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MotoGP, Lucchinelli: "Marquez and Acosta two top dogs, they've already sniffed each other out."

VIDEO - "If I had to decide, I would take them both to Ducati. For me it would be an incentive for everyone. Today's riders? They grow up in batteries like chicks, they don't have the same hunger we had."

MotoGP, Lucchinelli: "Marquez and Acosta two top dogs, they've already sniffed each other out."
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Marco Lucchinelli was one of the guests of honor at the Suzuki Motor Fest in Misano, an event that welcomed thousands of fans to the paddock while also offering a truly spectacular parade with more than 500 motorcycles on the track following Lucchinelli himself , Kevin Schwantz and Franco Uncini. Marco was kind enough to give us some of his time to talk about many topics, with his usual easygoing and irreverent manner that as always gave us more than one gem.

"This Suzuki Motor Fest was challenging for me, but very nice to see," he told us, "There were so many motorcycles on the track, it was full in the parade. I would not have expected it being Saturday and being a one-day event. Bravo to the Suzuki guys and bravo to everyone who came here, too, because they are the real stars."

Are you sorry that Suzuki is not racing in MotoGP and SBK?
"It's a pity also because when Suzuki makes an effort they always do things well, they are very good. When they decided to stop in MotoGP it was the time when they had a bike they could win the world championship with, and that bothered me a lot. Even now I don't know what the real reason is, because I see it as a very strange thing. They were at their peak, so I don't get to understand it honestly."

There is talk about riders not being characters, do you think they are also to blame?
"In my opinion, the way of living and racing has changed. The passion is always there, however, my generation was different. We started racing in our 20s, even Biaggi started late. I was a little ship's boy, which would be the guy who brings meals to the shipyards, and I did that for six months. Until I was 20 I was on the bulldozers. Back then when you got to racing it was the fulfillment of a dream. These kids racing today have too much and everything. They grow up like in a chick farm, out of so many there are even a few come out, but before there were not so many of us. In my opinion that is also why they don't have so much power, in the end they are okay with everything. They make money even if the bike breaks down, if they don't make it to the finish line. There are riders who have had a good bike for years and don't win anything. I won the 500 title in my second year. We make a real selection."

Who do you see today besides Marquez as a true champion?
"There is Acosta who is awesome, he is the heir to Marc Marquez. The top dogs understand each other immediately, they have already smelled each other out. Marquez already knows that Acosta will be the one to take his future, I have no doubt about that because they are too far ahead. They respect each other so much, though. Then I don't look at the liking or disliking of a rider, I don't have to marry them or sleep with them. They have to race and get ahead, period. I don't have to like them. Marquez may be a pain in the proverbial, but as a rider...I also disliked Maradona, but when he had the ball at his feet you had to feel shame for the others. You have to give all the credit to Marquez, who is the heir to the greats who fought like Stoner, Rossi, Pedrosa and Lorenzo, who was one of the strongest riders who ever raced. He would open the throttle wide open, he just didn't have his head on right for me."

Today maybe talent is taking a back seat to something else?
"Yes, there are things that are strange and I still don't understand. Take what happened at Le Mans on Friday. They came in and after four laps, not forty laps, they are already lapping on the track in record time. But then they just stay there, like they get there easily, at least that's the case for almost everyone. Then there are those last tenths that are tough to pull away. They are all good and I admire them. Of course, I'll never copy those who put their foot out, I'd have it amputated look!"

Obligatory question: but if you were Dall'Igna who would you get at Ducati next year?
"I don't know, it's one of those things where you would have to be a little detached to make a good decision. I would be in trouble. I in my time went after people like Faloppa, Baldassarre Monti, I got some crazy people on the bike. So I would say Marquez. For example, though, I really want Acosta, because I see him as a Marquez with something more. He comes easy to things. Going back to the question, I would take Bagnaia just because Ducati passes him on to me, although I wouldn't have sought him out . I respect him, but that's the way it is. If I had to make a free team, Marquez and Acosta, what the heck do I care. If I had to decide with the head I have, I would have no doubt. When I decided in Bologna, I got Roche, Faloppa, Jimmy James. I got busy, on these things I would have stimulated them more.

Any pilot management episodes?
"One time Roche was saying Faloppa's bike was going better, I told him quietly we'll swap the engines. Ten minutes and immediately I had solved the problem. On these things I was great! At Hockenheim, the first round the guys were lapping 10th, 11th, with a Ducati that should have allowed them to give everybody a lap. I half-assed it, went to the organizer and asked if I could do the free practice myself. I did two sessions, when I lapped like they did they woke up by miracle, but look at that. The bike immediately fixed itself."

 

Translated by Julian Thomas

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