With Fausto Gresini continuing to battle serious respiratory complications caused by Covid-19, the Italian was unable to attend the presentation of his Moto2 and Moto3 teams for the upcoming season.
Gresini, who has been in intensive care at a Bologna hospital since the end of last year, was very much in the thoughts of his riders, who passed on their best wishes.
“My first wish is for the boss to recover fully,” said Moto3’s Jeremy Alcoba.
“The most important thing will be to have Fausto on our side as soon as possible – we need him,” added team-mate Gabriel Rodrigo.
“The only thing I can do from my side is to send him the most positive energy,” said Moto2 rider Nicolo Bulega.
“We need to do our best for ourselves and Fausto: he won’t give up, and he’ll be back stronger than ever,” said Fabio di Giannantonio.
In terms of the livery presentation, the main talking point was a ‘radical’ new red-and-black look for the Moto3 project, formerly backed by Kommerling but now retitled as the ‘Indonesian Racing Team Gresini Moto3’.
“The colour change left me speechless,” said Alcoba, who took a debut podium on his way to eleventh in last year’s championship. “I was really fond of the ‘classic’ colours, but I must say that the new look of the Honda is very captivating.”
“The goal will be to improve our Saturday performance since we struggled in 2020, while race-wise I aim at being constantly in the top-five, maybe with a few wins on the way,” he added. “We still suffer in terms of aerodynamics and weight, but we’re ready to work and battle for top positions.”
Experienced team-mate Rodrigo said he is hitting the reset button for 2021 after being left 13th in last year’s world championship.
“After such an intense 2020, with so many problems, I needed to leave all of this behind,” Rodrigo said. “I’ve done a full reset, especially on the mental side of things, and now I’m eager to start again: the goal is to fight for the title and be a true contender.
“We will work hard in the preseason tests to be ready. The reset was not only mental, but also graphic as everything is new, from the colours to my number.”
The now familiar Federal Oil Gresini colours continue in the Moto2 class, while di Giannantonio returns to the team he spent four seasons with in Moto3, including winning two races and finishing runner-up in the 2018 title.
“Obviously I cannot wait to try the Kalex, as I had to miss the last test of 2020 due to a small injury,” said di Giannantonio, a Speed Up rider for the past two seasons, claiming four Moto2 podiums.
“Winter went well because my knee is fully healed, and I feel almost 100% fit. I need to step up my game compared to last year, which means being a protagonist in every event and try to get on the podium and win races.
“The boys in the team are working hard and I’m really charged up.”
It is thought that di Giannantonio’s deal includes a 2022 Gresini MotoGP seat, with a to-be-announced manufacturer, should he perform well enough in Moto2 this season.
2021 will be fellow Italian Bulega’s second year with the team. The former VR46 rider needs to find a step in performance after only two top ten finishes last year.
“We’re charged up mentally and we worked well during the winter as a new team: the goal will be to be consistent, something we lacked quite a bit in 2020, and I’m confident we will be able to have fun and do well,” Bulega said.
“I am training well and still recovering from the shoulder injury, but we’re following the plan and I’m very happy with the progress made.”