly exhausting, also because then there would be some aftermath in view of 2021. I speak for the riders, as well as for the mechanics, who would find themselves with one month off in January and in the end, it would not be even a month. In my opinion, a 13, 14 or even 15-race calendar is much better, the timing would be good for everyone, without the need to have a real tour de force ".
When will we see you on the track again?
"Good question. At the moment I don't know, although I hope soon. I know that I can still give a lot to this sport and that I have what it takes to aim for the Moto2 World Championship with a solid and competitive team "
At the moment, however, you are without a ride.
“Exactly and I can't deny it, I am committed to being a TV commentator for SKY. I am without a ride and as I have always said I won’t bring a briefcase, since that means lowering the quality on the track. I'd rather wait, but I’m not prepared to put the money in. I think there might be a possibility in the future with the Simoncelli team, that would be an excellent solution. "
Did you see the Losail race? What would Pasini have done?
"Of course, I saw it. In my opinion I could have had my say and been there in front fighting for the podium. Unfortunately however, I wasn’t there."
In the autumn, there were several talks with Gresini. How come nothing came of it?
"It's a long story. With Fausto we talked, we shook hands, but in the end, nothing came of it. I'm really disappointed with all of this, because with Gresini we could have done some really interesting races on the track, given that his structure is a solid one. But unfortunately, it went differently from what we hoped for and I am really disappointed about it”.
We know that among you guys from the Academy you are racing against each other at GTA with the Play Station to kill time. Who is the strongest? But above all, who will win the virtual race on Sunday at Mugello?
“Sunday's race at Mugello will be won by Bagnaia. If I had to bet 50 euro, I would bet on him. As for the challenges between us at the Academy, let me tell you that we have our own mini championship and we are all very strong. Just think that we are among the top 100 in the ranking. At the moment I'm in the lead, but it’s a really tough challenge."
Two more questions. The first: will Valentino also race in 2021?
"Of course, I am sure of it! That’s my answer because what matters most is motivation and this is irrespective of the number printed on the identity card. Vale has a lot of motivation; he is all fired up and I am sure that he will get in amongst the battle this year and we will see him at the start of the World Championship again next year".
Last question: Did you see Locatelli's victory in Phillip Island? Have you ever thought about the possibility of relaunching your career in SBK as maybe Bautista did?
"I knew you were going to ask me that. I watched the races and they were all great and interesting. What can I say? If one day there is a possibility, why not? At the moment, however, I am focused on the World Championship, because as I said I know I still have the chance to fight for the Moto2 title. And as long as I have this belief I won’t give up. "