Fresh from passing in Gas Gas with the De Carli team, Mattia Guadagnini takes stock of his first season in the Motocross World Championship and thinks about 2022. About Tony: “He gave me so many valuable advice and he has always been my favorite rider, I grew up in its myth “
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For years the Italy of Motocross has been wondering who could be Tony Cairoli’s heir. And precisely in the year of the retirement of the nine-time World Champion, a new face appeared, not too timidly, from behind the starting gate. It is that of Mattia Guadagnini, born in 2002 who after 2nd place in the 250 European Championship immediately showed his muscles even in the MX2 World Championship. A test? On the podium in Great Britain, at his second world championship GP, and winner in Maggiora, third round of the World Championship, complete with an unexpected red plate. And winner, with the Blue Jersey, of the Motocross of Nations in Mantua. But the growth path, with a Tony Cairoli now with much more time available to help the youngsters, is still under development.
Mattia, can we consider positive the balance of the first season in the MX2 World Championship compared to the expectations of the beginning of 2021?
“Being my first full season in MX2, in a new team and with a new way of training, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first races helped to understand my level of competitiveness within the championship, and I realized that I could stay with the leaders. There I realized that I could fight for the title, but a few too many mistakes and a bit of inexperience in the second half of the championship I wasn’t able to finish the season as I hoped. the future. The goal was to stay in the top 5, I certainly never expected to win a GP so soon. Overall a positive season “.
How much does it change from the European Motocross 250 to the MX2? Is the jump clear?
“Everything changes, the level is much higher and the intensity of the races and the length of the championship make MX2 much tougher, developing on a calendar that is practically double that of the Emx 250. Trivially, I didn’t know how to manage training. during the season and in this the team gave me a hand. At the end of the season I lacked strength and concentration. It was more difficult from a mental point of view than physical. In Mantua, however, I did a good race , it was a load of motivation for 2022 “.
How did you feel when you received the red plate after winning the Italian Grand Prix?
“I didn’t expect it either. I didn’t know I was MX2 leader at that moment, so much so that my expression said it all (literally stunned, with my mouth open and eyes lit with joy, ed). I don’t know not even describe the moment: the day was fantastic with the second place in the first heat, the victory of the second heat and consequently the GP. It was already more than enough, I hadn’t thought about the possibility of being at the top of the championship, even because before Maggiora I was 5th in the World Championship, in two heats I went from 5th to 1st. It was wonderful “.
What would you have liked to do a little more and what, instead, were you surprised at having exceeded your expectations?
“I was surprised to have done something more in the first few races. I thought I was suffering more pressure, even in a race like Maggiora. I was 1st in my third MX2 race, I had my opponents behind me but I was very calm. concentrating on myself without calculating on others. I didn’t make any mistakes and I was amazed at the tranquility with which I ran. I’m sorry to have had ups and downs that made me lose so many points, you could have brought home important points. Going 14th with a crash or 6th without a crash is something that makes the difference at the end of the season, because I could have been more attached to the top three. “
How did you adapt to the new tracks, those you did not know and which did not fit into the European Championship?
“I was amazed at this too, never having tackled some tracks didn’t affect my performance. Although many tracks were new to me and with the ‘all in one day’ format that didn’t help me because there wasn’t much time. to test the lines and adapt to the track, I was able to go fast even outside the tracks I already knew “.
In what were Renaux, Geerts and Vialle superior?
“Renaux and Geerts were more consistent during the championship, Vialle started injured and then won many heats and many GPs, making up ground. At the beginning of the season, Renaux and I were always very close, he simply continued with that pace and didn’t never gave up until the end of the season without ever looking at the rankings. But I didn’t, after a while I couldn’t keep up with those rhythms. Geerts had more or less a season similar to mine, with the difference that in the ‘bad days’ he done a little less worse than me, so at the end of the season these accumulated points made the difference. “
What comes into play when there are three or four of you battling for the victory of a heat? We have seen a spectacular year in Mxgp, but MX2 was also fought.
“The level is very high and almost all the races are very hard fought. It is important to start well and not make mistakes, then in many situations we find ourselves running with very similar times, there the mental strength comes into play: who is more convinced manages to bring out the best performance. After all, all the first 4/5 can go very fast, everyone is trained and therefore the details make the difference. When the level is very similar, mental strength comes into play, which to me is a bit of a miss in the second half of the season and we are also working on this for the future “.
Will Tony Cairoli also follow you in the next few years despite the move of the De Carli team to Gas Gas?
“Tony will remain a very important figure in the team, as well as developing bikes for Ktm, he will also be at our side to make his contribution. A figure like Tony’s will be fundamental for the growth of us youngsters, he will be able to give us many useful tips,” I can’t wait to have him by my side too “.
We saw you very genuine in celebrating Tony Cairoli’s farewell, in the audience with chainsaws in hand. How did you experience his retirement?
“First of all I’m a Tony fan, I always have been. This year we have been teammates, but since I was very young I have followed him and cheered for him. Even now I see him as my point of reference and the my favorite driver. For me it is still strange to talk to each other, even just going to cheer him on the track and making a bit of a mess is nice for him. And watching a race among the fans is not like watching it on TV or from other points of the paddock, you really feel the atmosphere. In Arco di Trento, on the occasion of his last GP victory, it was indescribable to experience the last laps. It was the best gift I could give myself to go and cheer for him in the middle of the public”.
What is the added value of training with Tony Cairoli?
“He is an exceptional driver, with an incredible experience. Already this year he gave me valuable advice, since he has been in this life for almost 20 years. When he says something he is convinced and knows that it is the best for me. just having him in training as a point of reference was a great help because there is a lot to learn from him. It was a great opportunity that I had the opportunity to have, I feel lucky and honored for this. But we will continue to work together ” .
With Maxime Renaux moving to MXGP, what are you aiming for in 2022?
“Certainly some surprises will emerge, but we will always be the usual 4/5 to fight for the victories. The championship is long and the situation can vary from race to race. Whoever manages to be more consistent will take home the championship. And I will work. for this, trying not to repeat the mistakes of 2021 in order to win the World Cup “.
January 22, 2022 (change January 22, 2022 | 11:05)
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