Marquez and Quartararo ask the Japanese to learn from Ducati, KTM hires the technicians who come from there. Davide Tardozzi says it clearly: (“It annoys us, but it certifies our school”), then he talks to us about Bagnaia (“A champion, very good at managing the weekend”). And of that world championship that escaped due to the regulation …
THEn television you see him screaming with joy, beat your fists, despair. Davide Tardozzi has been Ducati Team Manager in MotoGP since 2014 and has spent a lifetime in racing. Despite this, however, he never stopped getting excited, just like pilots do. On the other hand, before spending the weekends watching the time monitors, he ran the races to win, coming close to the world Superbike title in 1988 against Fred Merkel. We meet him in the Ducati retrobox at Misano, between the trucks of Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller. Ducati has recently announced the passage of Enea Bastianini in the factory team and, very recently, has lost Alberto Giribuola, who instead of returning home – where he had worked with Andrea Dovizioso – will pass into KTM.
B.hello David. The first question, the most important: do you ever think about the 1988 Superbike World Championship?
“Sometimes yes (laughs). Sometimes yes, but she went as it went, I must say that Fred Merkel has earned it and it is right that he has won it. Then things happened … “
They took away 25 points from Donington for a rule introduced only in that GP. Without that rule you would have won the title.
“Of course, that change of regulation there damaged me. Whether it had been kept in one sense or if it had been kept in the other. But that’s the way it is, I only think about it every now and then, for example when someone reminds me of it. I look forward ”.
Marc Marquez and Fabio Quartararo ask the Japanese to take an example from Ducati, to work like you, and the manufacturers are looking for your technicians. What effect does it have?
“Pride. Brand and company pride. I honestly believe that Ducati has a bit of people in all the official teams – because practically all the official MotoGP teams have come from us – and from a certain point of view it is something that bothers us, but on the other hand it certifies the fact that in Ducati there is a school for engineers, mechanics… to work in MotoGP in short ”.
M.Do you encourage your pilots to push when time is needed?
“Things get organized first. The rider knows that he has to do the time alone, besides the fact that we have professionals, I don’t think there is a need to do much in this sense: things are well organized by their track engineer, they are professionals . At that moment my role is quite marginal “.
Does the legend of the “click” to the fork still exist in this MotoGP? When the rider asks for a change (which is not done) but then the bike goes better why does he think he is riding a different vehicle?
“We tell the truth to the pilot. Maybe someone does these things once, but we are very organized and the rider is aware of what is happening on the bike, as well as participating in the decisions and changes ”.
In all likelihood, you are the most passionate manager in the paddock: even on television the emotion you feel for a result – good or not – is fully evident. Do we never abut ourselves?.
“No, I cannot remain indifferent to the results, whether they are negative or positive. I live the race very intensely. Sometimes I suffer in a decisive and even physically defeats. I somatize a lot, that’s it. And somatizing in the case of victories means explosions of joy for me. I am not one to hold back, I am the way I am and I don’t like to pretend. And so it is in victories, as it is in defeats, in my life I have lost many times and I suffer a lot of these things – I repeat – physically: I feel bad! ”.CopyAMP code
P.Do you think Pecco has a quality that you weren’t able to find in the other riders you worked with in the past?
“In the meantime, I believe that Pecco can already be counted among the champions, he has already won a world championship and I’m sure he will win others. As a champion, therefore, he has peculiarities that others do not have, for example in certain moments he has an incredible determination. Above all, however, Pecco has the great ability to make a bad weekend run well. He never gets disheartened, even if maybe he gets angry when he can’t make the time, if he’s not first or fast enough. Here, in those situations he manages to regain control of the situation during the race and in my opinion this is a quality that only great riders have ”.
You have had Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, AA. Now BB, two other Italians to lead the officers to win the world championship. Will it be difficult to manage two riders like this next year?
“Not that much. I think we have all the skills to handle these situations… It is better to have the problem of two fast drivers than to have only one or none. Therefore, the possibility of having two drivers who can win is welcome ”.
At the end of 2024, Marc Márquez’s contract will expire: if he comes knocking on your door, will you catch him?
“Marc Marquez has all my personal respect, as well as that of Ducati. But we made an investment in the future with the riders and I think Ducati’s future is already outlined ”.
What is Ducati for you?
“It’s a cliché, but it’s my second family. I was racing for Ducati, I joined Ducati when I stopped racing, as manager of one of the Superbike teams. I’ve been working with Ducati for more than thirty years. It has been, is and will be a huge part of my life. For me Ducati absolutely means family ”.