Forward Racing rider Lorenzo Baldassarri has admitted that he’s almost still in shock after his stunning home win last time out in the San Marino Grand Prix, admitting to MCN that it took him a week to even comprehend the emotion of the victory.
The Italian took an impressive win from title contender Alex Rins, hunting down the Spaniard in the closing stages of the race to snatch victory in the final corners.
“I thought when I was catching him with six laps to go, that maybe I could win if I catch him. The last two corners were very emotional, because I realised I was almost winning – but I didn’t know that Rins had ran wide so I was pushing! It was a very tough race for me because at the beginning I had a tough battle, and Rins got away. I managed to recover and catch him, but I had to be 100% concentrated for lap after lap to do it.
“But after Misano, I spent nearly a week trying to realise what happened and watching the race over and over! It was exciting for me, because after Mugello at home, another great race there, and then the home crowd. My family were there and all my fans.”
And while the pressures of a home race might be overwhelming to some riders, the Valentino Rossi protégé seems to thrive off it. Taking two podiums from two Italian races in 2016, he admits that he’s very good at channelling the pressure into success.
“There was much pressure, and it’s the most difficult race, because so many people come to watch you and to try and help you. Many people are there for you.
“But I manage very well with the pressure, and I use the power and support of the people in the race. The slowing down lap was incredible. I went to my own grandstand – the first time I’ve had a Balda fan club stand – and it was a very emotional moment!”