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SBK, Baldassarri: "Leaving VR46 was a gamble, but I have no regrets"

INTERVIEW - "What have I missed over the years? Luck is important, but it's mostly a matter of choices. Misano is going to be a mystery box, but the Triumph has good potential and, if all goes well, I could be riding with the team until the end of the season."

SBK: Baldassarri:

They say that when one door closes, another one opens, and this might just be the case for Lorenzo Baldassarri. His commitment with the Orelac Racing team lasted only three rounds, but the rider from the Marche region will get the chance to return to the Supersport starting grid in Misano on the WRP-RT Motorsport's Triumph by SKM, replacing by Jorge Navarro. This could represent a new starting point for the 27-year-old rider after he parted ways with Jose Calero's team.

"The WRP team gave me the chance to ride in this race at Misano as a test, because I had the opportunity to ride the Triumph in Cremona, but it was only to test the bike a bit, since the team wasn't there. After the race, we'll see if we'll be racing together for the rest of the season," Lorenzo told us on the day the news was announced.

What was your impression of the Street Triple RS 765 after you first tried it?
"I felt good with the bike. I liked it, and I saw that it has good potential, and it also gives me a lot of confidence, since I know the engine characteristics well from my Moto2 days. So I think, if we can also find a good set-up with the team, we'll probably continue until the end of the season. If they can put me in a position to find the right confidence and serenity within the team, I think we can get some good results, which we need after the year I experienced in the SBK and this complicated start to the season with Orelac."

What do you expect from the weekend in Misano?
"I'm going to Misano with no expectations. I'd definitely like to put on a show, because it's my track, and I feel strong and successful, but I know I have to face the weekend in progression, also because we dton't have much time, since we only have one practice session before qualifying. It's going to be a bit like a mystery box, because we're going there sight unseen. Howeverm even though it's a new team, they're not doing badly, so let's see how it goes. Also, skipping a home race didn't seem right, since this opportunity came my way, he said smiling."

What didn't work with Orelac?
"I knew it wasn't an official team like Aruba, but I could've still achieved good results having a Ducati at my disposal. In fact, I felt good right away with the bike. I think the V2 is the most balanced bike at the moment, and it suits my size much better than the R6, with which I was having a harder time overtaking and exiting corners. I think I could've had a good result soon, but the stability within the team has been crumbling a bit, and so we decided to interrupt the partnership."

These last few seasons have been quite complex for you. What helped you not give up and not lose heart even in the face of this setback?
"That's a good question. I think it depends on the fact that, when I see that my passion is slipping out of my hands, I realize that I really struggle to live without it. So I try to defend it as long as I can, partly because I'd hate to throw away the talent that has been given to me. Much of the credit also goes to the support of my family and the people around me who continue to believe in me. You don't get anywhere on your own and, without them, I might have given up by now. Also because finding sponsors is really hard, and continuing to make this profession a passion is also hard."

WIll Emilio Alzamora still manage you?
"No, I'm managed by Edu at the moment. Emilio no longer follows me directly because he didn't have time to manage me this season as he did in 2023, since he started his own new project. But we still talk from time to time, and he gives me advice."

What do you think you lacked over the years, besides a bit of luck?
"Luck is definitely important, but I think it's mostly a matter of choices. Of some trains you might have missed. In 2016, for example, I had an offer from Marc VDS, but I had to turn it down because of a clause that tied me to the Forward team."

Seeing where riders like Bagnaia or Morbidelli have arrived, do you think that leaving the VR46 Riders Academy was also a bad choice?
"I have no remorse or regrets, because I followed my own path and did the best I could. In hindsight, I might have had an opportunity to get to the MotoGP,  so that was also a bit of a risky choice, but that's how risks are. It may work out for you, or it may not."

Have you already thought of a plan B in case the round in Misano doesn't give you the outcome you desire?
"If it doesn't work out, I'd go back to the situation I was in a few days ago, which is being on the waiting list for replacements in the Moto2 or riding the Ducati."

Have you ever considered taking a step back and start over in a championship like JuniorGP?
"I've tried to evaluate that idea. To try and win the title there, then come back to the Moto2 World Championship. I'd also be willing to challenge myself, but the problem is that teams don't make any distinctions. They ask you 250,000 euros to race, which I don't have, and then maybe you'd even end up in a team where you're not in the right condition and finish tentht. I'm trying to relaunch myself differently now, and we'll see. My goal is to get back to the top, and I'm ready for anything."

 

Translated by Leila Myftija

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