Manager Alberto Vergani talks about the future of his riders, in particular Petrucci and Bassani: both candidates for the official Ducati Superbike team.
By Matteo Bellan / Corsedimoto.com
On the World Superbike 2023 grid, there are still a few seats left to fill, and among them, the Aruba Ducati team. whileAlvaro Bautista won his contract renewal thanks to excellent results, Miquel Ruben Rinaldi expires and needs confirmation. Its place is coveted by several runners.
The 26-year-old from Rimini has performed slightly below expectations this year, so his confirmation is seen as hanging in the balance. He had started the championship well with three fourth places in Aragon, then Assen and Estoril were disappointing races. At Misano, there was redemption, with podiums in Race 1 and Race 2. At Donington and Most, it went pretty well. In the Czech Republic, there remains the regret of the second race, in which he crashed while fighting for the top positions.
Miquel Ruben Rinaldi He still enjoys the trust of the Aruba Ducati team, but it’s important that when WorldSBK restarts he gets big results and shows consistency. This is the only way to avoid the risk of changing teams in 2023.
Among the candidates for the position held by Rinaldi are: Danilo Petrucci i Axel Bassanithat share the same manager: Alberto Vergani.
Let’s start with Petrucci. How would you rate his MotoAmerica Superbike experience?
This option was born even before the Dakar and the goal is to win the championship. He took one step back, then two steps forward, to enter World Superbike with the official Ducati team. That’s what we want, and then we’ll see if we can close the circle. Today he leads the championship thanks to a considerable effort. The bike is slightly penalized by the fact that there are small tracks, with sections that do not allow the engine to express its potential. He fights, he has a team that grows with him and I hope he does the best he can. His victory would be good for MotoAmerica and also for Ducati itself, because the American market is very important. ”
The dream is World Superbike with the Ducati factory team, but is there also a chance to stay in MotoAmerica?
“Either you stay in America under different conditions, or you go to World Superbike if possible. There is a close relationship with Ducati. Domenicali, Dall’Igna and Ciabatti hold Danilo in high esteem. ”
Should he move to WorldSBK, do you imagine he will be able to immediately fight with the best in the category for wins?
Danilo is a strong and generous runner with a lot of experience. The season in MotoAmerica brought him closer than ever to World Superbike. When he tested the bike on Pirelli tires, albeit with Bautista’s setup, he immediately saw the difference and it was also evident in the lap times. He won two races in MotoGP, for example Joan Mir only won one despite his championship title. In Mugello he beat the real Márquez. It seems a little underrated to me sometimes. Even what he did in the Dakar is extraordinary, he himself was amazed by the results. Also, they told me not to let him go…”
Is it possible to see him in World Superbike as a wild card in 2022? There had been speculation about his presence in Portimao, where Gagne, his rival in the United States, will be.
We talked about it, then it was put on hold. I more than likely think so, although ideas can always change in the end. It would be good, also because there would be the challenge between him and Gagne again. It is not up to us to decide. ”
What is Bassani’s situation?
“Meanwhile, I have to say that I have found a guy who is very capable, and mentally strong, considering his age, that’s a lot. I really enjoyed this. What he does is definitely positive, then Ducati will decide. There has been praise from Yamaha and Kawasaki, but no offers. At this stage, everything is open, but the idea is to maintain continuity with this bike and possibly with this team. Ducati likes him, he is appreciated by Domenicali and Dall’Igna. ”
You also take care of Caricasulo, what comment do you make of his season?
“With Federico, we found at the last minute a wonderful operation with Genesio Bevilacqua. He’s doing pretty well, but there’s also been bad luck and it’s clear there’s still work to be done. The idea for the future is to continue with the Althea team. When you find the right match with a bike, you need to consolidate. I wish Genesio would come back to Superbike and bring Caricasulo, that would be a dream. ”
Among your runners, there is also Savadori. What are the plans for him?
“Lorenzo is a great guy, he is a test driver, but he would like to be a regular driver. He was hoping to get a place in the satellite team, but he must still be happy, because behind Aprilia’s victory is also his work. He will surely have the possibility to do wild card jobs or replace another driver in case of absence. We haven’t renewed yet, but we’re talking about it. ”
You’ve also dealt with Bastianini in the past – did you expect him to become a MotoGP star?
” I followed him when we did the deal with Gresini in Moto3. We saw right away that he was a talent, then he lost a bit when he decided to enter Alzamora’s team. He could have made it to Moto2 earlier. The technicians said that with more powerful bikes it would work better. I’m not surprised how far it goes. If it is well concentrated, it is very strong. For me he will be the official Ducati MotoGP rider, I see him more prepared than Martin and he deserves the place. »
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Photo: Instagram/Brian Nelson