RAC­ING

Valentino’s ma­ter­nal half-brother Luca Marini is mak­ing moves in Moto2.

BIKE (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Iand gen­er­a­tion coun­tries not the Riders and Take F have Grand The su­pe­ri­or­ity im­pe­tus go na­tional backed YOU’VE Academy un­no­ticed a com­plete no­ticed look com­pe­ti­tions like Prix of the for cham­pi­onships win­ners BEEN at Ja­pan fed mo­tor­cy­cle new the the that that by dom­i­nance by found­ing pay­ing points and wave Valentino has the a as feed­ing com­bi­na­tion Italy the gen­er­ated, com­ing of ta­bles. rac­ing at­ten­tion, Ital­ian power pro­duced of of waned. Rossi into the Spain, force At is of re­gional VR46 ta­lent. Ital­ian. trained and the of This you’ll it’s in a grass­roots time was did cham­pi­onship and were first, fifth and 11th in of Moto2. be­came grad­u­ate Pecco writ­ing, Bag­naia, This the to VR46 the first sea­son the Mo­togp VR46 riders Moto2 Franco rider led grid. leader, the Mor­bidelli to Moto3 is Lorenzo and off We it to knew looked Mo­togp Bal­das­sarri Pecco for next a and while were sea­son. his as quick, friend if the two then the KTMS would Lorenzo got fight go­ing. had it a out crash Early for the or on, two ti­tle, both and men said they were ex­pected sur­prised to that be Pecco’s con­tenders team this mate year on but the Sky Rac­ing Team VR46 team Luca Marini wasn’t. Marini also hap­pens to be the ma­ter­nal half-brother of Valentino Rossi. This is his first year with big brother’s team af­ter two years with For­ward Rac­ing. For the first half of the year it looked as if he was go­ing to re­main just an oc­ca­sional points scorer in Moto2, then he ripped to three podium re­sults in a row in the run up to Sil­ver­stone, plus a pole po­si­tion and a fastest lap. It was like some­one had thrown a switch and Italy in­stantly had an­other po­ten­tial win­ner. As usual, there were a bunch of small rea­sons rather al­though long­est than is the his one shoul­der one big that one Luca dis­lo­ca­tion for the talks turn­round, about at Jerez for early in the sea­son. Orig­i­nal treat­ment was not help­ful and full re­cov­ery took time. He will prob­a­bly have surgery at the end of the year now that doc­tors say he has stopped grow­ing. He was only 21 in Au­gust. The other rea­son has to be his team, well backed by Sky Italia as part of their pol­icy of sup­port­ing young Ital­ian ta­lent in sport, mu­sic, and the arts (this be­ing Italy, that in­cludes cook­ery). Like his fel­low-coun­try­men, Luca thought nd he’d be quicker, faster. ‘I ex­pected it ear­lier. You learn a lot in Moto2, there are lots of small things to put to­gether but I felt fast for the start of the year.’ It should also be re­mem­bered that he skipped Moto3 due to his height and went straight into the mael­strom that is Moto2 af­ter one wild-card ride in the class. He ex­pects noth­ing to change when the class changes to Tri­umph power next sea­son. It oc­curred to me Luca must get ticked off with ques­tions about his brother, so when I talked to him at Sil­ver­stone I de­cide to save that for last. I also made the mis­take of as­sum­ing he was des­tined to be a mo­tor­cy­cle racer. Wrong. He only re­ally com­mit­ted to the sport at around 14 years old when he moved from the world of pock­et­bike and Minigp into the Ital­ian Moto3 cham­pi­onship. He also played foot­ball and tennis to a good level and could have gone on to univer­sity to study sci­ence. ‘Maybe as­tro­physics,’ he says then flashes a grin and adds, ‘or Ufol­ogy.’ Time to ask the brother ques­tion. Is hav­ing Valentino as your brother a ma­jor ad­van­tage or a con­stant weight on your shoul­ders? ‘More ad­van­tages of course. I can learn a lot from be­ing close to him, he teaches a lot and not just about rac­ing.’ A very hon­est re­ply con­di­tioned, one sus­pects, by the 18-year age gap be­tween the two of them. ‘And from his mis­takes. He made a lot of mis­takes.’ Now that sounds more like a lit­tle brother.

It’s a fam­ily a air, it’s a fam­ily a air…

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