In the first rounds of the season at Losail, team Pramac has proved very impressive. The Tuscan time scored excellent results, with two podiums for Johann Zarco and a third place for rookie Jorge Martin, as well as double pole position in the Doha qualifying sessions. A great way to celebrate the team’s twentieth anniversary in the top class.
Francesco Guidotti, what is behind this double podium?
"A great deal of work and preparation on the part of the riders and technicians, a bike and the kind of technical support that has allowed us to do it, and a dash of good luck, which never hurts. We are working to keep everything going and personalise the riders’ needs. They have different characters, ages and personalities so need to be managed in different ways. We try to make them comfortable, help them where needed and showcase their characteristics.”
How much does this result mean to you?
"It’s a wonderful surprise, as is seeing Zarco as championship leader, though there’s a risk it will become a significant responsibility. In the meantime, we’re enjoying it, no one can take it away from this and it’s great."
The team has worked with Ducati since 2005, how has the relationship changed over the years?
"After Dall’Igna arrived (2015), the bike was totally redesigned and in the space of two years we were given a factory bike. The commitment doubled in 2019, but then from Iannone on, we have a kind of ‘nursery’ for riders, where they can gain experience in a relatively low-pressure environment before moving to the factory team to consolidate the project. The relationship has brought significant results, from both a technical and sporting standpoint”.
Four riders have moved to the factory team so far, namely Iannone, Danilo Petrucci and current riders Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia. Do you see this continuing?
"We all hope so. But we also hope that the turnover is not too fast. Seeing as Ducati now has two very promising young riders, perhaps there won’t be the need to continue to churn out new talents. And perhaps we too can achieve something with our riders, seeing as they tend to win after leaving us…"
In fact, all you are missing right now is the win.
"We’ve just missed out on it by a fraction of a second on several occasions. And of course we want to win. But we’re not short on satisfaction, also on a technical level. We feel part of the project, Ducati supplies first-rate material and we have six engineers who support us on a daily basis. What we do is also thanks to their great support".
What is your mission in MotoGP?
"To support the manufacturer in every way while also trying to fully exploit everything we have available. Technical management is a Ducati prerogative, but we have structured ourselves so as to be able to fully exploit this possibility".
Can a private team ever win the MotoGP title?
"It’s a bit of a thorny question. We take it race by race, but it’s more difficult long-term. On a factory team, the riders are sharper, if only because they are more experienced, and they are supported by people who are used to managing the pressure and everything a season can bring.”
How is the new line-up?
"There was immediate harmony, as if we’d known each other for years. When you talk and immediately understand each other it’s a lot easier, and there’s a really nice, relaxed atmosphere among the mechanics, technicians and also between the two riders. This is down to the riders, who arrive with complete faith in our abilities. We wanted them and have welcomed them with great pleasure.”
What are Zarco and Martin’s strengths?
"Zarco has experience and has won two titles, aspects that can help him to grow further. Martin is enthusiastic, open and demonstrates a particular ability to adapt. He already has the situation under control and uses all the bike controls."
So when do you expect a win?
"As soon as possible. Any Sunday might be the right one. Our goal each year is to take a step closer to the factory bikes. So when the win comes, it will be too late but always very welcome”.
Translated by Heather Watson