It’s a normal summer evening in the province of Vicenza in Northeast Italy.
Andrea is a three-year old child playing with his friends on the road in front of his house. He is having fun and has no idea that his life is about positively to change forever.
Daddy Simone is on his way back home. His son runs towards him to say hello as soon as he sees him getting out of the car: a thunderbolt.
The father opens the boot and a motorbike appears. It’s Andrea’s first bike.
“That was the first time I got on a bike… it was an unforgettable feeling because the first time is always the first time!”
From that moment the motorbike is both dream and fun for Andrea.
As long as he is still studying, he gets on his bike only once a week, but this doesn’t mean that his speed suffers. This is probably because ever since that summer evening when he got a new toy, his bikes remain first and foremost a passion and great pastime for him.
However, this doesn’t mean that a future world champion has to give up on his dream.
He follows that dream with the stubbornness typical of the people from his place of origin from the very beginning, even if there are economic problems over the years and a lot of sacrifices have to be made in order to continue getting on that Enduro motorbike.
“Not only I but my whole family made a lot of sacrifices to be able to go on. The economic situation wasn’t the best and more than once we found ourselves at the point of having to give up but somehow we managed to continue. A lot of those efforts were repaid by arriving at this level.”
You already know this, but just to be absolutely sure, Andrea is talking about the title he just won in the Junior category when speaking about “this level”. This title is in addition to the Youth title of two seasons ago and it has enabled him to race those he had observed and studied in order to understand their secrets until only recently: the pros.
“I have always watched all riders to try to get ideas from the strengths of every single one of them.”
It’s not the story of a boy marked by destiny, of those child prodigies who are forced to win, whose families put a lot of pressure on them, and who then often lose their way. Andrea has lived a normal life characterised by a passion for motorbikes. He has always had the certainty that his family had his back and that he could count on them whenever necessary.
Andrea had a particularly close relationship with the person who first put him on a bike and taught him how to ride it. His father Simone was a motocross rider and unfortunately passed away one and a half years ago. Andrea knows that without him he would not be racing in the World Championship, and definitely not be Junior and Youth World Champion. Obviously he misses him a lot.
“My father was the person who taught me how to ride a bike. He encouraged me at every single training always to give my best, always to believe in it… so I think that most of the credit really goes to him! I think that without him I wouldn’t be here giving this interview today! Unfortunately, he died one and a half years ago. Missing him has actually helped me and is still helping me at being stronger!”
Andrea mentions the interview you are reading because he has remained very humble even if his results would have easily gone to many people’s head. He dominated an entire season and won the title very early on at his home GP, the arduous Valli Bergamasche, a unique emotion for an Italian rider.
“The race that has stuck in my mind the most this season was definitely the Italian one, where I managed to win the title in front of my home audience. The competition was beautiful with technical specials and very selective transfer stages. The fans made it even more special, the cheer was incredible!”
Aware of his qualities and all the work done last winter, at the beginning of the season, he realised that he couldn’t hide himself: he started the season to win the title and he hit the target he had set for himself. Tm Racing also have him the possibility to race against the pros which allowed him not only to gain some experience for 2020 when he could be a real protagonist, but it also added another achievement to the completed season.
He will continue improving in future. He simply wants to be the best, knowing that his competition is ready to go and that many other riders are also convinced that they can beat the others. As always EnduroGP will be a great battle.
Enduro riders know that only hard work can achieve the results they are hoping for during the preparation and management of a race. We’re not talking about a decisive thirty minutes during which you can ruin somebody’s chances as they are not able to keep up: An Enduro race lasts around seven hours. In most cases, only one person really deserves to climb on the highest step of the podium at the end of this: the strongest.
“I think that the perfect Enduro rider has great technical potential and a strong physique. He is reactive and resistant, and, above all, has a very flexible mentality which enables him immediately to understand a route in order to reduce mistakes to a minimum, react to errors and stay cool in any situation… I believe that it’s very difficult, but not impossible, to get to the top.”
It is really fundamental that a rider loves what he does. Sooner or later difficulties arise for everyone and only the best ones know how to overcome them.
The best ones don’t only have their skill in common, but also a passion for Enduro.
“Enduro is a unique discipline. You’re up against rivals with whom you don’t have any visual or physical contact. In a special test there’s only you, your bike and time going by… it’s a unique feeling that only Enduro can give you. You race on any terrain and in any condition. The rider and the bike need to be one and the same, the rider needs to know his bike perfectly. It takes you to places immersed in nature, places which you would never see without this magnificent sport!”
Magnificent sport, magnificent riders.
We thank Andrea Verona and TM Racing for their availability.