"The riders that remind me most of myself are Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo," Giacomo Agostini confirmed. This afternoon, he answered questions live from journalists and fans on the MVAgusta Instagram profile.
“They're both like me, but for different reasons. When Jorge raced, he was precise and elegant," Agostini said. "But when it comes to character, I see a bit of myself in Marc Marquez because of his desire to win and his egoism. After all, Marc has a great relationship with his family, and he told me he did things that I also did."
By comparing your era to the present and, more specifically, your rivalry with Phil Read and the one between Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi, do you think the same feelings "flow" between you two and between them?
"Rivalries seem harsher now because there's much more communication, but it was all a bit more hidden once. Certainly, there have never been great friendships between riders, and that will always be true among those who race for the same title."
Like everyone during this difficult period, Giacomo Agostini is also forced to stay home, in Bergamo, where he has set up a "home" museum for a few months (see the video of GPone's virtual tour on inauguration day) with all the memorabilia of his career, from trophies to motorcycles, from suits to diaries that he filled with technical information to prepare for each Grand Prix. Did you ever let any of your teammates peek at your diaries?
“My diaries are exhibited here in the museum. Things like this don't exist anymore, since they have telemetries, data, and computers now. I'd sketch the track, then I'd add the gears, the engine rpms, and all the tricks. I was very protective of my diaries. I never shared them."
How is the situation now in your city, Bergamo? It's one of the cities that has been hit the hardest by the virus, and these weeks have been very difficult. How are you experiencing this period?
“Bergamo has unfortunately been greatly affected. The contagion is now slowly down, and we hope to be able to get through this moment. This virus has brought the whole world to its knees, not just sports. Its something that nobody would have expected, especially in a technological era like ours. I was risking my life at 290km/h, but I knew that. With a disease like this one, you can't predict where it'll come from."
There are many of your motorcycles in your museum, especially the MVs with which you made the history of motorcycling. How did your first meeting with Count Agusta go?
“I was already an Italian champion with the Morini 250cc and, at that time, MV wanted to test a new 3-cylinder. The Count wanted an Italian rider, and I was ready. So I showed up one afternoon at 4:30 pm, and he received me at 10:00 pm, a little late. I remember that, when I entered the office, he was on his chair and, as soon as he saw me, he asked me who I was and what I wanted. I replied that I wanted to race with his bikes, and he asked me if I was capable. Then I told him to test me. We were in Monza the next day. The MV truck with eight mechanics was waiting for me. I couldn't believe it, but when I saw the straight, I noticed pins, and that seemed really strange. The Count wanted to study me, test me, and so I accepted. When we got back from the tack, we went to his office, and he made me sign the contract. That's where my love and career story with MV began."
How difficult was it to switch to a motorcycle with such a different power?
"Actually, I started with the 175cc Morini, then I switched to the 250cc before going to MV, so I was used to 'switching' power. Besides that, I was the test rider for the 350cc MV, which was somewhat customized."