Being a MotoGP™ Team Manager of course has its benefits. Flying around the world working with the fastest motorcycles on the planet, with the fastest riders on the planet, is a role a lot of people would dream of. But to do so, you have to be an incredibly hard worker, teeming with dedication, drive and be willing to make plenty of sacrifices. LCR Honda boss Lucio Cecchinello fits that bill.
And this week on the Last On The Breaks MotoGP™ Podcast, hosts Matt Dunn and Fran Wyld catch up with one of the most familiar faces in the paddock. 2021 sees Cecchinello and his team enter their 25th year of competition, having first emerged onto the scene in 1996. Spearheading a team has its challenges, but doing so while still competing as a Grand Prix racer takes it to a whole different level. That’s exactly what the charismatic Italian did from 1996-2003 though, and it epitomises the qualities needed to succeed in sport – and LCR Honda have done exactly that. Succeed.
“[Time] to rest? Yes of course. Well, it was pretty intense. I can tell you that I didn't go on many vacations… Until it was at least five, six years later, after having set up my own team, honestly,” reacts Cecchinello, chatting about when he was racing and trying to lead a team.
“I still remember 15 August, with my teammate Nobby Ueda. In Italy, Spain, France, 15 August is like, you know, it's the day of the rest, the Day of the Holiday. This is completely off for everybody, you know, this is a must,” continues Cecchinello. “And I remember that for several 15 Augusts, I was working.
“And then I remember exactly one year on the 15 August, I spent the whole day in the office with Ueda making the budget for the following years because Ueda was racing with me, but he also helped me a lot to find some Japanese sponsors, to find some supporters. And we were working like hell, but you know, at the very end, it’s not a sacrifice. Because when you love your job, when you really want to achieve something you definitely enjoy working for it. And then it was… I never complained because I didn't sleep because every morning I woke up with so much energy.”
That’s just a small snippet from the captivating chat with Lucio Cecchinello. Head over to your favoured MotoGP™ Podcast streaming platform to watch or listen in full, and catch up on any other episodes you might have missed.