Interview: Davide Guarneri part two – His time with TM and MXGP

Part two of our Davide Guarneri interview is here. This part of the interview focuses on his time he spent with Factory TM as he played a major part developing the time. After his Motocross career, the Italian then made the switch to the World Enduro series and he’s been competitive as you’d expect.

The Italian also offers his thoughts on the current MXGP World Championship and the job Infront are doing. If you missed part one of the interview, you can read it here.

Gatedrop: Davide, you stopped racing GP motocross at the end of 2015. Since then I know you’ve been doing Enduro but what other things have you been up to?

Guarneri: Yes, in 2015 I stopped racing MXGP and I joined Honda RedMoto for the Enduro World Championship. The goal was to compete in the Italian and World Enduro Championship, that was the main work. I also joined the factory RedMoto were they built all the Enduro racing bikes, I was testing them and I spent a lot of days testing the right mapping and settings for the customers from amateurs to high level riders.  I was doing both these things but for sure training and racing was the main goal but the factory needed a good rider for testing new solutions and developing different bikes every year.  They have 300cc and 400cc also, Honda doesn’t normally make these so I had some work there as well.

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Gatedrop: You done a lot for TM with regards testing and improving the bike, how did you find that? Also now they’re not in the paddock do you feel it was a bit of a waste? (hopefully they make a comeback)

Guarneri: After my time with BUD Racing, I couldn’t find anymore a factory solution, I was really looking for that every year and the only one I could find was TM. In the end I was really proud and it was a good solution for me because it was an Italian team. I was with Ilario Ricci again for the first year and I learned a lot during those times. We tested the new bike, the first year the bike was really hand made. We showed that the bike was quite good actually and I was quite good to fix the bike to compete at the GP’s. Unfortunately they are a small team for that reason, they didn’t continue anymore later on. Also now they’re still not in MXGP, they have no budget compared to the other Factory team’s – Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha etc. They are looking all the time to make a comeback, I am sure of it. They have many good engineers there but it’s not easy when you don’t have a good budget. There’s many races far from home, you need a lot of testing and a lot of technical, good riders – for that they need a budget. I learned a lot during my time there and I think I showed that I was also good. With every bike I rode I showed some good speed, for sure I had some bad years and tough situations but I trust in myself all the time. The regrets that I have are that I didn’t have the right opportunity when I was at the top of my form – with the right bike, at the right moment.

Guarneri contesting the MXGP of Valkenswaard in 2014. Pic: Nigel McKinstry

Gatedrop: How difficult was it to adjust to Enduro after competing at Motocross Grand Prix level and what was your biggest challenge?

Guarneri: The change to Enduro was not easy for sure. The difference for me and some other riders that did it before like Meo, Salvini and some others, I think because I wasn’t super young anymore. I was thirty years old, it wasn’t easy to understand all the new techniques so quickly. The first year I done in 2016, it was not easy to understand the right way to approach every race and every special test. I had to improve a lot at the extreme tests because I had no trials skills at all before and even now I’m working at that. I look to improve on losing some speed in some places to gain some speed in others, to try and not be 100% in every metres of the track like I always did in Motocross.  You have to think about the lines and the grip all the time, to find traction in a better way, that’s the most challenging point to it.

Gatedrop: Do you miss racing Motocross and what’s the things you miss about it?

Guarneri: Actually, yes, I miss Motocross because at the end of the day I’m a Motocross rider. I spent more or less 14 years in the Motocross World Championship, much more than what I spent at Enduro. I miss it because like I said before, I regret some things that I did and somethings that never happened to me like bikes, team and opportunities.  I miss the adrenaline you get at the GP’s but anyway it’s the story of everybody. There’s not many champions and you have to understand you give it your all during the time you had. I am looking forward to other things now.

Pic: Nigel McKinstry

Gatedrop: How would you describe the level of MXGP right now? The field looks incredible at the moment..

Guarneri: Right now, I’ve saw during the last three or four years is better. They understand to work the tracks better, they fix it a bit between moto’s, you can see they are working and you can still make a difference. Let’s say places are a bit more flat but right now the level of MXGP is really high but especially the top five. I think the top three, they’re a step more than the rest, third to fifth – they’re still champion riders.  After that, I think the level and especially at some tracks, there’s not a big difference than it was before. For sure some bikes are working better, the start has changed a lot with the grid. The training and way to ride is developed year by year. I see some improvements in the level, especially the top five guys, the rest of the field since when I’ve raced MXGP has always been a really high level, high pace.  That is MXGP, when you go to MXGP, you are riding on top of the world and even against the American’s. We’ve showed them many times in recent years.

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Gatedrop: What’s your thoughts on Infront running the MXGP World Championship? What things do you think they do good/badly?

Guarneri: I’m not really inside this situation of the teams/organisers right at the moment but I’ve went to a few races the past year. What I saw is that they’re working better the tracks, even the way they work the ground to fix it when jumps and certain situations can get too dangerous and sketchy. When I was riding especially in 2013 and 2014, they didn’t fix between moto’s of the European championship at all and sometimes it was sketchy. Now they do a good job and also I like the pre-interviews, how they inform the fans. They also did this in my time but it’s more complete now and they do it better. The possibility to watch everything online is good and also to watch lap times and everything. The European championship, I really like them, the level is really high and to me it looks good. I’m sure inside there are still some problems to fix but from the outside and how I see it now, I like it.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pics: Nigel McKinstry