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13 days ago
By Forward Team

Baldassarri: “I must be dreaming”

The Gran Premio d’Italia TIM produced an unusual Moto2™ race due to a red flag, but Lorenzo Baldassarri battled on for his best finish.

For his home round, the Forward Team had given Lorenzo Baldassarri a splendid red, white and green tricolore livery. Starting from the front row for the first time he shot forward to attempt to gain the lead into Turn 1 but came into contact with Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten), sending them both wide. He quickly rallied and was right back to fighting with the leading riders until the red flag came out due to a deflated air fence. The race would eventually be restarted as a ten-lap sprint, tyre wear no longer a concern and everyone able to fight as hard as possible.

What followed was one of the most thrilling Moto2™ duels of recent years, Baldassarri and Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) cutting each other up at almost every corner. The crowd were brought to their feet as the two battled, living up to the old saying that 'rubbing is racing'. ‘Balda’ fought till the final lap but was unable to overcome Zarco even with a slipstream, missing victory by 0.030s.

Second is Baldassarri’s best finish in the World Championship and his second podium, his first coming at the Australian GP in 2015. The past three races have seen Baldassarri in podium contention but in both Jerez and Le Mans he crashed, Mugello finally delivering a well deserved reward for his hard work.

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Baldassarri: "I was ready to fight"

Lorenzo Baldassarri: “It’s an unbelievable achievement; I was focused from start to finish, not easy in a race with all these restarts. Getting a podium in front of the home crowd with a special livery, I must be dreaming. We battled with Zarco and I do not know how many times we overtook each other the last few laps, I knew to have a bit more pace but came back to me every time. I would like to thank everyone: the team, Giovanni and the V46 Riders Academy. After Le Mans and Jerez misfortune, here we finally brought home what we deserved. It’s amazing!”