CIV and MotoGP: it’s going to be a non-stop 2022 for Michele Pirro. After the winter tests with Ducati, the Borgo Panigale test rider is now ready for the challenge in the Italian Superbike Championship with the Barni team, where he will be called upon to defend the title he won last season.
There is no shortage of hopes and ambitions on the eve of the Misano tests for the Italian rider, who is about to become a father in the summer. We talked to him about this and much more at the Garage51 store at the Riviera circuit. It was an opportunity to reveal his ambitions and objectives, but at the same time also to return to the difficulties encountered two weeks ago by the factory Ducati in the Losail desert.
"We’re there now - he said - at Misano I will be on track with the Ducati fitted with Dunlop tyres, where for the occasion we will find a lot of riders in action who will then take part in the Championship. Having won last year, the goal is certainly to confirm the result, but there will be several new things to deal with, such as tyres".
What were your first feelings?
“I tested them at Vallelunga and I didn't notice anything particular. In fact, I think that the form factor will remain the same, even if there are more riders. In fact, we will see Pasini, Canepa, Krummenacher, for sure the level will be higher"
There is already talk of a head-to-head with Pasini. Will that be the case?
"Honestly I don’t know. I have to think about myself. Fast and strong riders are welcome, even if the goal is to focus on myself. I will have to try to express my potential as much as possible, considering that I will then have to be competitive in MotoGP, where in the other paddock we are aiming for the riders’ title with Pecco and all the other guys. Certainly a Championship fought in the CIV allows you to raise the bar when you race in the other paddock ".
You mentioned MotoGP. Some observers already consider the GP22 a flop.
“The world is varied, as are opinions. Only the facts and the track matter. The races are particular sometimes, such as Qatar, even if in the end a Ducati won. I would therefore say that we can remain calm, given that our potential is still high. Unfortunately, some things didn’t fit together, but I am convinced that already this weekend, things will be different. Losail was a particular weekend, where it’s difficult that this sort of things happen”.
Does Indonesia therefore become an opportunity to make amends?
“You have to finish the races and always be in the game until the very end. From Mandalika I think things will be back to normal. This is not to say that we will win, but I am of the opinion that the GP22 can be better than Qatar, hoping of course that a Ducati will win."
Michele, the subject of the lowering device also took centre stage in Losail. What’s your idea about it?
"It's great, because we are always in the eye of the storm. On the one hand it's nice, while on the other a little less. We will also manage this situation, trying to assert our reasons. Ducati has always worked within the regulations, I don't understand why everyone complains about something that is not illegal”.
It is said that the riders of the new generation don’t have much desire to do testing, because they prefer to get out on track and immediately go for a fast lap. Is that really the case?
“That's the good thing about these guys, we have to shape up and adapt. The important thing is to try to keep a Ducati always in front as happened with Bastianini”.