Last September former two-time World Champion (125cc in 2001 and 250cc in 2004) Manuel Poggiali - who retired when he was just 25 - told the Italian press that he was interested in returning to the race track as a MotoGP test rider, but since no team seemed interested in hiring him in this capacity, the talented Italian has decided to return to action as as full-fledged rider and will be competing in the 2013 CIV.
Poggiali will be riding a Ducati Panigale R equipped with 17″ Michelin tires for Grandi Corse team in the Superbike category.
Grandi Corse based in Rovigo, is run by former rider Davide Grandi (who fielded Gianluca Nannelli in the 2012 CIV) and it was Grandi who convinced Poggiali to return to racing after lending him his CIV prepared Ducati 1198 RS at the Adria circuit.
The team manager said, “When he got off the bike, I could see right away from his expression that we could do it, he practically fell in love.”
With Poggiali now on board the team also hopes to capitalize on his popularity so they can find other sponsors and complete their 2013 racing budget.
Poggiali will turn 30 next month.
Source | on-bike.it
Former two-time World Champion (125cc and 250cc) Manuel Poggiali was considered a racing prodigy and the direct heir of Valentino Rossi, until he decided to retire at the age of 25, unable to continue because of the pressures of racing and his belief that he wasn’t as mentally strong (he described himself as fragile) as his rivals, which then slowly led to lack of motivation and passion.
Poggiali retired and has done other jobs, including tending bar, while he teaches safe riding and is also involved in the San Marino Olympic committee and played soccer for the San Marino team in the UEFA European Futsal league. Apparently the Sammarinese still feels the urge to do something more constructive as he is now looking to become a test rider for some MotoGP team, as he recently told Italian website infomotogp.com.
“I’d like to return, but as a test rider. I’m physically fit and I still feel fast and suitable for the big bikes, so my goal is MotoGP. In the coming year’s I’m sure that there are many manufacturers and teams that could use my help. From prototypes to CRTs, I’m sure I can do a good job”.
Instead who could get a role as a test and replacement rider for Ducati is Michele Pirro. The Gresini rider recently spent three days testing the Desmosedici GP12 at Mugello with Andrea Iannone (who will debut with Pramac Ducati’s Junior Team next season). According to the usual Italian grapevine, Pirro was actually faster than Iannone on the first two days (which were hampered by rain) and on the third, didn’t get the chance to use the soft tire that allowed Iannone to post that much talked about lap time.
Team manager Vittoriano Guareschi was pretty impressed by Pirro and it seems that Ducati has offered him a job as test rider, along with tempting him with a few 2013 MotoGP and WSBK races to take part in with factory machinery.
Pirro who isn’t that satisfied racing a CRT machine, is currently 16th in the standings.
Source | autosport.com
Casey Stoner’s retirement announcement just one week ago brought out reactions from his rivals and former riders, but who could understand better Stoner’s ‘my passion has ebbed’ and has ‘basically lost my passion’ than two-time World Champion (125cc and 250cc) Manual Poggiali.
Leaving aside Stoner’s other motives for his retirement, the CRTs, how Carmelo Ezpeleta is running the championship, the rookie rule, the fact that Moto3 and Moto2 riders are no longer allowed to bring their motorhomes to the paddock, no one believed he was sick in 2009, the media and fans saying that the races are boring, it’s better to concentrate on what happens when a rider loses that driving passion.
Poggiali threw the towel in 2008 in mid season, after taking a year off from racing, and even if his retirement cannot be compared to Stoner’s, as Poggiali was struggling with lack of results and underlying injuries, while the Australian is at the top of his game.
Eurosport.it caught up with the 29-year old former Italian champion and here’s an extract from the lengthy interview.
“I can understand better than others Casey’s decision when he says that in life there are things more important than racing and earning a tot of money there’s nothing scandalous in this. Growing up and maturing makes you look a life differently and you have new challenges, your priorities change and you realize that racing becomes difficult and that having a family and a more ‘normal’ lifestyle isn’t bad at all. ”
Manuel Poggiali with two world titles to his name in the 125cc and 250cc classes was already being called the new Valentino Rossi and then at just 25, decided to hang up his lid.
Poggiali has often tried to explain the motives behind his decision to puzzled fans, saying that he was just too mentally fragile, wasn’t malicious enough, that he lost all his motivation and then the fear of hurting himself kicked in and that’s when he decided to give up racing.
The Sammarinese champion has now turned to another sport, less exciting for us race fans but if Poggiali is happy and confident again then we are too.
The 27 year old will be playing for the new San Marino team in the UEFA European Futsal championship, “Motorbikes are the past for me,” he told UEFA.com. “Now futsal is my sport. Futsal gives me a lot of satisfaction. I can see that I’m improving; after every single training session I can see my progress. It’s a great feeling for me”.
The news that has been circulating for a few days now seems true, unfortunately. Manuel Poggiali is leaving racing due to physical problems. It appears that the Campetella Racing Team rider will definitively leave Motomondiale racing.
The rumours have been confirmed by Team Manager Eros Braconi, who has said to motogp.com that “It has been Manuel’s decision and it must be respected. He is only 25 years old, he is a son to me, but he can no longer carry on with his physical problems which have afflicted him for some time.”
Manuel Poggiali will announce his retirement in a press conference before the Misano race on Sunday August 31. He should be replaced by Stefano Bianco, who has been riding for the San Marino Team 125.
Poggiali leaves racing after having won two world championships, the 125 in 2001 and the 250 in 2003, and with 12 victories, 11 pole positions and 35 podium appearances in the two classes throughout his career. It’s sad news for the motorcycle world.
Photo | Sportautomoto