How do you become a World Championship contending rider? How much work goes into sustaining yourself at the top of the game through the years when so many others cannot? What type of mindset does an elite competitor need? What sort of life can one of the sport’s best lead outside the paddock?
These are just some of the burning questions discussed on the week’s MotoGP™ podcast ‘Last on the Brakes’ as Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso joins the guys to discuss what it takes to become one of the sport’s best competitors.
The Italian has been racing in the premier class since 2008 and has finished 2nd in the World Championship for three consecutive years, only being bettered by six-time MotoGP™ Marc Marquez on each of those occasions. He also holds a 125cc World Championship to his name as well as accumulating 24 race victories and 103 podium finishes throughout the course of his career.
So, what does it take to become such a consistent performer?
“It’s a bit of a long story because a result never comes from one reason, especially at this level. There’s a big effort from many people, many things, so victory happens one day but there’s a long story behind it. In 2016, during the summer, I also did a course of one week, there was also my girlfriend. It was really nice, really unusual, especially for a MotoGP™ rider to do that. But it was such a nice experience and helped me to understand a lot of things about people. And that helped me to manage all the situations in your private and professional life in a completely different approach, different way,” says Dovi.
“It helped me to make a step, so we became stronger and stronger because the bike was better and better, and your mind can condition… well you can condition everything if you want. It’s not that easy but you have more power than you think. It was a course that explained to me how people are, everyone, like you! And that helped me to understand all the situations.”
“When everything is on the limit, the small things can make a big difference. Also my confidence improved a bit more and it was enough to start to win and be able to approach, because the approach did the biggest difference to everything, not just the race. To life. Before is the life and after you bring it to the race.”
What is it then that DesmoDovi does to get away from the stress of the paddock? Does he take an exotic trip around the world, with five-star hotels and luxury suites with some of the finest beaches and bars on offer? Not quite, he enjoys a simpler and more personal touch to his holidaying. It’s caravans which are his first choice for a go to destination, but why?
“Not just to separate (from the paddock) but because I like to live like that. Every rider came from that situation. Normally if you’re an Italian rider, you come from pocket bike racing and mini-cross and normally you live in a camping in a small van with all the other riders and family. This is the normal situation. After, when you come to the World Championship, everything changes, especially in MotoGP™. But I love to live in that way, it’s not about going home, *then* I want to be relaxed, living in a different way, it’s what I would like to do every day. I love amateur Motocross racing. Because of the way you prepare the track, the way you live during the two days, it’s completely different. I came from Motocross, it was my first sport. So I never forget that.”
One of the sport’s most intriguing figures has plenty more to say as he also discusses the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people and his view on the rivalries that exist within the paddock.
It is a fascinating listen and you can hear it all by following the widgets at the top of the article.
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