Lorenzo Piolini, Milanese rider and traveler, owner of the famous Caravanserraglio Moto-atelier, is ready to leave for the Dakar 2021.
There are a few days to New Year's Eve, but for Lorenzo, in this year really made up of climbs and difficulties, Christmas has the flavor of sand, desert and speed. He also shot us this video that we couldn't not share and we took the opportunity to ask him a few questions before his departure from Jeddah.
The last few months have been really intense, between athletic training, preparation of the motorcycle, a beautiful one KTM Factory Replica 450 and so much training with the multiple champion Oscar Chickens, who, after competitions, is dedicated to training young athletes and many amateurs.
After the rally in Andalusia and the embarkation of the motorcycle in Marseille, the next stop left is only the flight that separates it from Jeddah, for the departure of the Dakar Rally on January 3, 2021, the date on which we too will begin to follow him and the other pilots like the aggressive Maurizio Gerini, Frank Peak (tireless and always fearful!), Francesco Catania, David Cominards, Titian InternalAngelo Pedemonte, John Stigliano and Cesare Zacchetti.
We intercepted Lorenzo on the phone directly from Jeddah for a quick interview, here's what he tells us:
Tell us briefly what was your typical day in the retreat with the coach?
We spent many days with Oscar Polli, practically in total retreat, in a farm of the Lazio. We started in the morning with an intense warm-up of running and cycling early in the morning, breakfast and then on the bike all day, until dusk. Short break to eat something, then again exercise in the dark and then again athletics until dinner time.
How did your relationship with Oscar Polli become and what will your adventure be like without him?
With Oscar I found the perfect harmony, in addition to a feeling of deep friendship, I can say that "we are the ones to make the Dakar" and I do not hide the fact that he too has rekindled the flame of the raid. For a number of reasons, Oscar cannot accompany me but I am happier this way because I prefer to move with my legs and get by with my hands.
How much has he changed you and what to train with him?
It allowed me to really understand what it takes to do the Dakar and consequently it changed me radically, alone I wouldn't be the rider I am now. From a technical point of view, he set me up in the right way, not only in driving but above all for the most extreme situations, obviously passing through the physical endurance that a race like the Dakar requires.
Is the bike ready? How did you prepare it for the Dakar?
Fortunately, the KTM Rally replica seems to have been born ready, especially as regards the instrumentation and components. The most important work was done on the chassis, front and rear, to calibrate it to my weight of 60 kilos.
How do you feel about your victory at the Toureg
At this point there is now an abyss with the Touareg Rally, both in terms of my preparation and in terms of the race itself. A very nice rally that I would like to go back to because Algeria is wonderful, but definitely very amateur compared to the very high level of the Dakar.
Are you entering the Olympus of the most extreme riders, does this or the race itself intimidate you?
I can honestly say that I do not feel in awe for the simple reason that my pace and that of other so-called "amateur" riders is not comparable to that of the most experienced professionals. Their driving style is really extreme and really travels on the line between life and victory, impressive. Instead, it's the race itself that really thrills me, and brings me back to mine “Experience” in South America when I found myself in the middle of it.
What are the stages or tests that you fear the most?
The last of the first week will certainly be more difficult from a technical point of view, while the 11th stage (of the second week) is over 800km of which 500 is special, and being the penultimate, you will certainly not get there rested, on the contrary. My fears are mostly about the physical endurance that the race requires.
Will the other pilots be helpful for you who are participating for the first time or are they just opponents?
For me, the other riders are first and foremost a family, on which one can rely on each other: no one is left behind.
Which your mantra when you are in trouble or what pushes you to move forward in the most extreme moments?
It's not a real mantra but I just say to myself “Lorenzo, shut up, don't think”. When everything becomes difficult it is the only solution, head down, long march and so on.
We know that this kind of competition is addictive, see Franco Picco, do you already have other challenges in mind for 2021/22?
True! In fact, there are very few pilots who have done only one in Dakar. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not doing any projects for now, I'm focused on this upcoming edition, we'll see later.
We just have to say thank you very much Lorenzo and go full throttle! Our good luck goes to you and to all the drivers of the Dakar 2021, especially the Italian ones!
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