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MotoGP, Rossi's right-hand man 'Albi' speaks,: "Valentino is pissed off, but already excited about 2021"

"After the Portimao test he said to me: 'the track is cool, it feels crazy good'. Next year the colours of the bike will change, but he is the same: he still wants to win badly. We are deciding on VR46’s future"

MotoGP: Rossi's right-hand man 'Albi' speaks,:

There is a future to be written. Alberto “Albi” Tebaldi - Valentino Rossi’s right-hand man (among other things, among many other people) who manages that powerful piece of machinery called VR46 - is looking at the future with confidence. As for the Moto3 programme, it is shrouded in mist. Will VR46 do it or not?

"We are trying to do everything calmly, in a very analytical way, as we are used to doing, taking care of all the details; it is however difficult, the level is very high".

Some observers say that VR will help the Avintia team with technical and practical support to field a second bike, and Niccolò Antonelli, a pupil of the VR46 Riders Academy, would be the man for the job. Albi does not confirm it, but he does not deny it either. Something is bound to happen. Also, because the costs for Moto2 and Moto3 are high, 5 million euros these days is quite a sum. There is a future to be written, but also a present to continue with.

“We understand that, and we had the proof that if we want to obtain results, our interests must coincide, we must create a large group and we must take care of every little detail. Above all, we understand that the rider must be at the centre of the project. We knew it as riders. But now we also know it well as a team. Even if we do it however, it is difficult to achieve great results, it is fundamental to understand this”.

Albi: "Moto2 and Moto3 are expensive and it's absurd that many riders pay to race"

Is team management in Moto2 and Moto3 too expensive and is there anything that should be looked at in the regulations?

“The level of investment required is certainly extremely high, especially considering the situation that has arisen today. Someone will probably have to think about this and make these projects more sustainable. The risk is then that sporting priority will be put to one side. Several teams work with paying riders, this is a strange thing. Absurd. We are talking about the maximum expression of motorcycling, the best Moto2 and Moto3 riders must pay to keep the mechanism up and running. They go out on the track, they take the risks, they put their talent into it. Strange, but it is one of those things we have got used to. It is a philosophy that we have not had and will never have. Rather we prefer to do nothing. It would be nice to rethink everything ".

Albi: "Moto3 makes sense for the training of young riders"

So, you are not telling us where you are with the Moto3 team…

“We are trying to sort out a number of things. Also, to always keep faith with what our path has been in recent years: following a sporting project for riders. It is clear we would like to move forward with a series of situations, but it is a phase in which we are trying to understand what to do. We don't want to do something just for the sake of doing it”.

Does it still make any sense to do Moto3?

“From the sporting side it makes sense, a lot of sense, because the riders who grow up and experience high-level championships have an additional training, background”.

Albi: "Luca Marini would like to go to MotoGP and we would too"

Will you go to MotoGP next year?

"It is something that maybe we can work on for 2022, but it depends on many factors. In a week or ten days we will know if Marini can go to MotoGP next year or the one after that. Clearly we would very much like Luca to make the leap, and he would like to as well”.

Has he completed his cycle of growth?

“I'm really happy with the level he has reached. In all these years I have seen how and how much Luca works, his approach, how much passion he has. He is one of the guys for whom I have great respect and admiration. And he did all this even with difficulty”.

Bagnaia, Morbidelli, obviously Marini: is yours a mission accomplished?

"Never. You must keep working, you can try and do better than the others, understand what makes you go faster. But working so hard is tough, you must look at everything. Also, to other sports with great humility. And then listen to the riders”.

Albi: "I'm not surprised to see Morbidelli there: he's very strong"

What does Morbidelli tell you?

“I am happy for Franco because he is a sportsman who is working at an extremely high level outside racing. He has great concentration. I am not surprised to see him there; he is very strong. In our world we are led to burn-out, everything must happen quickly, for a variety of reasons there is an explosion, and we are led to create gods. Maybe it is a thing of our times. But I knew very well his value and his speed”.

Who will win this world championship?

"I don’t know. Yamaha is continuing to work and improve, Suzuki has a tough technical approach, and I think Ducati has found it difficult, perhaps because of the type of tyre there is today. But their bike has always been at an extremely high level and when they solve the problems it will be hard to fight against them. Then we have seen how much Honda has managed to improve, seeing Nakagami and Alex Marquez is significant”.

But do you like this uncertain world championship?

“I like it, the level is extremely high. The balance that exists is interesting. But it is strange how the level of competitiveness can change from one track to another. I think it's the combination of motorcycles, type of tyre, asphalt".

Albi: "Valentino had expectations about this world championship, but also some question marks"

Could it have been Valentino's year?

“He had approached it with expectations but also with question marks, a big change had been made with his crew chief. Last year he had major technical difficulties: warming up the rear tyre which did not allow him to express himself and understand his level. With the arrival of David Munoz there was no shortage of question marks, he did the race at Jerez with the same problems as a year ago, then from there on the change. Vale today can be fast, consistent throughout the race. But when you change your crew chief you must recreate a feeling, work on the details, and this year that stuff was all to be recreated, put together, made to work. But he is happy”.

Then along came Covid…

“Physically he is fine, I would say he is semi-asymptomatic. He had a few symptoms on the day he was due to leave. He had had some symptoms on Thursday morning, on Friday he got a bit worse and then nothing. Now he is fine, he is in good shape. But…".

Albi: "Rossi is pissed off with Covid: he was very careful"


"He's really pissed off. He took it badly. Because he has always been careful”.

Was he frightened?

“It upsets him as it upsets everyone. Even today, even with a different virulence, people are sick. We have friends or people who have been sick, some have been sick. And then we all have parents, grandparents, people we love”.

What will next year be like for Vale?

"Not so different from this one, at least from the point of view of the approach. The colours of the bike will change, but a lot of other things will not change: the crew chief, the Yamaha engineers, Yamaha has given continuity to his contract as factory rider. In short, a few things will remain the same. And then he really wants to win badly: I spoke to him after the tests in Portugal. "Great". “It feels crazy good”. "It's cool". That is the aspect that animates everything. He is excited about next year, hoping that there are the right health conditions ".

On an entrepreneurial level, what does the virus mean for you?

“It creates enormous difficulties. Our partners are all in a stand-by situation because there is still no light at the end of the tunnel, everything has stopped. We are living in a frozen world. But things must go on, people must work, live. We are lucky, we are in a good situation: our structures are solid, we can face this moment with a bit of serenity. We have worked well in the past years, but today what we are doing in general is reshaping everything. Because the world will be different”.



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