It is difficult to talk about positive aspects when it comes down to the situation that is currently enveloping much of the world, but we can in the case of Nicolò Antonelli, albeit a bit timidly. In fact, the rider from Cattolica was forced to skip the first race of the year due to an exacerbation of his shoulder problems, which could have kept him on the sidelines until the Le Mans race, but the forced stop of the championship has helped shuffle the cards on the table.
"I am taking slightly longer than normal to recover due to the situation - Nicco said - since for example I have not been able to go to the gym, but there was no reason to speed things up. At the moment I could race, even if not at the top, but I will be completely fit for the probable restart of the championship ".
You have already taken an important step; you are back on the bike...
"Exactly, last week. I started to gradually resume activity with a MiniGP bike, and I immediately felt good in the saddle. After a few laps I felt some small pains, but that is normal, since some muscles were involved in the operation and they have to return to perfect shape. I would like to have become immune to pain, but unfortunately this is still not the case (laughs). "
Your shoulder problems came back without you falling or crashing, which was certainly something unusual…
"Absolutely. I have had shoulder problems in past years, but everything was under control in the winter. In the first tests at Jerez I started to feel pain, and the same during the second day of testing in Qatar, always without crashes or falls: at that point I understood that going home and having an operation was the best thing to do ".
How did you get through the long quarantine?
“First of all, I continued with my rehabilitation. As well as that, I built a room for video games, and I spent a lot of time on my own, I needed that: the injury made me morally feel pretty bad, but by reflecting, I regained the right motivation and the right energy. Overall, staying at home wasn’t much of a burden on me, I felt good. "
Did you watch the race in Qatar? Or was there too much anger?
"At first, I didn't want to watch it, but in the end I did. I was very angry but in the end the pleasure of watching a race prevailed, made me not think about the pain for a while, I enjoyed it even if I was at home ".
Given the very particular context, what kind of season do you expect?
“Honestly, I still haven't figured out what sort of season it will be, but the fact that we will do many races in Europe will raise the level considerably, seeing as everyone knows the tracks more or less well. At Jerez, for example, we did the tests, so in the two races on that circuit, many riders will be fast. Among other things, in all the pre-season tests some riders broke the track record, so already at that moment the level was high ".
And to finish, a quick thought about the future. Do you think that doing fewer races can inhibit your possible jump in Moto2?
“It depends on how many races we will do. If we only did a few races it would be right if a team reconfirmed a rider regardless, and therefore the market would be almost closed, but otherwise everything would be as normal. My goal remains to make the jump in Moto2 but learning from past experiences it is better not to set myself any particular objectives of this type ".