Defending his crown controlling a Desmosedici GP bike for Borgo Panigale.
For those who don’t regularly watch eSports, MotoGP’s first official #StayAtHomeGP may have seemed like a bit of an anomaly. Yes, we’re all staying at home right now, but surely there’s a world of difference between training to race bikes on a track and training to race bikes in a game, right?
Perhaps that’s why both the first such MotoGP race and the second one on April 12, 2020 will all feature members of the current MotoGP paddock. After all, asking these real-world racers to compete against reigning MotoGP eSport World Champion Andrea “AndrewZh” Saveri wouldn’t exactly put the field on equal footing.
To further blur the lines between the two worlds, Ducati just announced the official launch of its new Ducati Corse eSport team. For 2020, AndrewZh is now officially racing for Ducati, and according to the team, grew up mere kilometers away from Borgo Panigale in a family full of Ducatisti.
It sounds quite a bit like a dream come true. I mean, imagine how cool it would be to grow up down the road from Ducati in the first place. Then you rise up through the ranks and find yourself racing for them? It’s almost unreal.
Granted, eSports are a type of racing that the Ducati family probably never could have imagined when they founded the company. Thing is, whether you’re a bike manufacturer or a person, if you live long enough, you end up adapting and adjusting to the changing world around you. Just imagine how different a world we’d live in if Ducati hadn’t made the transition from radio components to motorcycles!
“When the eSport World Championship began I couldn't have imagined reaching this goal. Becoming an official Ducati rider and wearing the colors of the squad from Borgo Panigale is a dream come true,” AndrewZh said in a statement.
“Although it is a tough moment for the world, we were able to compete in the ProDraft. It was not easy to gain access to the final challenge, as this year the level is very high. It will be a special season, during which I hope to be able to repay all the trust that Ducati put on me by getting good results.”
For 2020, the official MotoGP eSport World Championship will consist of four separate live race events on May 29, August 14, September 11, and November 27, 2020. Check out the full calendar here.