Fear not, dear listeners (or viewers)… the MotoGP™ Podcast is back! Last On The Brakes will once again be bringing you deep dive interviews from each race weekend in 2021, and to kick us into gear we thought we’d start with someone marking a new chapter of their own: MotoGP™ rookie Luca Marini (Sky VR46 Esponsorama).
At the Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar, hosts Matt Dunn and Fran Wyld sat down with the 2020 Moto2™ title contender to talk about his journey to the premier class, from a slightly disastrous first Grand Prix appearance in Moto3™ via the Moto2™ European Championship to world level. And, of course, a key talking point was the VR46 Riders Academy set up by nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT).
"We improve and we grow together," Marini tells the show, the we referring to a whole host of riders who are now part of the project, from Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) to Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) as he debuts in Moto2™. "I think that what makes the difference especially is the competition between us during training because if you train alone, when you find your limit it’s okay. But then if you train with another rider, another MotoGP rider, so one of the best in the world, you try to push and you try to push over your limit."
The progress made by many of those in the academy – and the incredible longevity of its founder – certainly speaks to its success.
"This I think is the key, the secret of the academy. Because in every training, when we go running, when we train on bikes at the ranch, and with stock bikes… you have to do your best performance. So this I think is the key, it’s our secret but it's not easy for the other riders maybe to try to do this."
Marini does think, however, that the idea is catching on – even for those who don’t have an official academy.
"I saw that so many riders now start training lately, also in Spain a lot of riders together. Also Miller is riding with all the group in and around Barcelona and Andorra. They ride together and they think this makes a difference too."
To hear more from Marini – including a glimpse into his analytical style of working, where he gets his most honest feedback and a look back at *that* crash at Le Mans, listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you usually listen – or take a look at the visual experience on MotoGP™’s YouTube channel!
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