The Gresini Racing family keeps growing and welcomes on board two-time World Champion (in 2001 and 2003) Manuel Poggiali, who was already orbiting around Gresini last year. The recently-turned 36-year-old from San Marino will take the role of Riders Coach and supervise all categories the Faenza-based team competes in.

“We don’t want to leave anything to chance; I believe Manuel is the right guy to help us on many levels” says Fausto Gresini. “As a former World Champion, he’ll bring a winning mentality and help our riders, from the youngsters of the CIV to the World Championship ones.”

“He will be of great help of the team. This is also an opportunity for him to experience the paddock in a different way after knowing it perfectly as a rider. The idea behind is that he can mentor the riders while making his way into a team managing role as our team keeps growing year after year.”

So Manuel Poggiali joins the Gresini Racing Team, but we would like to know something more out of him…

Welcome into the Gresini Racing family. What will be your role within the team?

I’m very happy and proud to join Gresini Racing in an official capacity. Last year we got to know each other and liked each other straight away, so I’m now part of the family. This is a great opportunity, so I would like to thank Fausto for it. My role will be to bring a bit of my experience to riders both off and on track. There are a lot of areas we need to work on and I’m sure we can do great things with the team we’re putting together.”

You raced in the Grand Prix World Championship from 1998 to 2008 with 12 wins, 35 podiums and two titles… How important will be your experience to Gresini Racing?

I raced for a short period of time, but I was quite successful; my titles arrived quite early courtesy of great momentum and great people around me. Environment and relationships, along with the technical side, are key factors to achieve important results. Doing well is something, winning is a whole different matter. Something extra is needed in order to win, a different mindset and the ability to manage pressure. I hope I can make my experience available and put it to good use in this new role within Gresini Racing.

How much has racing changed from the times you were racing?

Motorcycle racing has changed a lot and in many areas: technology, training, but also the bikes themselves. If we think about it, not long ago only few riders were training the way even the riders at the back of the grid are training now. It’s the natural evolution of a sport that maintains the same essence – the one I’ve always had.

Let’s talk about this year’s projects and how you see the riders’ potential in all categories

We can start from the youngsters: we need to work hard and make sure they grow and improve as riders in a more relaxed – though still extremely competitive – championship like the CIV. In Moto3 we will be relying on Gabri’s talent, a rider with great experience who I think can fight for the title already in his first year with the team. For Rossi this will be a learning year: he’s yet to learn most tracks on the calendar, so it will be important to do some homework prior to the races by analysing each circuit turn-by-turn. He has great motivation and we know he can do well in his first year. Sam (Lowes) needs no introduction; he already did well with Gresini in the past, so this is a welcome return and the bar is set very high for him. This year it will also be about MotoE, with Savadori and Ferrari as the two standard bearers – two very quick riders who are ready to surprise everybody.