2020 has just come to an end and it was a year that meant a lot for MotoGP and for the world championship in general. The season finale was held in Portugal, in Portimao, while the debut was in Qatar but only for the minor classes with the top class stationary because of the very first restrictions due to Covid. In Moto2 Nagashima took the win, but he was a meteor at the start of the season, and is now without a ride. On the other hand, one man who has found himself a seat is Lorenzo Baldassarri, who finished second in that race at Losail and who has returned after three years to the Forward team to find himself with an MV Agusta in 2021.
"I tested the bike in Jerez and from the first moment I realized that it is truly a ‘racing’ bike - Lorenzo told us during an interview - The Kalex is not like that, it is a rigid bike, of course, but it transmits you a lot, like a road bike. In the tests at the end of the year we had two days available but unfortunately it was only half a test because of the rain, I went out on the track even in the wet because I wanted to better understand the position on the new bike. On the second day there were still some patches of wet but all in all it went well because we lapped with lower times than in the race ".
Did you work on anything in particular or did they already have your "measurements" in Forward?
“The team had prepared almost everything because Manzi is tall and therefore they already had something ready. We made some small changes on the weights of the bike and the position of the foot-pegs but frankly nothing special. The test went well, I had no expectations but I realized that the base is really good. There will be a lot of work to do even if unfortunately everything is rather frozen from the development point of view ”.
How did the MV Agusta idea come about? A rekindling of the flame with Giovanni Cuzari or was it an intuition from your manager Battistella?
“After 3 years in Forward there were three years of transition in the Pons team but we often spoke with Giovanni, we had unfinished business and we got back together again. Obviously, Battistella did all the negotiations with Giovanni, I put them in contact and when there was something concrete we decided to sign ".
"Nothing is yet certain about Dovizioso's future. My dream remains MotoGP"
Battistella is also the manager of Andrea Dovizioso who, at least officially, has taken a sabbatical from MotoGP. We know of Honda's interest in him as a possible replacement of Marc Marquez, but Dovi is currently out of MotoGP. What will it be like for you not to have him in the paddock? You often train together, will anything change?
“I can say that nothing is yet certain. If he decides to race in motocross, training together will be complicated. For the moment we are preparing for the season together and I must say that he is training a lot. If he doesn't race, MotoGP will lose a strong rider and I will lose a friend in the paddock ”.
Always on the subject of MotoGP, it must be said that at the beginning of 2020 your name was one of the eligible candidates for a move to the top class with Ducati. In the end, however, the free seats were taken by Martin, Bastianini and Marini.
“MotoGP remains my secret dream but I know I have to deserve the leap into the top class. This year we have seen that even rookies can have their say also because the bikes are getting closer and closer. I never expected a win for Binder, for Oliveira, or the wonderful performances by Bagnaia. I want to get there to fight with them ”.
What do you think of Bastianini's promotion after he won the world championship?
"Enea deserved the world title, he is a talent and this year he has been consistent in a season where everyone has struggled to do so. Lowes and Marini perhaps had more speed but for various reasons they missed out. For Lowes it was a real shame because he got hurt in the penultimate race and arrived at Portimao with some problems, he could be the man to beat in 2021 but there are lots of bikes close. Moto2 is a tight category, very balanced and it’s the details that make the difference ”.
"My 2020 season took a turn for the worse, at certain times I had zero motivation"
Last questions about the past and the future. The first about the past, can you tell us what went wrong in your 2020?
"The winter had gone very well, I felt I had sorted out everything around me and in fact I had a great race in Qatar. Then my season took a turn for the worse, there was a total blackout but then in the end it got a bit better. I must say that in certain moments the motivation was not 100% and with the results that I had achieved I almost gave up. Fortunately I continued to work and I was able to understand what the problems were and improve. What changed everything was a simple weight shift on the bike and a configuration of the tank, it as if it was bullshit so much so that in the garage they were a bit sceptical. There was not much consistency even in the final stages but in general there was an improvement".
What are your feelings for 2021? Giovanni Cuzari has set the podium as the goal of the season. What will the coexistence with Corsi be like?
"The goal of the podium would already be great. There is no point in having any illusions, we have to work gradually and then always try to improve. Already from the Jerez tests I saw a more united and harmonious box than the one I left three years ago. I shared the garage with Simone in 2015, but now I have matured a lot and we can exchange more information and improve”.