Di Meglio – “My qualities as a teacher and hairdresser have come to light”

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Marc VDS MotoE rider Mike Di Meglio’s time during lockdown, is proving to be a busy one for the 2008 125cc world champion.

Being a teacher, part-time athlete and full-time father, are the many things Di Meglio is currently balancing, as he awaits the beginning of the 2020 racing season.

Di Meglio has not one, but two bikes temporarily parked at this moment. His MotoE Energica Ego Corse, and World Endurance Honda have barely been ridden so far in 2020.

The Frenchman has always loved the battle of competition, and is eager to have adrenaline coursing through his veins again. However, while racing is temporarily on hold due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, di Meglio is coping with lockdown in a variety of ways.

Speaking on the current situation, Di Meglio said: “It’s not an easy situation for anyone. I’m spending it in France with my wife and kids. You must be patient, positive and listen to the recommendations of the experts. Right now, the most important thing is to stay home and wait for the world to recover from this pandemic.”

When asked about his time at home, Di Meglio is currently participating in classes, but perhaps not in the conventional sense: “No, I’m the teacher! I have two kids aged eight and four and they can’t go to school. The older one, Matheo, has classes every day so, together with my wife, we try to replace the teachers as best we can.

We’ve set up the di Meglio home school! With the little one there are classes too, although the activities are different. In the afternoon, once the classes are over, I start my extracurricular activities trying to train as much as I can to keep myself in shape physically.”

With many kids getting homeschooling during this difficult period or online teaching, it presents very unique challenges for students, but also parents. 

Di Meglio and his wife try to replicate school hours with their teaching, while keeping their day as fun as possible: “We start around 9am and until 12pm it’s time for classes. We eat and the children go to rest a little bit.

When they rest, I try to train and play sports because when they wake up we organise activities with them like playing in the garden and we also play board games. We have dinner early, watch a movie sometimes and go to sleep.”

While the Frenchman is seemingly excelling at different skills, and thoroughly enjoying family life during his time away from racing, training remains essential for riders upon their return to competitive action. Di Meglio discussed this along with the impact of not having racing. 

“Without a doubt, the best thing is to have time with your family. This is something that we find difficult to find at times due to my work. The hardest thing to cope with is not knowing when we will be able to return to racing. The winter was long and with everything that is happening the wait is getting very long.

Yes, or at least I’m trying my best. I’m trying to get out and run. We can do it here if we respect the allowed safety distances. At home I also work, I ride static bikes and do different physical circuits to keep fit. The truth is that I am quite well equipped to be able to do good training at home.”

Teaching has become a big part of his life under lockdown, however, there is another particular skill that he has developed: “Yes! My skills as a teacher and a hairdresser that had been hidden until now have come to light! And I’m not bad at all! When I have the scissors in my hand you should see the look on the faces of the kids!”

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After taking the 125 championship in 2008, Di Meglio spent five seasons in the Moto2 class, before competing in MotoGP for two years with the Avintia Racing Ducati team. 

Di Meglio left MotoGP at the conclusion of the 2015 season. Since then the 32 year-old has been competing in the FIM World Endurance Championship.

After winning the Bol d’Or and Oshersleben in the 2018-19 season, Di Meglio made a return to the Grand Prix paddock in the inaugural MotoE series. 

Di Meglio finished last season fifth, which included a Grand Slam (pole, win and fastest lap) at the Austrian Grand Prix. Similar to MotoGP, the only form of riding the MotoE riders have had in 2020 was winter testing. 

Di Meglio spoke about the differences in the 2019 and 2020 bike, his strong points heading into the second season, and what to improve on: “The main changes are in the tyres, the chassis and the power unit.

Michelin brought new tyres to the test with interesting changes, although it is probably not the definitive version as they are planning to continue working on a new and improved option. Energica, on the other hand, has evolved the chassis and power unit from the 2019 version, evolutions that have gone in the right direction.

The experience. Apart from the fact that this will be the second year I will be riding and competing with an electric bike, I learned a lot last year. I learned how to win, lose, come back and be clear that, if in motorcycling there is almost no room for mistakes, in MotoE, the ‘almost’ disappears completely.

The fast lap and learning to risk a little more at specific moments. In any case, it was just a first test to draw some very definite conclusions. Although you always should give your best in testing, I am a rider who changes a lot during the race weekend.”

It remains to be seen how much racing we get in 2020, but the MotoE World Cup is once again scheduled to have five races at Jerez, Le Mans, Assen, Red Bull Ring, and a double header at Misano to finish the season.  

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25 Year old Motorsport enthusiast, with my expertise lying mostly with Motorcycle racing. Lived abroad when I was younger and I've also played a variety of different sports in that time. I'm currently studying Sports Journalism, with the hope of getting into commentary in the future.
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