Interview: Mattia Guadagnini discusses his return to MXGP and Italian MXoN hopes

It’s important to remember but Mattia Guadagnini has only been an MXGP World Championship for only around a year even though sometimes it feels longer! The young Italian despite picking up an injury this year has made big strides and is looking to end the season on a high note.

With one MXGP left at Matterley Basin the attentions will then turn to the MXoN where Guadagnini will represent Italy alongside Andrea Adamo and Alberto Forato which is a very strong team.

We caught up with Guadagnini to discuss his return to MXGP and more.

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GateDrop: Mattia, first question, I know Italian GP’s are usually crazy but are they usually this crazy?!

Guadagnini: (laughs), yeah, yeah definitely, yes!

GateDrop: Overall it might not have been the best weekend for you but I feel like you were riding well, just not the best of starts and it was tricky to pass out there…

Guadagnini: Today was a bit better but yesterday was so difficult to pass. All the track was just one lined and then today starts were important. I missed both starts so it was difficult to come from the back. I tried my best and was riding pretty good but the bad starts made my life really hard out there.

GateDrop: How would you compare the track compared to last year? I think it was more tradition, hard pack and slick this year which made things tricky…

Guadagnini:  Yeah, yesterday was not so easy but today was nice. It came out like a normal race and not so muddy with many good lines. Of course, it was just one fast line but at least all the track was possible to ride. It is always nice to ride here at Maggiora, I really like the track so I was really hoping for a good race of course but I had a lot of fun.

GateDrop: The crowd was amazing today and were really loud, could you feel them behind you out there?

Guadagnini: A lot. They were everywhere and so loud screaming. It was so so nice and a special atmosphere, I really like to be in Italy.

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GateDrop: Just on your return in Turkey, it is never easy to come back from an injury but you made it look easy! You must have been happy with your GP return?

Guadagnini: I didn’t have any expectations, so I just went easy on the bike. I found myself in a good position in the first race and then I just rode easy, I didn’t want to spend too much energy and was riding really good. Of course the last part of the moto, I was finished but I tried to survive until the end. This weekend was much better feeling physically and I hope to be back 100% for at least the MXoN.

GateDrop: Last week I watched the highlights from Maggiora from last year and you were in MX2 then, it feels like you’ve been in MXGP a while but you actually haven’t, do you need to remind yourself of that sometimes?

Guadagnini: Yeah, it looks like so much time actually but it has only been a little over one year. Maggiora was my last race on the 250cc, but we made the change and I am really happy with the bike. But yeah, it feels and looks like more time than it actually is.

GateDrop: How would you describe the level of the MXGP class? It looks really high at the moment which means starts are important…

Guadagnini: For sure, the level is hard. Of course everything is more and more important, you need to put it all together. In MX2, you can find some other way of making a good result but in MXGP, they are so so fast all the guys. You need to be 100%, have a good start and not make any mistakes, it is not easy to put everything together.

GateDrop: Since Antonio Cairoli retired, yourself and Forato have came to the forefront of MXGP, I think that is good for Italian MX and also EMX65/EMX85 the Italians are right at the front…

Guadagnini: Sure, we have some years after Cairoli that things were not so good for the Italian riders but we are coming here now with a new generation. I am really happy to be part of it and we have some good riders and also for the MXoN we have a strong team.

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GateDrop: For the MXoN, Italy are maybe the dark horses, the MX world champion, yourself and Alberto, you could be strong at Ernee…

Guadagnini: I think we are a strong team and we are friends. All of us have had good races throughout the season, we are fast, fit and good team. We can fight for the podium for sure.

GateDrop: Just for next year, probably can’t say too much yet but it seems like a change in colour…

Guadagnini: (laughs), we will see about that!

GateDrop: Just on the winter, are you going to be based in Italy again or maybe elsewhere?

Guadagnini: I think it will be different (laughs).

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Image: Juan Pablo Acevedo