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Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso needs no introduction. A name known by every MotoGP™ fan across the world, Dovizioso is one of the sport’s greatest riders in recent history and the MotoGP™ Podcast team were fortunate enough to catch 25 minutes with the experienced Italian at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for an in-depth chat about a side to racing we don’t usually here much about.
Undaunted Dovi is widely known for his philosophical approach to racing. His mental process is different from most of his competitors, and it’s one that has enabled Dovizioso to reach the very pinnacle of the sport. The 2004 125cc World Champion and three-time premier class runner-up explains this side to his game to hosts Matt Dunn and Fran Wyld, and it’s fascinating.
“It’s not that easy to explain. The positive thing in MotoGP, it doesn’t exist one way to be a champion. And this is nice because you can find a lot of ways to become a champion, a fast rider, a winner, so this is good,” began Dovi. “So every rider has to understand and the people around the riders make a big, big, big difference. The family, but especially the people around the riders. I can see many times and many riders, unfortunately in the paddock, with talent but not able to work in every details and I think I’m lucky because I meet a lot of really good people. One of them is my manager, who helped me since 2003.
It’s a long story, we started like this and year on year, our relationship became more important and I understood he was a really good person to speak about. He’s completely different to me, and this helped me because every time you have a problem or you look at the race or life in one way, and to have a completely different picture of the same things… if you are open to listening, it makes a big difference. All the riders, I don’t like when I see the riders, and I don’t think that works most of the time, when the riders are on top of everybody.
“The people around the riders have to be on the same level or sometimes on top of the riders. Because when the riders want to take all the decision and want to manage all the people, it’s impossible to always take the right decision and be smart enough to understand everything you have to do. If you’re a rider, you have to do a lot of things, you’ve very stressful most of the time, you have to mostly go beyond your limits, so I think you need a different person to give you a different picture and help you to find the point where you have to be better. You believe in a lot of things but you can’t understand everything.”
“It’s normal, it’s normal,” continues the number 04, referring to having “yes men” in your life. “When you become famous, it’s so easy to find a ‘yes man’. And it’s always nice to hear “yes” but it doesn’t work most of the time. So it’s nice and it’s a difficult part for us to understand who is real or not but it’s normal like every famous person. But long term, it doesn’t work.”
But can riders be a lone wolf in this day and age, in terms of mentality? Dovizioso isn’t keen on the idea, especially with how competitive MotoGP™ is in recent years.
“It’s difficult, not impossible, but it’s very, very difficult. Especially MotoGP™ now, all the effort is on the championship. The company, manufacturers work a lot to create a good bike and now every bike is able to win a race, with a different characteristic, but… so this means every weekend, everything is open and that is very difficult to manage. In the past, it was basically always the same rider in the race up there, now, especially this year, it’s no longer like that.
“It’s very difficult to manage from the mental side especially because you have your idea, go on the track and everything is completely different. So you have to stay calm, work in a lot of details, and understand why that is very difficult. Then you can see some really talented riders destroy everyone but then after 3 races, going down. Because it’s not that easy to understand when you’re going slow, why, and the reason.”
More topics you can enjoy from the Dovizioso episode:
- Why Dovi loves Supercross
- From glitz & glam to caravans
- How important support systems are
- How he became a consistent winner
- Dovi’s perspective on rivalry
- Kenwood Quickfire
As always, you can listen to the MotoGP™ Podcast on your favoured streaming platform (buttons at the top) or watch on YouTube - enjoy!
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