Former Formula One, CART and IndyCar star Alex Zanardi has revealed he enjoys watching MotoGP more than F1 these days.

Speaking exclusively to Radio, Zanardi, a former double IndyCar title winner, was asked if - aside from the championships he competed in - he follows any other forms of motorsport.

"Of course! I think all Italians are now watching whenever there is a bike race - or at least while Valentino Rossi is in the field," he smiled. "I also have other friends (in MotoGP) like Loris Capirossi, and I know Marco Melandri quite well.

"I know all these guys because Dr Costa - who is the creator of the Clinica Mobile - is a great friend of mine and was very close to me throughout my 'misadventure'. Through him I got to know a lot of these incredible kids, who are doing incredible things. I watch MotoGP with even more pleasure than Formula One."

Zanardi lost both legs in a huge CART accident at the Lausitzring oval in 2001, but has amazed the motorsport and medical communities with his determined and inspirational recovery. Alex can now walk with the aid of prosthetic limbs and even returned to racing, in the European Touring Car Championship, this season.

"I went to Dubai (recently) - on my own - I drove my car to the airport, parked my car, jumped on the plane, changed planes at Frankfurt, flew to Dubai, cleared customs - on my own - went to the hotel, checked in, changed my shirt and then went to have a drink with my guys from the team.

"I stayed in Dubai for a few days, drove my best race of the year, came back, went home for an afternoon, jumped back on another plane to come here (London) and now I am talking to you. That is what I have achieved in two-years of rehabilitation and three-years from the accident," he says during the interview.

"I'm glad I was able to do all this. I know that in my situation most people do not get to this point, but believe me I'm not any sort of Superman. I've seen other people doing the same and this is the real hope. This was in my deck of cards but it's in a lot of peoples decks of cards."

Meanwhile, on his ill-fated decision to return to Formula One after winning his IndyCar titles, Alex states: "I underestimated the situation, but if everything in life went right it would be very boring. I believe the perfect life is the right combination of great success and failure."

Zanardi will again compete in the touring car series in 2005, when it will become a world championship.

The full exclusive interview with Alex can be found in the Radio archive...



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