Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Sacchi sees Simoncelli as `new champion´

Sacchi sees Simoncelli as `new champion´

The Piaggio Group´s Giampiero Sacchi has paid tribute to Metis Gilera rider Marco Simoncelli, the revelation of the season in 250cc.

When the betting was opened on the title challengers in the 250cc class at the beginning of 2008, few would have put money down on Marco Simoncelli. The Italian had proved to be talented but crash-prone throughout his time in the quarter-litre category, and would be beginning the season riding a Gilera LE somewhat antiquated in comparison to the latest RSA model.

However, over the course of the past nine races (following a Qatar DNF) the Italian has been nothing short of a revelation, maturing into a racewinner and –after victory at the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland- the new leader of the 250cc classification. It hasn´t been a shock solely for outside observers, either; even from within the Metis Gilera structure there has been surprise at the 21 year-old´s coming of age, as Piaggio Group head Giampiero Sacchi explained at the final race before the category´s summer break.

`Marco´s performance in 2008 is unbelievable if we think back to last year, when nobody believed in him after his results,´ said the Italian. `You have to understand that not every rider is Valentino Rossi, coming in and winning in a very short time. Marco is showing that he maybe needed one or two years, but now we really have a new champion.´

Names below Simoncelli in the World Championship standings -such as Mika Kallio and Alvaro Bautista- have been linked with a switch to 800cc machinery for 2009. Whilst the series leader can be expected to review his options at the end of the year, Sacchi sees no rush to leave the quarter-litre class behind.

`I think that all riders have the dream of moving up into MotoGP, but I would say that in my experience good results this season would make Marco think about this option. However, he´s young and there is no rush to go anywhere in my opinion. In any case, I respect any rider´s decision.´

250cc, 2008, Marco Simoncelli, Metis Gilera

Other updates you may be interested in ›