30 March 2012
Interview with Lucio Cecchinello
I am not ashamed to say I recognised that during my career I raced riders who had much more ability and talent, so I tried to compensate for this with dedication, with work, with application and with training. Because I started so late I was already 30 years old when I started to be really competitive in GPs. At that age your mind changes. Let's say that your approach to risk is a little different - that's just a normal human process. And at the same time I was also managing my own team, so I had to take care of a lot of other things apart from riding, which definitely absorbed a lot of my mental energy. So maybe I could have won more races if I hadn't had to think of so many other things. But anyway, I did my best.
What's it like working with Stefan Bradl?
It's difficult to fully judge someone after such a short time. Also I know that when you start a new project with a new rider it's always very exciting, like a honeymoon! So at the moment we are on honeymoon and it's fantastic, everything is really cool, really fine. But honestly, I am surprised to work with such a young rider with such a high level of intelligence and maturity. Also, he's a really nice guy.
Would you say he is a thinking rider?
Yes. So far in his career he has already shown that he is a very consistent rider. He is the kind of rider who has a very clever approach – he learns step by step, trying to reach the limit of the bike by first understanding how the bike works and how it reacts. So he is taking his time to adapt to MotoGP but the potential is definitely there.
LCR had a very tough 2011…
Yes, last year was way off our target and expectations. The team was the same as before, the bike was even better than before and Toni [Elis] joined the team as Moto2 World Champion and already with some great results in MotoGP. We think that the problems were due to his weight and his riding style - he didn't put enough heat into the tyres.
Do you still miss riding?
Yes, absolutely, I still miss riding. You have different ages in life. At first you play with toys, then maybe you discover the joy of doing a sport and then if you are really lucky and you have enough skill you go into another age when your sport becomes your work.
This is fantastic, but it's not forever. Now I am in another age in which jumping on a bike, just to have the feeling, the adrenaline, the emotion, is still fantastic. But because I can't see any personal goal in riding a bike I prefer to stay away.
After I stopped racing I did ride a few times but I suffered a lot from this because it was a deep, strong emotion. Let's say it's like making love with the love of your life, with a woman who you still love but with whom you know there is no future. It's too dramatic because it's something you can't really have.
When did you last ride a race bike?
It was at the end of 2004 when I tested our 125 and 250. I've never ridden our MotoGP bike. Of course I'm curious, I'd love to ride a MotoGP but I would like to do it in a proper way, not just a few laps because that way you understand nothing. I either do things properly or not at all. Maybe one day I will ride a MotoGP bike but not now because I have other priorities.
Tell us about your time as a race mechanic…
My father allowed me to discover the world of motorcycles. He loved old bikes, he had a great collection, maybe 300 bikes, especially small machines like a Garelli Mosquito, some Moto Guzzis and Lambrettas. When I discovered bikes I really loved the technology and I wanted to be more involved. I love tuning bikes, I love restoring bikes, I like to work with my hands.
My father taught me how to use the tools, then I met some racers and I asked if I could work for them, free of charge. I started working with a couple of Italian riders during high-school holidays, then with Team Italia. First I cleaned the bikes and the workshop and then I helped maintain the bikes.
Tagged as: Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa , Loris Capirossi , Jerez , Randy de Puniet , Toni Elias , moto2 , Marco Melandri , Mugello , 125 , Qatar
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