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Antonelli: "Seeing my former rivals in MotoGP hurts, I'm starting again from Moto2"

"If they have succeeded and I haven’t, it means that they have done better than me. I look at the past only so as not to make the same mistakes, now I am where I always wanted to be"

Moto2: Antonelli:

After 10 years in Moto3, Niccolò Antonelli has made the step to Moto2. The first contact with the Kalex of the VR46 team took place at the end of November and now he will have all winter to prepare for the new adventure. The rider from Cattolica did not expect to stay so long in the cadet class, but now the time has come to look ahead.

Niccolò, your first test on Moto2 is completed.

“I would say finally! We were a bit unlucky with the weather, on both days it rained a little and the wet patches bothered us. When the asphalt started to dry it was cool, I started to understand the bike and try to push. On lean with the Moto2 is great with these big tyres. It was an interesting test, now I have a lot of information ”.

"Moto2 is fun and more like a stock 1000 than a 600"


You usually train with a Yamaha R6, is it useful to prepare for Moto2?

“The problem is that a Moto2 is closer to a 1000 than a 600, the power changes. To give an example, with the R6 we ride in times close to those of a Moto3, the Moto2 is very different, it is a real racing bike ”.

Is it what you expected?

"I was super agitated before getting on the bike, I had an idea but I didn't know what to expect. After so many years in Moto3 it is a big change, but once on the bike I immediately calmed down. There are so many things to understand, but it is a very fun bike. I was expecting a little more power, while I didn't think it was so difficult to manage the wheelie. There is a lot to learn, for example how to turn the bike while drifting around the corners, this is how the good ones ride it, in order to get it back up earlier ".

Will it be a long process? We saw many rookies immediately fast, one above all Raul Fernandez.

"The goal is to go fast. I found myself quite comfortable from the start and I have an incredible team, I am not in a hurry and I must not be in a hurry but I will try to learn as soon as possible. From now on I will train with the Academy on the 1000 and that will surely give me a good hand, I have heard that many rookies in Moto2, like Acosta, have already done so. I hope that weight and power will no longer be a problem in the next tests ".

"I could go back, I'd go to Moto2 first"


Hai corso 10 anni in Moto3, credevi ci saresti rimasto un po’ meno?
La verità è che sarei potuto andare in Moto2 prima. Mi ero trovato in una situazione in cui, dopo avere deciso di restare in Moto3, la stagione successiva non era andata benissimo e quindi non avevo più la possibilità di passare, ero ripartito da zero. Sicuramente, potessi tornare indietro, coglierei l’occasione di passare in Moto2 nel 2015, nel 2016. Alla fine con i ‘se’ e con i ‘ma’ non si va avanti, quindi va bene così”.

You raced for 10 years in Moto3, did you think you would have stayed a little less?

“The truth is that I could have gone to Moto2 earlier. I found myself in a situation where, after deciding to stay in Moto3, the following season didn't go very well and therefore I no longer had the chance to move on, I had started from scratch. For sure, if I could go back, I would take the opportunity to move to Moto2 in 2015, in 2016. In the end, with ì 'ifs' and 'buts' you don't go anywhere, so that's okay. "

Many riders you've raced against in Moto3, from Mir to Quartararo, from Bagnaia to Bastianini, are already in MotoGP. What effect does it have on you?

“It is the reality of the facts and there is no point dwelling on it. Obviously it hurts a little, especially remembering all the mistakes I made. I had started in the same condition, with all the cards in my hand, if they are there now and I am not, it means that they have done something better than me. I know the reasons, I know what has happened to me in my career, I just have to look forward and the next one will be where I always wanted to be. The future still remains to be written, I think I am a strong rider and I want to show that I am competitive in Moto2. Everyone has his own story ”.

"In the past I was too generous and it led me to get hurt"


Do you think you got less than you deserved in Moto3? You've had a lot of injuries.

"The only two years without injuries were 2012 and 2015, again this year I broke my hand, but only two bones, they quickly fixed themselves. There have been seasons where injuries have been a problem. I certainly have some regrets because at times I have been too generous and this has led to me getting hurt. I am convinced that I would have had a different career with fewer injuries, but it is the past. Now I'm in a good team, I can start over in a new category, I'll try to do better in Moto2. For me it is a new beginning and I am happy, I look to the past only so as not to make the same mistakes again ”.

Is it still the right time to take this leap?

"In the last season I learned a lot, we could have done even better in terms of the final result without any problems, but the team helped me grow a lot, I was able to overcome some of my limits, even in riding. This move to Moto2 comes at a good time, plus I'll do it with a great team, we know each other well, we have a lot to give each other. Apart from the age, because I would have liked to have arrived a few years before, everything is great ”.

How different are you from that young guy who took his first steps in the World Championship in 2012?

"I was talking about it with my father, I see these 16, 17 year olds who are already mature, there is not a big difference between me and them. When I arrived, I was almost a child, I was not ready in my head like the rookies of now, they already have clear ideas and official bikes. They already know what they have to do, I'm starting to understand now (laughs). When I was younger I only opened the throttle, I didn't know how to manage myself ".

"Now the bikes are all strong, that's what creates group races in Moto3"


However, there has been a lot of criticism about the behaviour of young riders in Moto3, it was also decided to raise the minimum age from 16 to 18.

"I have never said too much on this topic but, if I have to give my view, there has been a change over the years, and a very big one. In my opinion, raising the minimum age will not change anything, this type of problem did not exist years ago because there were different bikes on the grid. Let me explain: if you had the factory Honda or KTM you were in front, with the Mahindra or the FTR you struggled more, so there were more groups with fewer riders. Now, however, all the bikes are awesome, the same goes for the tyres, and as far as the riders are concerned, the top 20 could get on the podium this year, so everyone is very close and the ‘ignorance’ level rises. Many riders are not afraid of anything and these races are the result. My solution would be to go back to factory bikes and standard bikes, but I don't know if it can be done. We'll see what Race Direction will do, I hope certain accidents don't happen again ”.

What are your plans for the winter?

“Above all I’ll be working hard because I have to increase my strength, Moto2 is very physical and I want to be ready in February. Then I'll go skiing for a while ".



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