In this difficult and obligatory stop from races and engines, the teams are organizing to remain in touch with the fans and keep their attention alive in a world championship season that looks as if it needs a bit more time before it starts again. Among these teams there is certainly Gresini Racing which with its founder and manager Fausto Gresini has launched a series of weekly live broadcasts on Instagram. In this first ‘episode’, if you can call it that, the 1985 and 1987 world champion wanted to tell the public about the current state of affairs regarding the coronavirus situation starting from the opening round missed by MotoGP in Qatar.
"I have been travelling since I was 17 - said Fausto - and I didn't know what it meant to stay at home, and in this brief period I have understood what it means, and I miss the races. I'm not used to watching them from home and Losail was a suffering, especially in Moto3 because our riders were in front. This year expectation for Qatar was high because Marquez was in trouble and would have started off on the wrong foot; this break gives an advantage to Honda, but Yamaha and Suzuki have shown to be also in the game. Ducati suffered with the tyres and it needed a bit more time in the tests, like Aprilia, even though for different reasons. The Noale manufacturer did a great job, the bike is more competitive than the previous one and not yet fully developed ".
A hot topic was also the disqualification of Andrea Iannone, the rider of the Aprilia factory with which the Gresini Racing Team collaborates, who was sentenced to an 18-month stop for doping. The ruling is highly controversial given that Iannone’s involuntary assumption was acknowledged.
"I don't think Iannone deserved what happened - Fausto continued - I don’t understand this sentence very well. If he is innocent, why did they condemn him? Then 18 months is a huge amount for a sportsman, it practically ends your career. Hopefully justice will be done at the CAS and we know that other sportsmen have won there. Aprilia has made an investment on Iannone and for them everything changes with respect to the original plan "
Another question on the plate is the resumption of the races of the world championship and CIV, both in terms of time and methodology. There seem to be a lot of solutions but at the moment there is nothing certain.
"There is concern because we are international and today there is no compromise. I spoke with Carmelo Ezpeleta and I know from him that Dorna is doing everything to start the championship, but at the moment it is really difficult, we are like a bike stopped on the motorway and we hope to find the correct road as soon as possible but it will not be easy. I hope to be able to start in July-August and do a dozen races, but it is not such a foregone conclusion, we are far from normal and our world needs certainties ".
The economic issue is also important for all teams. The coronavirus will certainly put and is already putting a strain on the manufacturers and the teams, but Fausto Gresini has some ideas about it.
"Today there was a meeting between the manufacturers to decide on new formulas for the future; this emergency has put everyone in difficulty, even from an economic point of view because the bikes today are not being sold, we will have to change something. Moto3 and Moto2 will be frozen, we should reduce costs and a restart for the world championship will be difficult. It will be a particular moment and it is too complicated to imagine. I wrote an email to Ezpeleta to explain my point of view on the restart and the future. It’ll be difficult to carry on as a team; we are well structured, and we are prepared but we are suffering. I imagine some teams are a bit smaller and I don't know if it will be possible for everyone to start again as before. We at Gresini are used to it because in 2008, with the financial crisis, and in 2014 with the loss of our sponsor, we already had to face such situations ".
A special guest was Gabriel Rodrigo, Moto3 rider of the Gresini Racing Team in his second season in the team. For Gabriel 2019 was a difficult year, with numerous injuries that troubled him and forced him to skip several races. 2020 started off on the right foot, and now the Argentinean is keeping fit in view of the resumption of the world championship.
"I'm trying not to overeat, because otherwise I risk not being able to get into my leathers when we start racing again - Rodrigo said - The pre-season was very good, and all the problems of last year did not emerge anymore. In Qatar I had some problems on Friday and Saturday but then I had a good race on Sunday. I hadn’t finished a race for a long time so seeing the chequered flag gave me a lot of confidence which is one of the most important things to be able to go fast ".
Then, questioned by his ‘boss’ Fausto Gresini, Rodrigo had this to say about the resumption of the races, not hiding a certain sadness.
"Unfortunately, every day races are cancelled or postponed; I’m trying to stay positive, but I see the goal is getting further away and I’m missing the races so much. This team is a real family, for the whole team this is not just a job to earn money, we are all fans and we want to win. We are often in touch with each other on WhatsApp and we made a video call together this morning ".
Matteo Ferrari, MotoE world champion with the Gresini Team Trentino, also took part in the live broadcast. The electric bikes tested in Jerez just before the emergency exploded in Italy and for him (and the whole team) it was also difficult to return home. Right now, however, there is only the desire to go racing again.
"Waiting is the most unnerving thing because we don't have a certain date, there is no target - Matteo said - The tests were like a candy-bar that gave us a taste of the beginning and not being able to start hurts. The atmosphere will be special the first time we return to the track, but it will be really great. I'm training but it's not easy. "