Italy’s two-wheeled world is in top shape, the young and wild nibble at the side of the senior citizens. The cherry on the cake this year was Morbidelli’s title win, but Franco wasn’t the only Italian to shine in Moto2 this season. In addition to the championship victory, there was also the best rookie title, which was awarded to Francesco Bagnaia or Pecco, as it is generally known.
There is less talk of this result, but Pecco, originally from Turin and now living in Pesaro (a member of Valentino’s court), takes it on the chin, “since Franco won, everything is fine”.
You can’t regret it this year.
“It’s been a great season and I’m very happy. From the middle of the season I was able to drive consistently, and with the exception of a few races I was always in the top ten and often in the top five. I have grown, and so has the team, we have understood each other more and more and have become a strong unit“.
It was a double debut because it was also the Sky VR46 team’s first year in Moto2.
“Yes, but in spite of everything, my goal was always to be the best rookie and to get into the top ten. Some other strong riders switched to Moto2 with me, like Binder, and it was important to me to be ahead of them. “
You made the podium four times but missed a win. Was it possible you think
“I think I could have done at least a couple of races, but we wasted these opportunities. Anyway, it’s only normal to make mistakes in the first year, otherwise it would have been just too perfect (he laughs)”.
What was your biggest difficulty in Moto2?
“The bike is heavier, you have to find a good balance and know how to handle it with a full tank. In Moto3 I was one of the fastest in the first few laps, while in Moto2 the opposite was the case. I’m faster in the second part of the race. “
Are you going to work on it
“I definitely have room for improvement, but not as much as at the beginning. Now I know the bike and the last few tests went well, but I have to improve at the beginning of the race and use the new tires. “
Also because KTM was very strong in the last few races.
“You will be quick they have better traction than the Kalex, that’s why they’re so strong. We are working on this with Kalex and have already taken a step forward in testing. “
Who could be your successor as the best rookie?
“I will be quick and be part of the championship team. After a learning phase, I think he will be very quick in at least ten races. “
In 2016 you were an outsider in Moto3 with Mahindra, and again as a rookie in 2017. Do you know the feeling of being one of the favorites?
“I read in the newspapers and on social media that I’m one of the favorites for next year (he laughs). There are many variables that can change before the season starts. We’ll have to wait for the tests to finish to get a better idea. So for now I prefer to keep the role of the outsider (he laughs)”.
Aren’t you a little diplomatic?
“I think the favorites are Alex Marquez, Oliveira and Pasini, but I’ll have the chance to run with them and get some good results. I will be honest I know this will be my first opportunity to try and win and I want to capitalize on that fact“.
In the past, when you competed with Mahindra for example, you didn’t always have the best equipment …
“Yes, but this situation taught me something, I knew that I always had to give everything. I would like to thank Mahindra and the Aspar team, because thanks to them I’ve become a different driver, they have shown me that you always have to work and give your all. All of this helped me prepare for my first season in Moto2. “
And thanks to Aspar and Borsoi you also had the opportunity to test the Ducati MotoGP …
“Those 7 rounds are burned into my brain and I can’t wait to do it again.”
Say your goal for 2019 is the reigning class?
“Absolutely, but we have to see how things go. I hope to finish a great season because I want to earn a MotoGP or it would be wrong to go there“.
Do you feel ready to take the big step?
“I think the time is right. Had I had an offer for 2018, I would not have been ready to master the situation. But with another year of experience, yes ”.