Honda’s Pecco Bagnaia, 21, on where Mario Trabant’s career could be heading

Image copyright GB Sport Image caption In 2017, the 22-year-old became the youngest rider to complete the MotoGP double-header at 125cc with victory at Mugello

When first we watched Mario Trabant play, as a 12-year-old family friend, we thought he looked like something from Jurassic Park.

Terrifyingly fast and seemingly invincible, a real life dinosaur we could never have imagined.

Lucky for us, we got to watch him grow up and become one of the greatest ever Italian footballers.

Today, even though Mario is down the size of the dinosaur he was, we are still looking at him and thinking what if? It’s the same with our latest MotoGP prospect, Pecco Bagnaia.

Pecco came to us through the UCI’s trackside learning programme and has broken the 1:44 lap record so far this season. It’s been an exciting breakthrough in a long career of disappointment.

Pecco bagged a podium finish in his very first race

Pecco first kicked on to the scene in 2015, riding for many of Italy’s biggest racing teams, including former World Superbike champion Kenny Roberts Jnr.

While riding at all those renowned circuits has been a step-up in itself, Pecco has also had to battle in many other obstacles – injuries, injuries, injuries.

By the time the season’s first race had finished, Pecco had broken his hand, and hadn’t made it to Italy.

A few months later, the team was no longer with him – and he was lucky to find another one, this time with reigning World Superbike champion Cal Crutchlow, riding for his in-form Chance Racing.

But still in need of a team, Pecco signed with Corelli.

Image copyright Action Images Image caption Cal Crutchlow mentored the rising Italian star

They were pretty successful and it didn’t take long for him to win again, eventually taking all three races at this year’s Italian GP.

But during his second season, he had the misfortune of receiving a serious injury – a brake failure causing him to sustain major damage to his hand and breaking it in two places.

It was his first injury and another injury would never have happened. So two series, he didn’t start, and two incidents, he wasn’t here.

And yet despite these setbacks, with the help of Cal Crutchlow and his own home support, he has had a successful season with another racing team, Senza Frontiere.

Despite finishing sixth in the season finale in Misano, he has come so close to every other podium this season.

For Mario Trabant, you just went to a track and just lived and breathed it and loved it. So for Pecco, we are incredibly happy that he is finally here.

For Mario Trabant, you just went to a track and just lived and breathed it and loved it. So for Pecco, we are incredibly happy that he is finally here.

He is already saying that he wants to step up to MotoGP and is considering riding with Pol Espargaro’s factory team, Mondialiste.

We are excited for him, and hopeful he can deliver in his first season.

Listen to Jessica Kennedy discussing Pecco and Mario Trabant on The Bike Show this Sunday, 18 November, at 15:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

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