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Moto3, Lunetta: "I dream of MotoGP in the SIC team, with that 58 that never left me."

THE HISTORY "I saw the race in Malaysia, on the first minimoto at Christmas, put on 58 and it hasn't left me since. Meeting Paolo Simoncelli? somehow it had to happen, we both had the desire to work together. I admire Pedro Acosta, he does another sport, everything comes naturally to him but there is a lot of work behind it."  

Moto3: Lunetta:

He is from Rome, he is seventeen years old, he is Junior GP vice-champion and he is among the athletes of national interest of the FIM: We are talking about Luca Lunetta, who in his rookie year in Moto 3 is preparing to face the fourth round of the season in Jerez. A start to the championship marked by some very good qualifying (he is always in Q2) and a few mistakes in the race because "I have to get my head right and stay sharp," but he is young, it's part of the journey. The first contact between the young rider and two wheels almost smacks of destiny (spoiler: there is a golf course involved) then the spark in that inauspicious weekend in Malaysia and that 58 that has never left him in his career. Meeting Paolo Simoncelli also has everything of predestination, they seek each other out and find each other, and now in 2024, 20 years later, Lunetta brings that 58 back to that very Jerez that saw Marco Simoncelli triumph for the first time in the wet in 2004. Lunetta's is a story within a story, and he told us about it as the Spanish weekend dawned.

"Net of the first three races I remain positive ," Lunetta says , "to arrive in the world championship was my dream, it's a unique emotion. It's clear that I don't like slipping and being behind, in the first races we were not able to materialize despite in qualifying we are fast always returning to Q2, except for the fall in Portimao. I have to remain calm and keep working step by step."

Your arrival in MotoGP coincided with the switch to Pirelli, and you did it in a team that is a symbol of the paddock, SIC58 founded by Paolo Simoncelli.
"It's all new here for me, but in the team I immediately felt good, it's a second family and I have a great relationship with both Paolo, with Marco Grana my chief technician, and with Filippo Farioli my teammate. I like the Honda, we worked well on the setup. In the first races we had problems in braking, while now we have fixed with the engine brake. I have all the conditions to do well, so now it's up to me to work calmly, to know the limits of the tires, for the rest it's just a matter of my head, staying clear in the race and not making mistakes."

How did the passion for motorcycles come about? I know there is golf involved.
"It's all true! I've always been reckless from an early age, at 3 years old I was riding a bike without training wheels but in my family there was no such culture for riders, there was a passion for motorcycles as well as other sports. When I was five he took me to a golf course but it was not the right season to start. On the way home we came across this motorcycle track in Torricola, I started by accident so and got so into it right away, instead of the playground I was going to the minimoto track. When they told me it was not the right season for golf I thought, perfect! I was delighted and so I grew up among motorcycles."

What did you think when you realized you would be racing for the SIC58 team specifically?
"It was a unique emotion, I've been wearing 58 since I started racing when I was 5 years old and I've always looked at this team as a mirage, it's something too good to describe, it's a dream to race the world championship with them. It happened by chance, I was in Austria and I met Paolo, the spark was immediate, we both had the desire to work together."

It was destiny that you would meet.
"Somehow it had to happen! Now I'm here and it's time to have fun but also to bring home some results."

You carry an important race number for Italian motorcycling, the 58 that was Simoncelli's, how did this connection come about?
"The 58 evokes a very strong emotion for me. Just when I started with minimotos I saw that race in Malaysia, I was on the couch with my father and although I was still a child I was really shocked. In the following days the 58 was everywhere, so when my father gave me the minimoto I immediately put the 58 on it, my father even tried to take it off but there was no reason to, it hasn' t left me since."

Now Jerez, the fourth round of the championship, awaits you.
"It's a circuit I really like, I've always gone fast here even in the minor categories, and in the tests at the beginning of the year I was in the top 10 so I think we'll have fun this weekend."

Simoncelli also won his own first career race here.
"It could be a good omen, I will give my best as always, we try, the goal as always is to win, but we have to work calmly."

The first dream, to join this team, you achieved. What is the next one?
"Obviously I dream of MotoGP, but more in the immediate...if you had asked me last week I would have said I would like to start by winning a race. Now, however, I think it is more important to close it well and gain experience."

And for those who dream of MotoGP, among the riders in the premier class, one in particular has the Roman dreaming more than the others.
"It almost goes without saying, but I really admire Pedro Acosta, at the moment I can't explain it. By the way, I raced with him in 2020 in the rookies cup, it was my first year and I was 14 years old, and he was already scary there, he was doing another sport. Beyond how quickly he got to MotoGP, from a rookie you expect a period of adjustment, but he succeeds at everything very easily. It's not just about being reckless, there's adjusting the bike and that's no small thing. I had a chance to talk to Diggia (also from Rome ed.), and behind his success in MotoGP is a lot of work. In Moto3 you can have an unbelievable race but it's different there, I hope he will be an inspiration to me even if then everyone has their own path, you have to focus on your work without getting too lost in comparisons."

Automatic Translation by DeepL

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