Moto2, Bezzecchi: “I was about to say yes to Aprilia but the offer came late”

Marco Bezzecchi, Sky VR46 team rider, has won the inaugural edition of the Triumph Triple Trophy. Last year, the British three-cylinder replaced the Honda four-cylinder in the middle class of the world championship. At the start of the current season, Triumph and Dorna set up the trophy to reward the driver who has scored the most points in three different areas: top speed record, pole position and fastest race lap. Bezzecchi was recognized as the winner of the Triumph Triple Trophy riding a Triumph Street Triple RS, the bike that produced the 765cc three-cylinder engine from which the Moto2 engine derives.

What do you think of the Triumph Street Triple RS you received as a prize?

“I saw the bike when they brought it to the workshop. I was really surprised because they didn’t tell me before. I really like it. It’s a nice award, much nicer than a lot of trophies I’ve won in some races.” I especially like the colors because I love black bikes, I find them aggressive, they’re cool. The yellow and white details are really special. Besides that, I’ve never had a road bike, I don’t have a license to ride it, when I get home I have to get it, it will be the first thing I do.

We’ve heard rumors about your possible move to MotoGP next year. Can you tell us more?

“Aprilia came to me and they were convinced that I could move to MotoGP. I was flattered because I didn’t expect anyone to ask for MotoGP. We were close, but then I thought about it a lot, also because I had already signed a contract for next year with my current team and we would have had to work a lot to break it up and move to MotoGP. It wasn’t going to be a very easy story. Also during the second race in Valencia I thought about it a lot because I didn’t really know what to do. In the end I realized that it would have been better for me to stay in Moto2 for another year, mainly because I really enjoy riding this bike and I feel comfortable there. Also, I think it’s not 100% yet and staying with the same team and bike for another year can help me a lot. I will try to have another good season, if you have good results then the MotoGP offers will come. I’m sorry for Aprilia, if they had asked me a little earlier I might have had a different idea. “

“It would be fantastic to join Valentino’s team in MotoGP”

Do you remember when Valentino Rossi asked you to join the Sky VR46 team? As for the possibility of his future team in MotoGP, do you think your goal is to be a part of it?

“Last year I was in a difficult and complicated period of my career. When we were in Europe we used to meet up in the camper van in the afternoons after mornings on the route to talk, play and spend some time together. I don’t remember exactly which race, but towards the end of the championship, maybe it was Silverstone, all the guys went out and I was alone with Vale. I said I need help because I wasn’t feeling well when I got out on the track. He told me that everyone understood that and that he wanted me on his team. I had a two-year contract with KTM and wasn’t sure how to move. We talked about it more and more and I was able to discuss my possible move to Sky with Hervé (Poncharal, KTM Tech3 Team Manager, editor’s note). Luckily, everything went smoothly and the opportunity became a reality. As for Rossi’s team in MotoGP, I don’t know, also because there is nothing certain. It would be fantastic to race with his team, he helped me in a very difficult moment, I would try to get the best possible result for him.

You said a while ago that you liked helping out in your father’s workshop, do you still do that? Do you think you will make changes to your new bike?

“Until last year I worked with my father in the workshop, this year I couldn’t because of the races. I love working on cars and it would be great to work on the bike that I won, maybe to make it even faster, but it’s already very fast. I will make a few changes at most just to make it even more aesthetic. I’ll fix something with the braking too. “

The Triumph Street Triple RS shares the same engine as the Moto2. How do you feel with this engine and what do you think?

“It’s really nice to have the same motor as my race bike, sure the one I use on the track has a bit more. It’s a really powerful engine, so it’s impressive to think about driving it on the road. It has fast shifting and the blipper is also very similar. The only thing is that you can’t drive that fast on the road.”

“Moto2 has become more like MotoGP and the jump from Moto3 is great now”

As for your feelings, how did you approach the new engine in the new category in 2019? Did you feel comfortable with the bike right away?

“It was very important for me to move from Moto3 to Moto2 when the Triumph engine was introduced. In my opinion it was the best year to move up a category because everything was new. I immediately started pushing the bike to better understand the engine and gain experience. It’s really different from the Honda engine that came before. The bike is very similar to MotoGP bikes and the step up the category will be smaller. This is important to adjust to a larger bike first. We were also able to make a lot of changes to the electronics, which helped me a lot with the adjustment. We have seen that the level of electronics is very high and that you can adapt the motor to your driving style, especially when braking and accelerating”.

Marco, you’ve only ridden the track with Triumph bikes so far. Have you tried other types of motorcycles on other occasions?

“When I started the championship this year I trained with the VR 46 Academy and we used the Yamaha R1 because we can’t use any other type of Moto2 off track. The Yamaha R1 is the best choice for training because the engine is very similar to that of a superbike. That was the best chance outside of the races. The Triumph engine has nothing short of that of the Yamaha. In Moto2 I could only test the Triumph engine. As I said before, this engine has meant that the step between Moto2 and MotoGP is not as far as it used to be. Jumping between the two categories is certainly challenging because MotoGPs have a lot of power. Moto2 has improved a lot. Here in Portugal we have to check a lot of data from the Honda engine because we have never driven this engine at this track. Every time we go to a new track and after a few laps we compare the collected data, we find that the difference is big. The bike is much faster. I am sure that the step from Moto3 to Moto2 is huge. In Moto2 the bike is much stronger and in fact it is much closer to MotoGP”.

You said that you can’t ride the bike you won because you don’t have a driver’s license. What do you think you will do with it?

“The first thing I will do is get my driver’s license, as soon as I get home I will start classes to get it. I think I’ll change it up a bit, wish it made more noise. I’ll definitely use it when it gets warmer because now it’s getting pretty cold in Italy. This summer I’ll probably sit in the back and do a few city tours with my girlfriend. It’s cool because I’ve never had a road bike before. I used to drive around with a booster all the time. People will recognize me, but I’ll be able to escape by bike.

“The biggest thing you had to adapt to in Moto2 was the electronics”

What was it like working with the development engineers when Triumph came to Moto2?

“In the beginning it was really difficult to get used to this engine because it was really strong and I had to work a lot on the electronics to get confidence, that was the biggest challenge in the beginning. It was my first time using a blipper system and shifting this way is really different than a normal one. The engine works best when you shift slowly, and in Moto3 you have to do it quickly instead. The best way to be able to brake with this system is to do it slowly. In the beginning it’s really strange to adapt because when you’re in the race you try to push yourself to the limit to go as fast as possible. You have to get used to it to make it normal, so it was strange in the first few races.

In 2017, in your first season, you were bottom of the table and the following year you were fighting for the top spots. Last year wasn’t so good and then this year you’re fighting for the top three again. Can you explain what that step was like from year one to year two in both categories?

“2017 was my first year in the World Championship and I arrived with very little experience. I had little knowledge of the category and the riders I’ve battled with are some of the strongest in the world. It was difficult for me to be as quick as the leading drivers. The following year I grew a lot, changed my riding style and worked on myself to change my reaction when things aren’t going the way you envisioned. My second year in Moto3 I changed teams and it helped me because I found more confidence in the bike. This allowed me to have even more self-confidence, which subsequently helped me to reach the highest positions in the general classification. In Moto2, the first year was very difficult, mainly because I changed categories. I had a lot of expectations for my performance and that didn’t help me at all, I didn’t get the results and everything was more difficult, but I never gave up. I worked on myself again to adapt to the bike, the engine, the tyres, everything. This year, as soon as I switched teams, I immediately felt comfortable, both with the bike and with the team. All the work of the past year has helped me find myself better in 2020. I had a good season.

Audio provided by Nicole Facelli