MotoGP™ is back on European turf and gearing up for the awesome spectacle of the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, so where better to celebrate the incredible culture of Andalusia and southern Spain than one of the most famous places in Jerez: the Fundación Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre. For those au fait with neither the equestrian nor the Spanish, that’s the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art and it’s one of the most esteemed in the world.
Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) was the rider heading the expedition into the incredible tradition as the Italian is set to hit the impressive milestone of 200 premier class Grands Prix this weekend; not a single race missed since he moved into MotoGP™. But the connection goes deeper, with ‘DesmoDovi’ using horses – one black and one white – as key symbols on his boots, on his helmet and even in his mental preparation and training.
Early in the morning was reserved for filming the Ducati alongside the Andalusian horses, before Dovizioso then got a tour of the grounds and stunning architecture of the school. Seeing how saddles and harnesses are made, the decorative details of the beautiful surroundings and, of course, watching the horses and riders, it was a glimpse into another, very different kind of horsepower.
Finally, Dovizioso posed with his bike, a white horse and a black horse for a stunning photo opportunity with a difference – bringing his incredible symbolism to life. But what do they mean? A white horse is the logical, the calm and the rational – the base setting, the basis of everything. The black horse? That’s the irrational, the darker side of racing – the risk, the aggression. Two opposing but complimentary ways of racing when blended together in the right recipe – something proved to perfection by the number 04, who has risen to become a perennial threat at the front of MotoGP™.
Andrea Dovizioso: “Like last year, we arrive first in the championship but I believe this year we are in a bit of different situation; we are bit more competitive, also our rivals are more competitive but I think we can fight. The Championship is very long, so anything can happen. We still have a lot of things to do but I’m happy to be in Europe and in Jerez. Last year, at the end, the race went badly but the speed was there in the race. There is new asphalt, so this will affect everybody, so don’t know what we can do but I’m confident. i have a good feeling. The podium, in Jerez, is the goal. We have to think about the Championship. I’m really happy, really confident and really looking forward to starting the weekend because I want to see our speed this year.”
The Italian moved on to talk about the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art and the event: “It’s a special place. We’ve raced in Jerez for a long time but I’d never heard about this place, but it’s very famous, they told me today, and it was quite strange to be in the middle of two big horses. I don’t have a lot of feeling with horses but there’s a reason why I use them on my helmet, my boots, as my logo, so it was a really nice event and it will be really nice for everybody to see.”
Finally, Dovizioso explained the white horse and the black – and that, like so much, it’s a question of balance.
“I think it’s always about a good balance; you have to understand and use the right one (white/dark horse) in the right moment. It’s very, very difficult, which is normal at this level but I believe, still, that the white horse is the base to approaching the weekend, doing practices and sometimes it’s very important to bring the black one out. For me, it’s not too easy, I’m working on that, but I’m really happy with the situation I’m in now.”