"It’s something I didn’t expect and I’m so happy to be alongside these names", Andrea Dovizioso says, almost embarrassed with the MotoGP Legend medal around his neck. Moreover, at Mugello, a special place for every Italian rider. “You are a great rider, but an even better person” was the acknowledgment received from Carmelo Ezpeleta, the big boss of Dorna. "It’s a big pleasure to listen to what Carmelo said, I’m very proud - says Dovi - I expect it, it's something crazy, and I’m so happy to see everyone here".
You look surprised.
“I didn't expect it, maybe because of my character I belittle what I've done, I didn't feel so important. Usually, when you retire, people soon forget about you, but the opposite happened to me: when I'm out and about, they stop me more now than when I was racing and winning. This made me realize that I was able to pass on something, even though I know that there are many riders who have won more than me".
How are you doing in retirement?
“Everything changes, it's normal, you see the world in a slightly different way. Now I'm working on an important project, off-roading which has been my passion since I was a child. I had been trying to do it for a long time and the opportunity happened with the Monte Coralli track, it will be completed in a year".
What do you miss about life as a racer?
“When you race in an important championship like MotoGP, there's a lot of adrenaline, you experience everything in a different way. Now I have a more relaxed life, because when you race there is a lot of stress, you have to fight with the limit, but you also feel people pushing you. Here at Mugello, every moment was special, right from Wednesday. Above all, you miss the years you were competitive (laughs)”.
Will there be a chance to see you in this paddock in another role in the future?
"Never say never. I like being able to work at the highest level and you can do it here. With my experience, I could cover various roles, but after so many years in this world, it's normal to want to take a break".
How would you have gone in the Sprint Race?
“I like it, even if perhaps my characteristics aren't the most suitable for that type of race (laughs). Let's say that I would have gladly done them in 2017 and 2018. MotoGP has changed a bit now, pure performance counts for a lot, you have to be fast right from the first practice session, but above all the bikes have changed. The Sprints are interesting to watch, but also very stressful for the riders ”.