Interview: Mattia Guadagnini – A little bit surprised by his MX2 moto win!

What a weekend it was for young Italian talent, Mattia Guadagnini at round two of the MX2 World Championship at Matterley Basin. In only his second Grand Prix with the Factory KTM team the Italian has already won a moto in MX2 and finished a strong second overall in England.

We caught up with Guadagnini to discuss how it’s all going with his new factory team, his performance at Matterley Basin and more.

GateDrop: Mattia, the second GP of the year and second overall, can you talk me through your races?

Guadagnini: I am really really happy about this day. It’s just the second GP for me but it went really good. I felt great with the bike and the track, I really liked it. I didn’t have the best qualifying time this morning but I had two good starts. In the first race I battled the whole race for P2 but finished fourth. I had a close gap so I knew the riding was good and I had a good rhythm. I tried to give my best for the second race to get a good start, I was second and passed for the lead in the first lap. I tried my best and to manage the lead, I took a good gap and had fun. It’s really amazing and I am really really happy.

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GateDrop: You’ve obviously won lots of EMX125 and EMX250 races in the past but this is another level to do it in the MX2 World Championship. How did you feel when you were leading at the front or did you try and not think about it?

Guadagnini: I didn’t think about it much. I was just focusing on myself and my riding. When I was leading I was just focused on giving it my best, take it like a training and being consistent. I managed to take the win and I am so so happy.

GateDrop: When you crossed the finish line and realized you’d won, just how did it feel? It must have felt amazing as it was the first moto win of your career!

Guadagnini: It was amazing. I was so focused on the race until the finish line jump but then wow, it was emotional. I am so so happy.

GateDrop: Having the Factory KTM behind you now, how much of a step up has that been for you?

Guadagnini: I think it’s the best team in the world. It was my dream to be here, also to be with Tony (Cairoli) and Jorge (Prado). Training together with them and also the bike is so so good as well as the people around me. I think this is the best for me right now and we hope to do a good job. I hope we can get better and better but I think we are doing well.

Pic: Nigel McKinstry

GateDrop: Cairoli and Prado are probably the best two technically gifted riders in the paddock – what’s it been like riding with them throughout the winter and have you tried to take things from them?

Guadagnini: For sure, they are two really good and strong riders. Tony is my favourite rider ever since I ever started looking at the GP’s, he was already at the top then. I am trying to take the best from them and learn during the trainings. We are pushing each other and I think I have the best conditions to get better and better. We are doing a good job and during the training also so it’s amazing. We have to continue like this.

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GateDrop: Coming from the EMX250 series to win a moto in MX2 already at the second round, are you maybe a little bit surprised?

Guadagnini: Yes, a little bit because it’s only the second Grand Prix but I know that the level in the EMX250 championship was already good. Thibault (Benistant) is also going well. I didn’t expect to be on the podium at the second GP but I saw that my riding and rhythm was good to be almost at the front but this moto win shows it. I am proud and a little bit surprised but I am happy (laughs).

GateDrop: We’ve one more hard pack race with your home GP this weekend but then some sand races coming up with Oss and Lommel. How do you feel in the sand? Obviously having Prado and Cairoli to practice with must have helped your level in the sand…

Guadagnini: I feel really good in the sand. We have been in Belgium for some training and I think we will go back after Maggiora. I am enjoying riding in the sand and also last year I did some good races in the sand. This weekend I will have my home GP and I will try to be at the top again but I just want to do my best and then go the sand races. I just want to do my best and let’s see how it goes.

Pic: Nigel McKinstry

GateDrop: I feel like Claudio and Davide de Carli are very good at spotting weaknesses in riders. How has it been working with them and have they been able to help with your progress?

Guadagnini: They have a lot of experience. Claudio has been with Tony almost since the start of his career. I think he knows everything and how to follow a rider during the trainings and races. I think I am at the best place that I could be. Davide is also really good, he follows us during the training as well as physically. They are both really good and have a lot of experience in the sport so I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pics: Nigel McKinstry