Judging by his performances across the Online Challenges and Pro Draft, AdrianDP26 (real name: Adrian Montenegro Sanchez) will begin the final stage of the 2019 MotoGP™ eSport Championship as one of the favourites.
It helps that the 22-year old student from Las Palmas in Canarias, Spain is no stranger to the big occasion; Adrian_DP26 was a semi-finalist in the 2017 series and made it all the way to last year’s final.
The first round of the Global Series, which takes place during the #SanMarinoGP, represents Adrian’s chance to start the three-round Championship on the right foot. He headed his eleven competitors by setting the fastest time in the Final Draft, which gave him the first pick of the current MotoGP™ teams to ride with in the Global Series.
Team Suzuki Ecstar was his team and bike of choice, and Adrian has the distinction of competing alongside younger brother Cristianmm17 (Cristian Montengero) in the three rounds and six races that lie ahead.
Here, he talks about his earliest memories of MotoGP, how he trains for the eSport Championship and his hopes for the Global Series.
- When did you start playing video games?
The first time I played I was 8 or 9 years old, playing MotoGP 2004. That was my first game and from then I saw that I liked it and I was good at it. From then on I always bought the latest “MotoGP” games that were coming out every year.
- Do you ride a motorcycles in real life?
Yes, I have the KTM RC390 that my brother Cristian won in the 2017 championship. It’s his, but I ride it
- What is your favorite video game of all time?
I think the best MotoGP I've played is the MotoGP ’06. I think it was very good and realistic for that year. Also the lap times were very similar to real life.
- How often do you play?
Normally 1 or 2 hours a day. Sometimes I don't play but I always try to play every day so I don't lose the practice, especially when there is a championship.
- How did you get interested in MotoGP?
My father has always watched the bikes, so when I was little and the bikes were on TV at home I saw them and I really liked watching the races.
- What is your first memory of a motorcycle race?
One of the first memories I have of a MotoGP race was from the South African race in 2004, when Valentino won after moving from Honda to Yamaha. Also Pedrosa that same year won his first 250 race. Also Jerez 2005, when Rossi and Sete Gibernau touched at the last corner.
- Why is Dani Pedrosa your favorite rider?
At the beginning when he started in 2002 and 2003 I didn’t know much about him. I was 5 or 6 years old and I liked him because I loved the colors of his bike (Movistar blue). I just wanted him to win from that moment and I still support him today. Then when he went up to the 250s I began to understand more about the sport because I liked him even more, for the unique style he had. I love it when he lifts the bike up but he is still leant over, incredible. Also he was a very clean rider on the track, which for me is very important. It’s a pity that he has retired because I think he still had a lot to give. He is very, very fast. I will always think about what he could’ve done on a Yamaha ... this year it seems strange for him not to be racing. And even if he didn’t win the MotoGP title, for me he will always be the best. He’s my idol. I wish him the best and hopefully he will develop the KTM into a very fast motorcycle.
- You reached the final of the 2018 Championship along with your brother Cristianmm17. How was that experience?
Like 2017 it was nice to live the experience of the trip. As for the final it was hard because we both went out early in the race. Both of us crashed at the first corner and were already out of the fight. It was nice for us both to be in the final but also weird at the same time.
- How is the MotoGP19 video game different from the MotoGP18 game? Do you think the new one is better?
MotoGP19 is much more real, especially when braking, although the movements of the motorcycle in my opinion are more natural in this game than in the previous ones. For me, MotoGP19 is better by far. Although there are still some things to improve. But I think this year has taken a step forward with respect to the other games.
- Can you describe how you will train for the Global Series?
Doing races online and training against the clock. Also when my brother Cristian plays I see how he corners, so I also see where I can improve. We both help each other and so we always improve. I also like Bomber (XxBoMbeR_45xX) seeing my laps, because he has the ability to tell me where I am losing time. Sometimes I think I'm doing well, but in reality I'm lost time in some places and he’s able to see it. I appreciate that. Thanks to him I’m stronger in this game.
- You were a semifinalist in 2017 and a finalist in 2018. What are your expectations for this season?
My goal this year is to try to be champion. It’s going to be difficult with such fast opponents, but I think I have the speed to at least fight until the end. Then you can win or not, but the important thing is to be up in the championship races to finish in a good position when the last race is over. Above all I want to have better luck than the previous years, when I wasn’t able to show what I could do because of crashes that weren’t my fault.
- Who will be your toughest competitors during the Global Series?
It’s a championship where anything can happen. There are many players that go fast, but I think there are only some that are the most dangerous rivals for the championship. Trastevere73 will be there as always. AndrewZh will also be very fast, I'm sure. But I think the biggest rival is my brother Cristian. He is very, very fast and in the race he is consistent and difficult to beat, so it will be very hard. I think those are the rivals that are above the rest, although everything can happen.
- Why did you choose to race with Team Suzuki Ecstar?
Because I love the colors of this bike. It’s one of the best looking on the grid! I also like the sound when you are playing with it. The Suzuki with its sound helps me ride in a smooth way. I have chosen it also because I think that the people of Suzuki are very friendly, I saw how they worked with XxBoMbeR_45xX last year and they were incredible. I also like their two riders, Rins and Mir. It will be an honor to represent this great team and I’ll try to finish as well as possible.
- What will be the experience of representing the same team with your brother Cristianmm17?
Special. In the past two years we never met on track. It would be nice this year to meet and fight for races or even for the championship. It would also be amazing to see two Suzuki bikes and two brothers fighting for the victory or championship.