MotoGP esports world champion Andrea “AndrewZh” Saveri on how his passion for motorbikes made him an official Ducati rider.
Photo credit: Pro2Be Esports Srl
“I have no words, because this is the best day of my life for sure.” At only 18-years old, AndrewZh just fulfilled a life goal. The esports driver is beaming with joy in the post-race interview. For good reason – he has just won the 2019 MotoGP esports World Championship at only his second try.
Mix hard work with prodigy and you win a world championship
Andrea ‘AndrewZh’ Saveri is a 19-year-old esports racer and MotoGP World Champion from Bologna, Italy – the birthplace of motorcycle-manufacturing company Ducati. These two actors will cross their paths many times, but let’s jump back to when Andrea’s passion for motorsports started.
The Italian always enjoyed playing video games as a child. As his family shared a love of motorcycles, Andrea eventually became interested in testing the MotoGP games for fun. His casual interest for gaming developed into a competitive spirit at the end of 2017. When taking a look at some MotoGP world leaderboards, he figured he could keep up with these numbers. Indeed, he could: after only a few months of practicing, he was even able to surpass other players’ record times.
With his skill and hard work unleashed, Andrea decided to go a step further then just beating best-times. In 2018, he managed to qualify for the MotoGP eSport World Championship on his first attempt. And his first run was a blast, as he gained a podium position in third place. An even more incredible accomplishment followed this rocket start in the 2019 World Championship. Andrea claimed the highest number of pole positions in the season, delivered a flawless finale and snatched the World Championship trophy.
After winning the MotoGP trophy, another amazing achievement followed: Andrea made it to the Italian Forbes Under 30 List in the ‘Gaming’ category of 2020. This hall of fame praises talents under 30 years of age who are changing the world. At only 18 years old, he was honored with an entry that highlighted his world championship title.
From Ducati fan to official ambassador
In April 2020, the rising star was promoted as official Ducati Corse eSport Rider. For the young racer, it was a dream come true as he stated in the announcement news from Ducati:
Becoming an official Ducati rider and wearing the colors of the squad from Borgo Panigale is a dream that comes true. Especially for a youngster from Bologna like me, who is a big motorcycle enthusiast since I was a kid and that knows what it means being a Ducatista.
But how does the average life of a Ducati Corse eSport Rider look? For Andrea, it depends what time of the year it is. He is either studying for university, training for the beginning of the new esports season, or practicing on other motorcycle simulators such as Ride 4. As esports racers also need to be in top physical shape as well, he also exercises. And as a true motorbike enthusiast, he is looking forward to making trips as soon the pandemic situation improves.
Speaking of bikes, Andrea naturally owns a Ducati as well. His pride is a Ducati Monster 797 which so far, he only uses to cruise around the streets. A dream for him would be to ride it on a track one day. Another goal for Andrea is to ride the Ducati Panigale V4 R, an extreme bike which he describes as an engineering masterpiece.
2020 ✅— Andrea Saveri (@AndrewZh_) December 31, 2020
A difficult year from every point of view, but it is always better to remember what good has happened!😁
Happy 2021! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/cokW4Ch0Ny
Chatting with childhood idols
The world champion has several idols he looks up to in the world of motorcycle riders and who were also part of him becoming interested in motorsports:
Valentino Rossi is one of them for sure. I grew up with him winning races and the same applies to Troy Bayliss and Casey Stoner. I admire them a lot for their behavior on and outside the track, for their driving style and for all the dedication they put into achieving a result. They made me fall in love with this sport. Speaking of Valentino, I have met him several times. We talked a lot, I explained to him what I do, and he told me that himself too is passionate about motorcycle and car simulators, it was just fantastic!
While Andrea clearly is a motorbike fanatic, he also is fan of other motorsports series. He explains that he likes “everything that has wheels and an engine”. He follows series such as Formula 1 and Superbike, but also appreciates off track races such as the WRC, MXGP and Supercross. And of course, he is a huge enthusiast of many two-wheeler championships. There, he especially follows national motorcycles championships: “It’s from these races that the future stars are born and raised.”
The Italian has clear objectives for his career. He aims to win more world championship titles and drive a racing bike on a real track one day. Who knows, maybe we will see the esports star conquer the world of motorsports as well and compete in the very tournaments that fueled his fire from his childhood days on.
Which esports racing personality would you like to learn more about? Tell us on Twitter at @overtake_gg!