Andrea Quadranti is the team owner of the Motul-backed MV Agusta Reparto Corse racing team, competing in the now-delayed Supersport World Championship. We caught up with him about how coronavirus has affected this year’s racing and his thoughts for the rest of the year.
How’s coronavirus affecting you and business right now, Andrea?
Unfortunately everything has been frozen for us since March 2nd. For the first couple of weeks in March, the bikes were still in the hands of the transport company, and as soon as we received them back, the lockdown started. My main concern, after the health of my personnel, is the financial situation. Sponsors stopped paying because we are not racing anymore. Unfortunately, we still have bills to pay and also many air companies and hotels are not refunding us back at the moment. If we start racing again the whole calendar will be new and we will need to buy new tickets and new hotel bookings. Probably everybody will need to stay in a single room because of social distancing, so we will need double the number of rooms. All these costs are not in the allocated budget and I doubt that we will be able to sustain all of this.
Could you describe what it’s like running a motorbike racing team?
Motorsport has always been my passion ever since I was a kid. With my savings I bought my first motocross bike at 15 without my parents’ knowledge. Running a team is a great feeling. You can develop the bikes, learn from your technicians and gain a lot of experience during the seasons. This would have been my fifth year in the WSBK Championship. There is always a lot of excitement when we start the racing weekends on Wednesdays, which culminate in the maximum peak before the Sunday race. For about 30 minutes you have the “all-in” game feeling. It can go well or bad (in the case of a crash). Like most contenders I participate with the aim to win, but we all know that only one out of about 28 riders will. I personally find it hard to accept disappointments but after few hours the desire to try again is back stronger than ever. That makes you want to improve your project more.
How important is the partnership with Motul and how does it help you race better?
Motul has been with us since the beginning of the project. It’s a very important partner in term of the quality of the products that they supply us. Motul has a wide range of high-quality products which are fundamental for the care and maintenance of our bikes, including the engines which are the most important parts. The oil quality is not only very important for the care of the engine parts but also for the performance of them.
What are your team ambitions for the rest of 2020 and how will you achieve them?
We want to compete for the Championship. We worked a lot in the winter but the first race has shown us that there is still a lot more to do.
What’s the secret to winning races?
If we knew that we would all be champions [laughs]. But seriously I would say that the budget already plays a big part of it. Of course, you need to spend wisely but I would like to have had enough to enable us to do the proper investments in terms of developments.
How would you feel to take MV Agusta to its first big championship win since the 1970s?
That is actually a big part of our motivation. It would be a great honour to achieve something like that after so many years of sacrifices.
How much work has gone into making the bike ready to excel on the track?
We actually have a very short time after the season finish at the end of October. We are the first test after only three weeks and then we test again the third week of January. In between there are the Christmas holidays, which are slowing down the supply of new parts as many suppliers are very busy in this period and because, in Italy, basically every activity stops for about three weeks. So far, we still need to finish the developments of the engine and we need to find the best setup.