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MotoGP, Tardozzi: "I argued with all the riders, but when I raced I wanted someone like me"

"It took me time to understand Lorenzo, I bonded immediately with Bayliss and Fogarty. Even with Bagnaia it took me a little: he doesn’t get on with everyone. The most incandescent box? Iannone and Dovizioso, sometimes Dovi is a bit of a blockhead "

MotoGP: Tardozzi: "I argued with all the riders, but when I raced I wanted someone like me"


Davide Tardozzi turned 64 yesterday and it was an opportunity to talk to him about his career, or rather his two careers. Although today we are used to seeing him in the role of team manager in the Ducati MotoGP garage, Davide started out in the paddock as a rider and was the winner of the first World SBK race, in 1988 at Donington on a Bimota.

“Yeah, but then I lost the title - he smiles with a hint of regret - SBK already had a predecessor, a championship to draw inspiration from which was called F1, in which they raced with 750cc bikes. Then, an American, Steve McLaughlin, had an excellent idea to bring the American races to the World Championship”.

What sort of a rider was Davide Tardozzi?

“Unfortunately I was certainly not a champion because I lost a World Championship that I had virtually won and I didn't have a long career due to an accident. My racing career taught me so much for what I have done since and I feel that many of my mistakes have served me as well for how you can help a rider. I have to do so many mea culpas when I was racing".

"Being a rider taught me how to be a team manager"

Do you have any regrets as a rider?

"Absolutely yes. In my opinion, anyone who says they don't have them is lying and I have many, I made many mistakes".

Would you have needed a Davide Tardozzi team manager?

“I don't know him well in that role (laughs). Let's say that I would have liked to have someone close to help me, but then it was another world”.

How did your second career as a manager come about?

“After my accident at Mugello, I continued racing for another year but I wasn't able to do it physically, I have a bit of a disability in my left arm. At that time I also had the role of test rider in Ducati, which at the time belonged to Cagiva, and I continued the development of the 916 with Tamburini. After that, the Castiglioni brothers offered me the chance to form a second team in SBK with factory bikes".

You didn't lack any satisfaction though: you lived through the golden era of Ducati.

"I won 8 riders' world championships, I have to thank Ducati because it really gave me so much".

"Bayliss is a friend, Fogarty a shy guy, Corser liked to party."

Who is the rider that has remained in your heart the most, among those with whom you won in SBK?

“I have a special friendship with Bayliss, but I think Fogarty was one of the first SBK riders who could have raced in the world championship and been very competitive. Carl had a stratospheric talent ”.

They said they were two slightly crazy riders.

“Fogarty, despite what people say, was a shy guy, he wasn't as aloof as they describe him. Bayliss also had an innate talent that he put to good use perhaps a little late, but he brought home excellent results".

What about the other Troy, Corser?

“He was an old-fashioned racer, one of those who didn't disdain a beer. He was a Lucchinelli-style rider. He liked to race, but also to party ”.

Did it ever happen that you had to go and fetch him from somewhere?

“Of course, more than once I had to go and fetch Corser who was in particular condition. I learned years later that in 1995 at Misano he got on the podium twice after being taken back to the motorhome at 4 in the morning and not in a good condition, let's say (laughs) ”.

What were Toseland and Hodgoson like?

“James didn't have the talent of other riders, but thanks to his stubbornness, his desire to get there, he had incredible mental strength. At the first test of the year he was more than a second per lap slower than Laconi, but in the end he won the championship. Neil was one of the strongest riders that year and also a good guy, I got along very well humanly with him. I have to say, though, that I've always had good relations with all my riders."

You're called a locker room man, is that your secret?

“I have no secrets, but I think it's important to find a good relationship with a rider, which doesn't mean always getting along. I've had an argument with everyone at least once and with someone even more, but when they realize that you say certain things for them, they'll recognize it."

"It took me some time to understand Lorenzo, with Bagnaia you also have to get to know him well"


Who was the hardest rider to manage?

“Jorge Lorenzo, it took me some time to size him up. Now we are still on excellent terms but it took a while, also because when he arrived at Ducati he was already a 5-time world champion. It took us some time to understand each other”.

And who did you immediately feel at ease with?

“Bayliss and Fogarty, but somehow with everyone. To be honest, it took me a while to understand Bagnaia well, because Pecco is a guy with a unique intellectual honesty, but you have to know a few things to be able to suit him, not everyone suits him. He is so picky about certain things so you have to know what bothers him, they are essential not to clash in certain situations ”.

In one of our interviews, Bagnaia and Bastianini confessed to us that they would have liked to stage a fake fight on the stage of the presentation…

“They were right not to do it (laughs). I see they look good together, in Madonna di Campiglio, one morning I went down for breakfast and found them talking to each other, at lunch and dinner they were always at the same table, without anyone ever telling them to do that. They have understood that at this moment collaboration is fundamental for both of them, and they also know that we will help both in the same way and that they will have the same chance to win”.

After all, after being in the midst of Dovizioso and Iannone you are no longer afraid of anything... Was it the most incandescent box?

“Absolutely, but don't think that Dovizioso was easy to manage, getting him to change his mind is sometimes really difficult. He is a very good guy, but also a bit of a blockhead (laughs) ”.

"I would have liked to work with Valentino, he is someone who enriches you"


We nominated many riders you worked with, was there one you would have liked to work with but didn't get the chance?

“I don't want to offend my guys because they have all given me great satisfaction, but if I have to name one, it's Valentino Rossi. It might be taken for granted, but I think he is one of those riders who give you something extra. He's a guy who's always been ahead of his years and who has taught anyone who's worked with him something, he enriches you. In every sense, if you'll allow me the joke (laughs)”.

"On the Desmosedici Biposto with Bagnaia, I told him: I thought you were going faster"


At WDW you took a ride on the Desmosedici as a passenger.

“Pecco was riding and he pushed a lot. In order not to give him satisfaction, when we stopped, I told him: 'I thought you were going a little faster' (laughs)".

Have you ever wanted to ride it?

“I'd be lying if I said no, but I know that all the technicians would not only take the lap times but also the partial times to laugh at me. I can imagine the comments from electronics, data analysts, riders... so I'd rather not bother (laughs)”.

Are you ready to start the new year with the Sepang tests?

“I want to see how the new bikes will go and how the rivals will be, even if, as always, we'll have to wait halfway through the championship to see who will be the ones to fight for the title. We'll need to get off to a good start, because last year got off to a really bad start, but in the past, with Dovizioso, we did it and then in the middle of the season Marquez outclassed us. So the important thing is not to create problems for yourself."


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