FlexBox HP 40’s Lorenzo Baldassarri continued his impressive Losail International Circuit run of form with Sunday’s second-place finish making it three years in a row that the Italian has ended up inside the top two. His season-opening result comes after a turbulent 2019 where, after winning three of the opening four races, he slumped to seventh in the Championship without another podium visit.
Included in his rollercoaster 2019 was his exit from the VR46 Riders Academy after a number of years. The now 23-year-old moved from Valentino Rossi’s management umbrella to that of Simone Battistella – the manager of, amongst others, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. As a result, ‘Balda’ admits he is now receiving some help from the factory Ducati rider, as well as his teammate Danilo Petrucci.
“My preparation is a bit different,” said Baldassarri following a career twelfth Moto2™ podium. “Before I was in a group and I was also training different with the bike but now I also train in a group but a different group. Sometimes I go and ride motocross with Dovi and Petrux and also Dovi is sometimes helping me.
“I feel strong but also last year I felt very strong,” he explained. “Of the first four races I won three, so I was feeling great but then many different things happened, which weren’t easy to manage. So, I couldn’t make those problems and I think, I hope, I’ve learned from that. For me, the target is the same: always give my maximum and every race try to do my best result. I think last year was important and I learned a lot from it, it was a good lesson.”
Now in his second year with Sito Pons’ squad, the Italian will be hoping to maintain some consistency throughout the season and put a title charge together. After victories in Qatar, Argentina and Jerez, the Italian went on his longest run without a podium since 2017 last season. However, now that that 15-race fruitless run has come to an end, he will fancy himself as a contender for the 2020 Championship.
Furthermore, he was heavily linked with a move to the premier class last year but surely, he now sees 2020 as his best chance yet at securing a seat in MotoGP™ with the vast majority of contracts up for renewal. It’s clear a new and revitalised Baldassarri has arrived in 2020, will it be the Italian’s year?