di Giannantonio: MotoGP a 'huge change', but I feel ready

2022 Gresini Ducati rider Fabio di Giannantonio says MotoGP 'an incredible dream'. Knows it will also be 'a huge change, but I feel I’m ready.'
Fabio Di Giannantonio German MotoGP, 17 June 2021
Fabio Di Giannantonio German MotoGP, 17 June 2021
© Gold and Goose Photography

A race winner in the Moto3 and now Moto2 classes for Gresini, Fabio di Giannantonio will make his MotoGP debut with the late Fausto Gresini's team during the start of their new Ducati era in 2022.

The 22-year-old knows that a 'huge change' awaits as he steps from the 765cc Triumph-powered Kalex to a 1000cc Desmosedici V4, but believes he's ready for the challenge ahead.

“Getting to the top doesn’t happen every day. Next year I will be racing in the most premier-class in this sport, and this is an incredible dream," di Giannantonio said.

"The first day it will be like getting into the big league: it will be a whole new, huge experience, doesn’t matter how it ends up.

"Going from Moto2 to MotoGP will be tough: 100 more horsepower, more people in the pit-box, more commitments, more buttons on the handlebars… It will be a huge change, but I feel I’m ready and I can’t wait.”

di Giannantonio has spent five of his seven seasons in grand prix with Gresini, including all four years in Moto3, where he finished title runner-up in 2018.

A switch to Speed Up for Moto2 brought four podiums in two seasons, before he returned to Gresini at the start of this year, on a deal that included a MotoGP seat in 2022.

di Giannantonio joins Remy Gardner on next year's confirmed MotoGP rookie list, but Gardner's team-mate Raul Fernandez is also tipped to make the step up from Moto2 to Tech3 KTM. VR46's Marco Bezzecchi could yet make it four MotoGP newcomers next season.

Joining di Giannantonio on the Gresini GP21s will be countryman Enea Bastianini, currently spending his rookie MotoGP campaign with Avintia Ducati.

Bastianini, 23, also got his grand prix break with Gresini, with whom he spent three years in the Moto3 world championship, rising to title runner-up in 2016.

“It is a fantastic thing to be back with Gresini Racing, a team that is like a family to me and who strongly believed in me in the past. In fact, it was the first one to believe in me," said Bastianini.

"We have been together for three years and I only have good memories. Obviously, I would have loved to start this new journey with Fausto, but the Gresini Family is named this way for a reason, so I will have a lot of friends close by who will help me.

"We found the agreement with Ducati that we were looking for and I’m sure next year we will have a very competitive bike. I will be much readier for this category entering 2022 and with even greater motivation.”

Bastianini is currently leading the Rookie of the Year standings on a two-year old Desmosedici, with which he has taken a best finish so far of ninth place in Portimao.

For Nadia Padovani Gresini, wife of Fausto, it's especially satisfying to have a MotoGP line-up consisting of two young riders her late husband believed in from the very start of their world championship careers.

"They are very young, and the fact that it was indeed Fausto who ‘discovered’ them and brought them on the world stage makes me think that it is a line-up he would have approved with full grades," Padovani Gresini said.

"I believe MotoGP will be their stage for many years to come."

The new Ducati project means an end to the Gresini team's seven-year partnership with Aprilia, which had offered the chance to use satellite bikes in 2022.

"Ducati Corse and Fausto were in talks already at the end of last season and I think choosing Borgo Panigale’s manufacturer was the right call, even though I’m not forgetting about the important partnership with Aprilia these past years," said Padovani.

“To continue in the sign of Fausto was and still is our mission and – to do so the best way possible – the return to MotoGP as an independent team was an obligatory step."

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