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Grid Talk – Ignacio Sagnier | COLUMNS | GASSIT GARAGE

As the Communications Director for Dorna, Ignacio Sagnier puts out the content that fans see

Are you a motorcyclist yourself?

Of course I am a motorcyclist!

I enjoy riding motorbikes and I love this sport. Since I was young I have ridden with all my bikes all over Europe visiting France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bosnia, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Great Britain…..

You must get a unique insight into the riders and teams; what is the best part about the job, and do you have any favourites?

We have a close relationship with all the riders and they are really nice guys. It’s good to be in contact with such personalities in the sport. Before I entered Dorna, I had worked for a sports paper in Spain (SPORT) during 10 years covering the FCBarcelona Soccer Team, and the soccer players are definitely more distant. Also, travelling is quite unique, and the fact that every day is different makes this job special and epic.

Is there a performance this year from a certain rider or team that surprised you?

In MotoGP, Andrea Dovizioso is performing really well, also rookie Johann Zarco and Italian anti-hero Danilo Petrucci. In Moto3 I’ve been surprised by Spanish Joan Mir. His mentality has changed since last year, now he is strong and confident. Winning races where he didn’t really need to win demonstrates his strong character now. Finally in Moto2, Italian rider Morbidelli is super quiet but when he has to attack he is like a Panzer tank.

What about locations when you travel? What is your favourite country to visit and why?

We love going to the overseas races. I love Australia for its landscape and the weather, Japan because the food is amazing and the culture of the country is fascinating. I also enjoy Austin, Texas, because of the musical scene and I love music. Music is life!

I expect you would have to keep a lot of people happy? Who is the hardest person or group of people to please? Riders? Teams? Fans?

The Press Officers of the riders are always tough!

The point is that they have to look after their riders and teams, which is understandable.

Sometimes their interests clash with ours but it’s part of the business because we row in the same direction. Other than that, there are journalists that give you grief, but in general the relationship is good. And finally, the fans are always sweet.

Are there any elements about the sport you don’t like?

Yes, we don’t like unsportsmanlike behaviour, when there is disrespect.

Are there any media tips that you could pass on to emerging riders or teams that you think might make them more appealing to sponsors?

I’d tell them to make themselves available (always with a happy face) to the media as much as possible. Riders don’t like it, but media interaction is a crucial part of the game and their careers. They must be appealing, charismatic and enthusiastic.

There is a lot to do once the rider gets off the bike.

What development in MotoGP most excites you for the future?

We love the fact that the current regulation resulted in having nine different winners with four different bikes in 2016 and so far in 2017 we have five different winners.

Competitiveness is key and generates the spectacle!

What is your favourite memory when visiting Phillip Island?

The landscape is spectacular, the layout of the track is quite unique and the friendliness of all the people that work there is also exceptional.

Ah, and the barista we have in the cosy Media Centre who makes the best cappuccinos of the season!! Hahaha…..    

Interview Matt O’Connell