The much anticipated and world first MotoGP™ eSport Championship had a clear favourite as the competition heated up in Valencia. However, in a surprise twist - from the middle of the pack came Italy’s own “trastevere73” to contest the top step - and ended up taking home the title. With the crown and car in hand, motogp.com sat down to discuss some of the highlights of being the inaugural World eSport Champion with “trastevere73”.
What were your thoughts on the Grand Final after you qualified during the online Challenge – prior to arriving in Valencia?
trastevere73 - My expectations were high, but I did not expect to win. The skill level of everyone was incredible and anything could have happened in the race. The initial Online Challenges were very difficult. But I had a great progression: The first Challenge 15th, the second 10th, the third 4th and the fourth – qualified! Only in Valencia after general rehearsals did I start to believe what was happening!
Were you surprised that five Italian gamers made it through to Valencia?
tv73 - No, I was not surprised. I was expecting about that number of Italians in the final, as we have always been very competitive!
Had you raced or heard of with any of the finalists before you qualified?
tv73 - In large part yes, with most of the finalists I had already competed online. I was only surprised by the qualification of “The Fugia”, as I had never heard of him before and he was very good!
Did you make friends with the other qualyfiers in Valencia - or possibly enemies?
tv73 - I really had the greatest week of my life, and became friends with the other finalists! All friends and no enemies. They turned out to be incredibly nice and funny people. Obviously when it's time to play nobody is a “friend”, and there was a great rivalry between me and “mmandzukic17”, but all the time outside of racing we were joking around together!
Do you think your win was because of race tactics or speed?
tv73 - I think it is a combination of both. It takes a lot of speed but also tactics – it requires you to study the opponent and know the areas of the track where maybe you are faster, and then to try to overtake safely, as it was. Then once it was done, it was just speed (to stay in front). Also, riding a bike in real life, not at the competitive level but because it has always been a great passion of mine, I think maybe this also helped me in the final victory!
What would you like to see from the MotoGP eSport Championship in 2018?
tv73 - Well the team at Dorna that organised the first were fantastic! They were extremely helpful and they did not miss a thing ... I vote 10 out of 10 and give them lots of praise!!! From next year I expect maybe more races - not just one. This would reward even the most progressive driver and give the opportunity to a player who might have crashed, to make up for it in the next race! And I also hope that in the future the real teams of MotoGP, like Ducati and Pramac, Yamaha Movistar or Monster, Honda and so on, could sponsor us to compete by representing them on their bike. In short, I hope that little by little it will become more important, and grow by involving more and more people!