SBK, Locatelli: his first podium, in Moto 3 at the Sachsenring, is a mark on the skin

Andrea had the geographical coordinates of the second step of the Sachsenring podium tattooed on his skin. From his early days to his first world championship, in Supersport through his first wins and difficult seasons in Moto2. The story of a hardworking talented rider who made it

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Supersport has a new boss, a man whose name is Andrea Locatelli. The term boss, however, does little justice to the Italian, a guy with a clean face and kind ways, but capable of becoming implacable once the visor is down. His eyes are those of a young man still discovering the world, but at the age of 24 (still to be celebrated) "Loka" has the intelligence of adults, having already been through a lot in the world of two wheels.

After all, when you grow up at Selvino, in the Bergamo area, motorcycling is certainly not the easiest sport to start practicing, yet Andrea matured fast, in every sense, and at the age of nine he was already the Italian minimoto champion. The dream then continued, took shape, driven by the desire of Andrea and the efforts of father Emilio and mother Nicoletta, and found more fuel in 2013, when "Loka" (aged 17) won the Italian Moto3 title, which opened the doors of the world championship to him. But not before having picked up a diploma as a mechanic: perhaps, in a parallel universe, there is a Locatelli who entered the world of motorsport from another door.

Andrea arrived in the world championship on tiptoe, in line with the calm style that distinguishes him: he took part in three complete seasons in Moto3, even in renowned teams such as Gresini and Leopard, and with the latter he picked up his first podium in the world championship. A result he had dreamt of since childhood, and one that Andrea wears imprinted on his skin, having tattooed the exact geographical coordinates of the second step of the Sachsenring podium: a little madness is also granted to good guys.

In 2017 came the move to Moto2, but things didn't go as expected. The three seasons with the Italtrans team did not give Andrea what he had hoped for, and that magical dream that had guided him since he was a child suddenly seemed to take on opaque, darker shades, almost like a film noir. But in every self-respecting fairy-tale there is always a change of plot, a choice that rekindles the light.

In Locatelli's case, the decisive choice was to take one step back, and then take two steps forward. Andrea looked around, he wanted to return to the top but above all to have fun, and for 2020 he opted to move to Supersport with Bardahl Evan Bros., the reigning champion team. Here Andrea rediscovered the smile, which combined with the worker spirit inherent in him and in his people made the magic happen.

It is almost pointless to dwell on the mere numbers: 10 victories out of 11 races is something that is difficult to repeat, but what is most astonishing is what the motivation, the desire to laugh again under the helmet can give a young guy. "I could see what kind of person Andrea is in parc fermé at the Phillip Island race - Andrea Dosoli said yesterday in the press conference - when after dominating he immediately said to the team "We won, but the bike still has a lot of potential, we have to work and improve it". And so it was, to the sound of afternoons and evenings in the garage studying the data together with his crew chief and his engineer, even at the end of a day he finished in front of everyone else with half a second margin.

This is one of the strong points of the Bergamo area, but not only. In today's motorcycling, leading a regular life is now an essential commandment, and Locatelli is also impeccable from this point of view: regular training, very few nights on the town and a girlfriend, Jessica, who has been by his side for years. In short, an all-round sportsman, and after all it was perhaps enough to take a look at another sport to understand that this was Bergamo's year. While Locatelli was heading towards the title, Atalanta (of which Andrea is a big fan) made it all the way to the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Call it a coincidence if you like...

This therefore is Andrea Locatelli, a guy capable of mixing the desire to arrive with kindness, a talent not always present in champions, which allows him to be loved a little by everyone, even in a new paddock like Superbike. What else is there to say finally, except that Italy has a new world champion, with the face of a good guy and the right wrist of the greats.

 

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