Marco Bezzecchi took a clear victory today at Le Mans. Certainly Marco was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, he stayed out of trouble when Bagnaia and Vinales touched and also during the contact between Marini and Alex Marquez. However, Bez did not inherit anything without deserving it, because he kept an impressive pace when he found himself with a clear track ahead. A small mistake in the duel with Marquez also forced him to drop a position, but it took the VR46 rider very little to get back to the top, taking his second victory of the season after the one in the wet in Argentina.
Now Marco has also moved back to just one point behind Bagnaia in the general classification and is proving to have a concreteness that perhaps no one would have imagined at the start of the 2023 season, which is leading him to be always up at the top of the standings as the championship heads towards Mugello.
“Was an unbelievable day for me – said Bezzecchi – Honestly this morning I didn’t expect to have this kind of race. But already yesterday I felt good on the bike and I knew with a good start I could make something more – obviously didn’t expect a win, but anyway a good race. Then today when I started I saw that I was faster than the guys in front of me. But I was a bit afraid for the front tyre temperature because with this front tyre I was a bit on the limit for my riding style. But I was able to overtake them, once I got in the lead I was able to put on a good pace and I was feeling very well with my bike and I was able to escape. I'm very happy for that, for all the fans who were here today. Then winning in the dry is different".
You saw Marini's accident up close, can you explain what happened?
"With Luca, I was a bit faster in turn one so I was trying to prepare an overtake for the chicane. I almost made it but he braked very late and was able to close the door to me. Then, on the right, he cut a lot over the curb so I said for sure, he will go wide in the exit. I didn’t expect to see him almost crash. Once I was able to avoid him I didn’t know what happened. But then in the lap later I saw the yellow flags and said for sure, it is Luca. When I saw the replay, it was a very bad crash to see. I hope he is okay."
Did you expect the drop position penalty?
"I agree with the penalty, first of all. I expected that. I didn’t want to pass but I made a mistake in braking and I braked just three metres later. Once I saw that I wasn’t going to stop I went to the inside to not hit Marc in his back. I pushed him wide and I also went outside of the curb, so I expected the penalty. I was saying that within one or two laps I would need to drop the position. It was a coincidence that yesterday Marc spoke about contacts and today this happened between us".
Did you think the second win would come so soon?
"In Argentina I didn't expect to be able to win again do soon, but on Friday the bike was going well, so I felt it a bit. This victory has no greater significance than that of Argentina, the first one was there and it will remain unforgettable. But a dry race is another thing, you feel good, you can push to the max. In terms of emotions, Argentina was better, in terms of performance, it was better today. I don't know what happened behind, but I did most of the race with a lead of about 2 seconds, then it started to climb and I wondered what they were doing behind me. I was lapping the same way, then Martìn explained to me that there had been a tussle. I just tried to go as fast as I could".
What did you have today more than the others?
"In my opinion, we got off to a good start on Friday, everything went pretty well except for qualifying which could have gone better. But the guys did a great job and I too tried to improve where I could. I was riding well, it all came naturally to me. Today I also had my mother in the pits and it was nice. She is very frightened, she is shy and sometimes when she comes to the GP she doesn't even come to say hello so as not to annoy me. In fact, I ask her to do it! Today I felt good, it’s Mothers’ Day and I told her I would I make her a present and I did".
After Austin you said you didn't feel like a rider worthy of the title, has anything changed now?
“It’s good to be close to Pecco for the moment. But honestly I’m still not thinking about the championship. First of all, we saw having the sprint and the main GP in the same weekend, it’s very easy to lose everything very quickly. So, I just want to continue like this, thinking weekend by weekend, race by race, enjoying my bike with the guys who are fantastic. Now we go to Mugello, so it will be a very nice weekend.”
Did you think you'd get to Mugello like this?
"I didn't expect to get to Mugello like this and it's nice to get there after a good race like this one today. I hope people want to come, so it's hard to sleep like in the good old days. In the end, an empty Mugello isn't nice, let's hope for the best. Here I received a lot of affection, it was very nice. It was a special event here. I didn't think about it immediately, then I realized it when they gave me the flag. Zarco approached me, I wanted to give him a fist-bump for the congratulations. He didn't understand and took the flag! But it's all the same, come on, I'm happy because it's something special".
Is your rivalry with Bagnaia the same as what we see from the outside, or does it change something in the Academy?
"The rivalry that exists between us is what you see from the outside. In the end, we spend a lot of time together back home and then on the race weekends. We certainly spend much more time together back home. But even in GPs, Pecco often comes with me, we talk, we are friends, very close friends. But on the track it is difficult to have friends. I will simply try to continue in this way, it is tough because in MotoGP the rivalry is as high as the competition, but having friends like him with me and also the other guys in the Academy makes everything better. I just hope it continues like this."
You've trimmed your moustache, but you still have something there.
"I’ll cut it better after the press conference, also because I'm ugly with this moustache!".