Baldassarri eager for MotoGP if 'good chance'

MotoGP in 2020 would be a dream come true for Lorenzo Baldassarri. Valentino Rossi also thinks he 'can be ready', but Balda is wary of being sent back to Moto2 unless he gets a 'good chance'.
Baldassarri eager for MotoGP if 'good chance'

With three wins from five races and early lead of the Moto2 World Championship, Lorenzo Baldassarri is making a strong case for stepping up to MotoGP in 2020.

The Italian has won every race he has finished this season and holds a seven-point lead over Thomas Luthi heading into his home round at Mugello this weekend.

"The statistic is 'win or crash'! That's not my style and when I cannot win, to stay on the bike would be better!" Baldassarri said at Mugello on Thursday. "My shoulder and head feels good after the crash at Le Mans, although the head wasn't 100 percent before! Just kidding…"

Baldassarri made his grand prix debut back in 2013, but had a slow-burning career with only one win before joining Pons at the start of last year. But Balda's impressive form at the start of the new Triumph era has already prompted rumours of possible interest from Ducati for a satellite MotoGP seat in 2020.

"To go to MotoGP as soon as possible would be a dream come true," said Baldassarri.

However he is also wary of what happened to the likes of Luthi, who was forced back to Moto2 after a single (pointless) season in MotoGP.

"I prefer to have a good chance to go there, not to stay just one year and risk going back to Moto2," Baldassarri said. "I will be focused 100% on Moto2 and then we will see."

Mentor and MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi believes Baldassarri has what it takes to join the premier-class.

"First of all Balda works very hard and when we train together he is always very fast," Rossi said. "He has a particular style, but very clean, very smooth and technical. So I think that he can be ready for MotoGP also because he's big, his size is suitable, and it may be better for him than Moto2.

"But like he said, now he has to concentrate, he has a great chance this year to try to win the championship and after in the future think about MotoGP."

Should Baldassarri seal a MotoGP deal he would become the third VR46 Academy rider to reach the premier-class after Moto2 champions Franco Morbidelli and Francesco Bagnaia.

"For us it's a great feeling," Rossi said of the VR46 success. "Now I think we are a good organisation that covers more-or-less all the aspects of the career of a top rider.

"We try to help the Italian riders first of all to train in a good way using a bit of my experience in all these years and also to help them have a good team and good bike, to make it possible to get the maximum from their talent.

"Because in the last year's in Italy it was difficult to find a good team, a good bike for the young riders and I think that it’s worked well and the results are very good - especially in Moto2, at the beginning with Franco and last year with Pecco and this year with Balda.

"So we are very happy."

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez looks at Baldassarri from the perspective of a rival to his younger Alex, Moto2 winner last time at Le Mans.

"I've known Balda since the Spanish championship because he was competing against my brother," Marquez said. "He is doing a great season. Of course, I'm supporting my brother and I tried to help him to understand what [Baldassarri] is doing in a correct way.

"It's true that he has a special riding style, even from his position on the bike and everything, because he's very tall. But anyway he has the speed, so he will be a tough opponent for Alex."

Due to the two-year nature of most contracts, the majority of MotoGP seats are not up for grabs until the 2021 season, prompting currently rookie Joan Mir to join Suzuki after just one season in Moto2.