The ‘three stages’ to di Giannantonio’s MotoGP success

Fabio di Giannantonio’s crew chief Frankie Carchedi explains the three stages of progress that culminated in a fairytale MotoGP victory at the Qatar Grand Prix.
Fabio Di Giannantonio, Frankie Carchedi, MotoGP race, Qatar MotoGP 19 November
Fabio Di Giannantonio, Frankie Carchedi, MotoGP race, Qatar MotoGP 19…

Crew chief for Joan Mir during his title-winning 2020 campaign, Carchedi joined forces with di Giannantonio at Gresini after Suzuki’s MotoGP exit.

Although consistently in the points, a step up from his rookie campaign, it took until the final third of the season for di Giannantonio to really hit his stride.

This is why.

“You have three stages,” Carchedi told TNT Sports. “The first thing was working on him, adapting to the characteristics of the Ducati.

“Then by the time we got to Jerez, he was starting to pick up. Top 10, around there… We said, ‘now we will try to make a bike for your style’.

“We didn’t reinvent the wheel, but we are quite different to the others. But he has a different riding style to the others.

“He likes a lot of rear grip. The difficulties? There is a hell of a lot of balance to the rear. The secret is getting the bike to turn. It’s alright having grip to the rear, but if the bike doesn’t turn…

“So we were playing a lot with geometry on the front, head angles…

“There was one exit in Jerez, on used tyres. He said ‘what have you done? Whatever it was, it worked.’

“Then you go back to the riding. Middle of the season he was doing well, but qualifying in 13th…

“That was the last piece of the jigsaw.

“Everything is easier if you start at the front. It’s not easy with the [tyre pressure] rules if you start at the back.”

di Giannantonio qualified second in Qatar, but dropped to fourth early in the race before fighting his way past the fellow Ducatis of team-mate Alex Marquez, pole qualifier Luca Marini and finally title leader Francesco Bagnaia.

“[On Saturday] I said to him ‘there is only one corner where we’ll go full power, it’s out of 14 and into 15, it’s an easy place to overtake’.

“And it was basically where he overtook!”

While much of the race went as di Giannantonio and Carchedi had planned, there was one late scare when Bagnaia almost hit the back of the #49 under braking for turn 1.

“He [Bagnaia] gets sucked in,” Carchedi said. “Everyone has their unique style, Pecco is unbelievable in that corner, he brakes late.

“Diggia has a slightly different style, he likes to brake progressively and carry corner speed.

“It caught him [Bagnaia] by surprise. Fortunately for both of them, it worked out alright.”

While di Giannantonio’s MotoGP future remains unclear, Carchedi will work with new Gresini signing Marc Marquez in 2024.

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