The MotoGP paddock and community suffered terrible news this week, as former two-time 125cc world champion and racing legend Fausto Gresini passed away after a lenghty battle with Covid-19.
In the wake of this news, Moto2 and Moto3 riders took to the track in memory of Gresini for a two day test at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, Valencia, in preparation for the 2021 season.
Gresini’s Moto3 riders Jeremy Alcoba and Gabriel Rodrigo were in action alongside Moto2 pair Fabio Di Giannantonio and Nicolo Bulega.
With the test underway, there was a lot of interest on the debut of Di Giannantonio and the Kalex. The Italian rider previously of the Speed Up team was positively surprised by the bike which he thought would be tougher to ride.
Di Giannantonio set a best time of 1:35.9s and gathered plenty of important data ahead of the Portimao test. He did suffer a crash at turn eleven, but came away un-hurt.
Di Giannatonio spoke after the test and said: “I’m super happy with how we started the on-track work with the team.
“To be honest, I was expecting a slightly different bike, a more complicated one… while instead the initial feelings are excellent, even though I will have to work on my riding style to get used to it.
“We haven’t lapped a lot but the work was so important ahead of Portimao. I think getting on track was the best thing also to deal with the different emotions we are currently facing.
“I feel that to work hard and stay focused on the goals will be the best way to say goodbye to Fausto. Our goal was to win and to a great job, so we’ll try to do that for him.”
For teammate Bulega, the words ‘good feeling’ were used to sum up his time on track with the bike. Bulega finished the two-day test with 56 laps completed and a personal best of 1:36.3s.
Bulega was happy with the feeling he got from the team, who he will join again on the 2nd of March. “Unfortunately we haven’t lapped as much as we’d hoped, but the feeling in general is very good, both on the bike and with the team.” said Bulega.
“The team is excellent and we can improve so much together. About Fausto, I really don’t know what to say… this situation has really hurt us, we have lost him in a matter of few days and the pain is huge.
“Maybe we still haven’t fully realized what happened, but we took to the track to honour him and pushed to the maximum as he would have liked us to.”
Both riders were quick to mention Gresini after the day’s testing and the impact of what has happened. Gresini’s funeral will be held Saturday the 27th of February on the team’s Facebook page live, in order to allow everyone to take part in his farewell.