Yesterday, the ‘Befana’ brought the news that no one expected: Davide Brivio's farewell to MotoGP and Suzuki to start a new adventure in Formula 1, with Renault. To talk about it, we also involved in our live broadcast (you can see the full video above) Francesco Guidotti, team manager of Ducati Pramac, in addition to Carlo Pernat.
It was an opportunity to talk to Guidotti about this move, but also about 2020 that has just ended and what 2021 has in store for us.
"Suzuki will need a couple of people to replace a manager like Brivio"
Francesco, what did you think when you heard about Brivio's move to F1?
"It was news that made me very happy for Davide, I think he fully deserves this opportunity and I can imagine the adrenaline and the desire to start that he has. I think having Alonso can help him, because a driver of his calibre knows what he wants and could take the pressure off him."
What will Suzuki do now?
“I think this offer came a very short time ago, in the last 10 or 15 days, but I don't think Davide wants to leave Suzuki in a bad situation. He will probably do his best to find a replacement, but probably a couple of people will be needed to replace someone like him ”.
No possibility of Pramac switching to Suzuki in 2022?
“In 2017 we talked to Suzuki, it was out in the open. Anything might happen, why not ?, but it is quite unlikely because we are defining an important contract with Ducati ”.
"Except in rare cases, it doesn't seem to me that the new Michelin tyre upset the classification"
2020 has just ended, did you enjoy this last season?
“It was certainly an unusual championship, also due to the fact that we raced on few tracks and often twice on the same track. If we look at 2019, Marquez won the championship with double the points of Vinales, who finished 3rd; if you take him away, the other riders always alternated on the podium, even in other years ".
So Marquez is the only phenomenon?
“That’s what the standings say, not me. We are talking about a rider who has won 6 titles in 7 years, it is not an opinion but an analysis of the facts. If you remove Marquez from the equation, the alternation of riders is more obvious, because anyone who wins is bigger news than the guy who finishes 2nd or 3rd ".
So the cause of so much uncertainty was not the new Michelin tyre but the absence of Marquez?
"There is no doubt about that. Honestly, except for very rare cases, such as Dovizioso, it doesn't seem to me that the new tyre upset the standings too much. It was the absence of Marquez that gave 9 different riders the chance to win and to get onto the podium for others. In addition, KTM made a significant leap in quality and made very good use of the possibility of testing before the GPs. We'll see what happens this year, I hope we'll go racing on more circuits and that the calendar is respected as much as possible, especially in Europe. "
The start in Qatar seems certain, a lot less the GPs at Termas de Rio Honda and Austin.
“I see them as a bit in the balance, but not only me. The promoters of Argentina and the USA were also the only ones who didn't want to move the dates to later in the season, it seems unlikely we will go racing there ”.
"Nobody could have prevented Marquez from racing in Jerez, but MotoGP made a bad impression"
Going back to Marquez, how do you think his return after the accident was handled?
"I think a bit of a hash-up was made and that he absolutely shouldn't have taken to the track 4 days after the operation. With this I don’t mean that I would have done otherwise, because when a doctor tells the rider that he can do it he wants to race, especially when it comes to a rider with the personality of Marquez, not even the Heavenly Father could have stopped him. At that point no one could stop him, but the error was made before. Even if he had managed to race, we would all have made a bad impression, because a rider on painkillers would have taken to the track in an amount unthinkable for a championship like ours. In any case, we gave a bad image ".
"We will leave Martin free to make mistakes, for Zarco it is the moment of his redemption"
This year you will have two new riders: let's start with Jorge Martin.
“When you have a rookie, you try to give him as much guidance as possible but without putting pressure on him, we know he will have to make mistakes to learn. We will have to let Martin learn by himself, let's not forget that when a rider arrives in MotoGP he is already well-trained, you have to give him space and give him support, they are the ones who have to pull the cart. The first contact with the bike will count as much, that is always decisive when you get on a new bike ".
What do you expect from Johann Zarco instead?
“In my opinion we have taken Zarco at the ideal moment. He is a rider who did not know who he was, I had the opportunity to talk to him when he was racing in Moto2 and he gave me the impression of a person who did not know if he was meat or fish. I met him recently and he has become more aware of himself, having split with his old manager gave him the opportunity to reconnect with his family and the world around him. He saw that getting rid of him was necessary to become a professional rider, but he had also suffered a lot. He's 30, it's the right moment for him for redemption, so he comes to us at the right time. He has also been riding the Ducati for a year already and will get on a more advanced bike, I hope I'm not wrong, but we can have fun together ”.
For him, however, it seems to be the last chance…
"In the last two years he has found the solution to the problem and has taken matters into his own hands: he decided to leave KTM, he found a way to join Ducati and he fought for his place in the factory team, accepting defeat in a mature way . Pressure becomes a motivation when you have this maturity ”.
Why did the satellite teams often fare better than the factory teams over the past year?
"The atmosphere in a team is certainly important, but it also comes from good results. In an factory team the atmosphere is only good when you win, for us satellite teams it's easier. The atmosphere in Suzuki was thanks to the people who work there, but it is also true that Suzuki had only returned to MotoGP a few years before and did not have a lot of pressure to win the championship. The air you breathe in Honda, Yamaha or Ducati is different ".
Will Bagnaia and Miller be able to aim for championship victory?
“To fight for the title is an important goal for two riders who haven't yet won a race with Ducati, but that's what they're there for. They accepted that condition and now they have to fight for it ”.