Many observers were waiting for the news regarding Ducati’s choice of the future teammate of Pecco Bagnaia, but among those who were certainly more 'anxious' we can include our very own Carlo Pernat, who is Enea's manager. Carlo was not sure that Ducati would favour Enea, but yesterday he received the long-awaited phone call from Paolo Ciabatti and intervened in our Sport Bar to tell us his first feelings after hearing the news.
"I found out today, around 4 pm - Pernat told us last night - Paolo Ciabatti called me to let me know Ducati's decision. I'm not saying I didn't expect it ... Ducati was very correct, then everyone can evaluate the choice the way they want and believe whether it is right or wrong, but I must say that they were totally correct because the decision had not been made before, even though many were sure that Martìn had already been chosen. Ducati waited for the date it had announced, it made its assessments and chose Enea. For me it is a correct choice, this year's results demonstrate that Enea is doing a better championship than Martìn. He has won three races; he is much further ahead in the standings than Jorge. On a sporting level the decision was logical, then it is clear that Ducati is a great company and other factors such as marketing also have an impact. However, I must really emphasize Ducati's fairness. The choice was difficult, because even Martìn is a great rider. "
How did Enea react?
"You can imagine how happy he is! He is going to the factory team, he is very excited and he also talked about it with Ciabatti. Just think that I had the phone in airplane mode and he was looking for me halfway around the world! Enea is happy, but I must say that he would have accepted a place in Pramac in all serenity. But it is logical that when you talk about factory teams, the riders want that. Then the Rossa is a dream of Italian riders and not only. Now we will try to fight for something big next year ".
An all-Italian pairing is formed again in Ducati.
"It's the third time that Ducati has an all-Italian pairing. For me it's the third rider. I had Capirossi, Iannone and now Bastianini. For me it's a welcome back. I see it as a romantic thing, by now I won't be able to have another 42 years of career, but it is a lovely thing, a great satisfaction. Enea is a lot like Capirossi, he has the same character. Very humble, never argumentative. Even for their riding style they are similar ".
Do you think Ducati can now ask Enea to help Bagnaia in the world championship?
"Ducati also called the riders at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday to ask them to play a minimum of team game, but more than anything else to ask them not to disturb each other. But this does not mean that Enea could not have won. He too is fighting for the world championship, if he had won in the standings he would be close to Bagnaia. Now it is much more difficult. At this moment Pecco's chase is possible, he has the best bike and he is very strong. It is clear that when you have eight Ducati bikes on the track, a minimum of team play is needed because the more bikes you place in front the more Quartararo loses points. On Sunday it was possible to have an all-Ducati podium".
Do you think Bagnaia will be an awkward companion for Bastianini?
"For me we still underestimate Bagnaia too much. He is really strong, someone who has won 5 Grands Prix this year, then think about how many he won at the end of 2021. He must be evaluated for what he is, not for how he puts himself forward as a person".
You said Bastianini would have taken a different Ducati choice well. How do you think Martìn took it?
"Although everyone thought that Martìn had an advantage, things went the way they went. Enea would not have taken it badly any decision to go to Pramac, I think Jorge should do a bit of mea culpa. Let's say that last year's strategy was more Martìn in official colours than Enea, then Bastianini's season this year sent him into a bit of a crisis. He made five zeros, of which at least one through no fault of his own that sent him Bagnaia to the ground. In my opinion he will be happy to accept it, even if he expected to be in the factory team. Perhaps Enea would have digested it better, but Jorge is in a very strong team, with very good technicians and who he knows well. "