How strange can life be? ... about a year ago in this period, Lorenzo Savadori found himself out of the Superbike paddock with the risk of having to hang up his helmet for good, while one year later he is chasing the dream of being able to take part in the 2021 MotoGP season with Aprilia.
In fact, today came the news that Aprilia will decide after the winter tests on which rider will take the second seat alongside Aleix Espargarò between the man from Romagna and Bradley Smith.
But let's go in order, rewinding the tape back in time and starting from a date: 21 December 2019.
A few days before that date we learnt that Pedercini's 2020 season was at high risk, since the boss of the Italian team was splitting with Global Service Solution. A situation that obviously risked falling back on the riders, in particular Lorenzo Savadori, who had been selected in the autumn by the team to participate in the Superbike World Championship with Kawasaki.
To clarify the situation, we contacted Lucio, and later Lorenzo, who, however, had little desire to speak and tried to avoid the subject, especially given the delicate situation. On the other hand we could understand his reluctance. After a year off, following the end of the adventure with Aprilia in SBK, a second year without racing can represent the real risk of the end of a career at just 26 years old. Too young, but this is unfortunately also what happens in motorsport.
Lorenzo spent a Christmas that was anything but peaceful and enjoyable, where the panettone also ended up askew, also because in the following weeks the news of the break between Pedercini and GSS became public knowledge and as a result the Romagna man was out of the Superbike project. Lucio Perdercini, putting together his sponsors at the last minute, managed to restart, but with only one rider, namely Sandro Cortese.
Savadori then found himself without a ride and with a big question mark about his future. But every cloud has a silver lining and it was precisely at this moment that the turning point of a 2020 that was initially going the wrong way came along. Due to Andrea Iannone's positivity to doping, Aprilia contacted Savadori to ride the RS-GP in the Sepang tests.
While Lorenzo was in Malaysia, his manager Fausto Gresini, who was in Italy, also received a call from Honda. It was Midori Moriwaki, who told him she wanted to offer his client the seat of the Honda CBR 1000 RR-R alongside Takahashi. Aware of the Asian offer, Aprilia then laid on the table the counter-proposal of becoming a MotoGP tester.
It was February 10th and after being excluded from Superbike, Savadori found himself with two possibilities after less than two months from that December 21st. What should he do then? Choose to race in SBK with the latest Honda evolution or become a MotoGP tester. An early answer, in this regard, was provided by a certain Alberto Vergani: “Honda is a reality that needs few introductions. If I were him I would choose to stay in Aprilia. First of all, you become part of a manufacturer and maybe in the long run you even have the chance to race in MotoGP ”.
Prophetic to say the least was the manager of Danilo Petrucci, so much so that Savadori rejected Moriwaki's Honda and embraced the Aprilia test rider project. At the same time, he turned up at the start of the CIV Superbike championship, where he won the Italian title with the 1100, putting an end to the domination of Michele Pirro's Ducati.
The triumph with the Nuova M2 was the springboard to MotoGP with Aprilia, thanks to the 4-year ban imposed on Andrea Iannone. For him, the double-header in Valencia and Portimao, was to be three appearances, as the team waited to choose the replacement for The Maniac for 2021. Too bad they already had their choice in house, despite the time it took to look through the entire Moto 2 entry list.
During this year, especially in the first months of 2020, when he was without a ride, we had the opportunity to speak several times with Lorenzo, asking him off the record: "If you don’t find anything, do you think you will hang up your helmet?". He always answered us like this: "No, I won't and I’m not even considering doing it. Because racing is my life and I know I can still give a lot to this sport ”.
From today he will have three months to demonstrate with commitment and sweat that this MotoGP deserves him. Never before, fate lies in his hands.
CLICK HERE TO SEE the interview we did with him during the Sepang tests.