His last season in Moto3 saw Di Giannantonio fighting constantly with Jorge Martín and Marco Bezzecchi and finally the rider from Rome finished second behind the Spaniard. Before 2018 Thai GP, he signed a two-year contract with Italian Speed Up Team and so he secured a seat in Moto2, where he’ll find a new engine supplier (Triumph), a new electronics and a new qualifying system (both similar to those adopted in MotoGP).
Read what Di Giannantonio said about his first test in Moto2 and his expectations ahead of 2019 season.
If you had the chance to remove a 2018 GP from your mind, which one would you pick?
Sachsenring GP, because I crashed while fighting for the win and so I missed an opportunity to score valuable points.
You had a first taste of the new Moto2 engine and electronics and previously, you had tested an “old” Moto2 (with Honda CBR600RR engine). What differences did you find?
I had found 2018 Moto2 very fast, but the brand new engine from Triumph is definitely better. I really enjoy the new version of Moto2, because it’s smaller, good-looking and very agile. I’ve also found some differences in the chassis and honestly, I like them! The new Moto2 is faster and more aggressive, so you have to change your riding style for it.
What do you have to work on mainly?
On the electronics, which is going to be very different. Then, we especially need to work on the engine brake. When you find the right setup, electronics becomes fundamental in the use of engine brake. We’ll have even more electronic controls in the future, but meanwhile we’ll focus on the braking.
How do you have to change your riding style?
I must change a lot. I used to ride small-engined bikes and there I had to let it flow, enter the corner fast and not stop. When you ride a Moto2, by contrast, you need to edge and brake hard in the middle of the corner, in order to be fast at the corner exit and exploit the power of your engine. I need some more testing and races to learn, but I’m already working on it.
Do you think you can be in the front immediately?
For sure I need some time to get used to Moto2, but hopefully it won’t take too long. I hope to be immediately among the best, but I’m sure some races will be hard and there I’ll try to learn as much as I can. We hope to be in the best shape as possible for the season start.
How is winter training going?
I ride motocross and spend a lot of time in the gym. When I was in Moto3 I had to be as light as I could, but now I need to be much stronger. When the weather improves, I’ll spend more time on my motocross, in order to get used to a heavier bike…I would have liked to move somewhere for training, but it’s too expensive, so I’ll do what I can in Rome.
What’s your goal for 2019?
My highest goal is to be inside the top 5, but I also have a more realistic one, which is the top 10. It would be great to be in the front and score some podiums.