A very honorable 4th place for Luca Marini in the Italian Grand Prix. Clenching his teeth for the aftermath of the fracture to his hand from the previous GP at Le Mans, the Mooney VR46 rider fought hard for the podium against all odds at the Mugello Autodromo, before the pain began to get to him, but this didn’t cancel out his performance.
“I didn’t expect to keep this pace. Even if I wasn’t at my best, starting up front helped me,” Marini admitted. “Much of this result is due to my great qualifying round. An incredible race. I always tried to manage my energy. I did everything to put pressure on Alex. In the end, unfortunately, I had little strength, so I had to slow down. I almost cried when Zarco overtook me. I tried anyway, but he’s one of the best on the grid when it comes to tire management. It would’ve been a dream to get on the podium in a magical place like this. I’ll postpone my intentions to 2024.”
The festive atmosphere at the Tuscan curcuit ended up affecting everyone at the MotoGP, including Marini: “We finally experienced the colorful Mugello of the golden age, with meadow and grandstands almost completely full. I saw so many young fans, and this is gratifying for us riders because it makes it a pleasant Sunday for us and vice versa.”
Returning to the purely technical aspect, Marini explained what his gaps were during this weekend: “My only weak point was the Bucine where, for example, Pecco made the difference. I asked Valentino for advice, but with little success. He told me he couldn’t help me because, in twenty years, not even he learned how to handle with it,” he said jokingly.
The MotoGP now enters the hottest period of the season. In less than a week, they'll be back on track at the Sachsenring for the German GP. A purely left-handed toboga track in which the Ducati rider really confides, given his current physical state: “There’s only one braking point to the right there, then all corners are to the left. On paper, I should feel less pain. I hope I get back into shape as soon as possible. I was hoping to progress, like I did between Friday and Saturday. But, since yesterday, my condition has remained almost the same.”
Bezzecchi: “The front closed in on me everywhere”
An entirely agonizing race on the other side of the garage for Marco Bezzecchi, who wasn’t able to get beyond an eighth place behind Jack Miller’s KTM. Slipping up at 21 lengths from the leader, Francesco Bagnaia, in the championship standings, the Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati rider didn’t express himself on the levels of the Tissot Sprint on Saturday afternoon, for problems that were not better ascertained.
“At turn three, I had already realized that something was wrong. I practically couldn’t stay up, and the front closed in on me everywhere,” Bezzecchi explained. “I couldn’t get close to my opponents. It was a brutal effort. We still have to analyze the data. Strange, given that, compared to yesterday, we hadn’t changed anything on the bike.”
The bitterness in the words of the best rookie of the past season is understandable, especially if he fails in his result before such welcoming spectators, like the ones present today: “I could have tried for the podium. It was nice seeing Mugello full of spectators. Ours sport deserves that. It’s too bad I didn’t give them what they were probably expecting. Luckily, there will be three rounds in a row to be able to forget today. I like the Sachsenring.”