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MotoGP, Tardozzi: “Pecco and Enea? Everyone wants to have two strikers”

"We think we can keep the situation under control, because we have two intelligent, as well as strong guys" explains the Ducati Team Manager, reflecting on the team's potential for next year’s championship

MotoGP: Tardozzi: “Pecco and Enea? Everyone wants to have two strikers”

It takes many small cogs to make a clock work. Many small parts which, with their fundamental contribution, allow the perfect functioning of the mechanism. And so, in addition to the riders, there are many men who helped to bring about the double title conquered by Ducati in this 2022 season, which was celebrated with a big party on Thursday 15 December in Bologna. Among them, one cannot fail to mention team manager Davide Tardozzi, who suffered along with his team throughout the season.

"Absolutely. I live the races in a very passionate way. I'm very close to the team and the guys and I really experience it first-hand - commented the former rider born in Ravenna, who wore a heart rate monitor throughout the championship, which revealed the extent of his tension worldwide - I would say that I adapted my heart to the Ducati revs, seeing as they say that the Ducati revs high, I keep my heartbeats high too (laughs)”.

Irrespective of the result, 2022 was not an easy year for the Borgo Panigale factory team, which found itself playing catch-up since the beginning of the championship, arriving at mid-season with ninety-one points to make up on the then leader of the standings, Fabio Quartararo. In a situation like this, how did Tardozzi manage to give Bagnaia the right energy to make this historic comeback?

“It was difficult to understand Pecco well at the beginning, but in the end we understood each other very well and I would like to say that 90% of the work was done by him - explains the 63-year-old - I believe that Pecco was the first to believe in the possibility of winning the World Championship, after the crash at the Sachsenring. So, the credit goes to him. And I'm not saying this to flatter him, but because it's true. Pecco was great in believing in his abilities and great in believing he had the bike to win. So, thanks to him and to the guys who followed him."

A balance that could change in 2023, when Enea Bastianini joins the Lenovo Ducati team to replace Jack Miller. In fact, the rider from Rimini demonstrated that he has no reverential fear towards the new World Champion, earning his official stripes on the track. How does Davide see the team made up of these two guys, so different from each other?

"Strong, very strong - admits Tardozzi - I think everyone wants to have two strikers. The World Champion is the favourite, but Enea has shown that he is up to the job. I believe there will be collaboration. The guys have understood each other, explained everything to each other and have known each other since they were kids, since minibikes. So, they know each other's strengths and weaknesses. We are reasonably confident that we can keep the situation under control, because we have two smart guys, not just two strong guys."

But it might not be only the new line-up in red to shuffle the cards in 2023. From a new-found Marquez to Quartararo with the new, more powerful engine on his Yamaha, there are many opponents who could fight for the title in the next championship.

“I think MotoGP next year will be very difficult. Our opponents will be very competitive, but I think they too have a strong respect for Ducati and our riders, so I'm calm and serene, knowing that we have two strong riders and a competitive bike – he commented - I don't know what the others will do during the winter. For sure all the teams have strong riders, who can aspire to the World Championship, but I'm very serene about the potential of the bike and our riders, then we'll see".

So, what does Tardozzi wish for Ducati for next season? Absolutely to do the same again. Even more reason first and second in MotoGP and first and second in World SBK, that would be the crowning glory. Seriously, I think that repeating what we did is the most difficult thing, so for us, both in Superbike and in MotoGP, the important thing is to try to win the championship again."

And speaking of Marc, how do you feel seeing his younger brother on the Gresini team Ducati? “Alex wrote to him and said there was no response: there was silence after he told him how good he felt on the Ducati - concludes Tardozzi - I'm joking but Marc is a great rider, a great professional, someone who dedicates every minute of his life to winning, so he has all my respect and ours."

 

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