The Team Mooney VR46 rider analyses his season, from the first podium at Assen to the Rookie of the Year title
Marco Bezzecchi’s first MotoGP season is in the bag and was clearly a positive one for the 2022 rookie of the year. A podium and a pole position were highlights for a rider who evidently matured throughout the year: "Definitely a positive 2022 season… We grew as a team and took a big step forward during the season. We finished in the best possible way and were really competitive at the end, collecting some very solid results”.
Mission accomplished: "I wanted to win rookie of the year"
On many occasions, the 24-year old Italian unleashed his explosive talent, standing out in a positive way and only just missing out on the podium at times, even giving the impression that he might be able to win. His first podium came at Assen, where he finished just four tenths behind Pecco Bagnaia: "Something kicked in at Assen and from that moment, I started to push even harder to try and repeat that kind of day together with the whole team”. Bezzecchi then explains the importance of the best rookie title: "If I think about it, what a rookie MotoGP season! A podium, a pole, many top ten finishes. Not bad in a category I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid and used to watch on TV. The Rookie of the Year title was my target from the start, but with no real pressure. I just wanted it because it was my last chance to win it after missing out in Moto3 and Moto2".
Bezzecchi highlights the work done in the garage: "We were a rookie team in every respect – many of the guys come from Moto2, others, like Matteo Flamigni, were working in a different role up until last year. The guys impressed me because they really grew so fast in a short space of time. That’s our secret right there – they made the step before me and were able to give me the support and the bike I needed. Luca’s team also did something special, the work group is fantastic.”
Bezzecchi and Ducati: "Little difference between the factory and privateer bikes"
After the year he’s had, Bezzecchi’s ambitions and aims can only be bigger next season, on a Ducati to which he immediately adapted. Speaking of which, the Italian thinks back to the first time he rode the Borgo Panigale bike: "My first time on the Ducati was incredible. A fantastic feeling. The speed and acceleration were a given, but I was also struck by the braking, you don’t expect it. An unprecedented 2022 – the level of the bike plus rider package is very high. All the bikes are basically factory and the difference between the official and independent machines is minimal. Everyone can be competitive. The best ever grid!”
Lastly, the Italian looks back on the final races of the season: "I didn’t expect to win the rookie title two races ahead of time. I had a first chance in Thailand. It was difficult, but after scoring pole I thought I could do it. Unfortunately we didn’t achieve what we expected in the race, the weather took us by surprise. When we got to Australia the atmosphere was much more relaxed. I’ve always loved the Phillip Island track and wanted to run a good race, without overthinking it, and on Sunday we achieved our goal.”