Andrea Dovizioso, on the catamaran Spirito di Stella, meets Cino Ricci A few days before the Grand Prix of San Marino, from the port of Rimini and Andrea Dovizioso has experienced life on the ocean waves aboard the catamaran Spirito di Stella,...
Andrea Dovizioso, on the catamaran Spirito di Stella, meets Cino Ricci
A few days before the Grand Prix of San Marino, from the port of Rimini and Andrea Dovizioso has experienced life on the ocean waves aboard the catamaran Spirito di Stella, designed by Andrea Stella. The craft, capable of seating a dozen passengers in addition to the crew, has the unique characteristic of being accessible to disabled people in wheelchairs. At the helm was Andrea Dovizioso, who for one day, left the handlebars of the JiR Honda Team Scot RC212V and was flanked by Cino Ricci, the unforgettable skipper of Azzurra from the 1983 America's Cup. The two Italians both hail from Forli and they had the opportunity to meet and exchange jokes, discovering the curious aspects and differences of the two sports which are worlds apart.
You are famous for your career as a sailor, but do you also follow MotoGP and bike racing?
"Certainly, I was born in Romagna, the land of the engines! From a young age I had a Benelli Leoncino, then over the years I have had other bikes. The MotoGP racing I follow but I do not like being in the paddock as it is very noisy!"
How did your career as a sailor begin?
"I started from the age of five years, but shortly after I stopped. In the 1960s I returned to sailing, and began to go racing, reaching the America's Cup with Azzurra. Today I deal primarily in organizing sailing events."
What are the similarities between riders and sailors and the world of MotoGP?
"I think the stress faced by the sportsmen in both disciplines. There's the press, journalists to deal with: the public stops you for autographs. In my time there was a greed for characters in the sport and sometimes it's difficult to understand how some people in the sport really are ‘naturally' because they are built up by a need for fame."
But despite this, you became famous and appreciated by the public. How do you explain this?
"I feel I was a pioneer. Eventually, a person becomes the character if it is inside himself and the people understand that you have and are something different, it's impalpable and with you from birth."
In your opinion what differentiates a good pilot from not so good?
"The true champion is able to develop his own bike, one that fits perfectly to his characteristics. He must also be able to make himself understood by both engineers and mechanics."
Andrea Dovizioso - Rider, JiR Team Scot MotoGP
Is this your first experience of sailing a boat?
"I've already been on a sailing boat, but to be honest these were superficial experiences compared to this! This is the first time that I've been on a catamaran and to be on one designed by Andrea Stella is certainly a special feeling!"
What are your first impressions about the world of sailing?
"A few hours are not enough to give me a good idea, but I find it interesting and very different from MotoGP the more I learn about it. In some ways it's almost surreal and sometimes quite dangerous. To travel at night, see a whale in the sea off the side of the boat, or a maybe an iceberg. It's incredible. Then from dead calm to be in the middle of a storm in just a few hours. These are situations in which I would not have control, unlike when I'm in a race!"
So, we'll soon see you engaged in a race?
"I do not know, but I would still like to navigate with Cino and Andrea somewhere, but perhaps not in a race where speed is everything. Maybe more like fifteen days by boat on holiday ... I'd certainly prefer the tranquillity of the second choice!"