Interviewer (Int.) – This evening, at “Pole Position”, our programme for the world of races, we have a very special guest. He has been World Champion three times. He’s starting his career as a GP racer next season: a new challenge to beat. Behind him, a story of self-discipline, courage, hard work and intelligence. This is our guest this evening, Dani Stoner, 20 years old and already an experienced winner.
Int. – Good evening, Mr. Stoner, and welcome to our programme.
D.S. – Good evening.
Int. – Should I call you Mr. Stoner, or do you prefer to be called Dani?
D. S. – Dani, please. I’m only 20 years old, and I don’t think any people my age would like to be called Mr, or Ms, either!
Int. – Dani, then. How do you feel being a world-known idol at your age?
D.S. – To tell you the truth, it is strange, and I am not used to this kind of fame yet. People ask you for an autograph… that’s all right with me; but the feeling of being watched all the time as you walk by, that’s not easy. But I’ll get used to it, I’m sure.
Int. – 240 kilometres an hour, that is really fast! Don’t you ever feel scared?
D.S. – You can’t think about that when you take a bend at full speed and the contact surface of your tyres against the track is just one centimetre wide. No, I can’t feel scared.
Int. – I see… . You ran the last races of the world championship with a broken arm. Can you also control pain?
D.S. – If the pain is very strong there’s nothing you can control. But the pain in the last races was not as strong as that. If you start to run and you concentrate on the race, the bike and your opponents, you don’t think of the pain at all.
Int. – Amazing! Let’s talk about your beginnings. What are your first memories on a bike?
D.S. – I’ve seen some pictures of myself on a battery-operated Vespa that my parents gave me when I was one and a half years old. But my first memories go back to an Italjet 50 that my father tuned up with side wheels when I was four years old.
Int. – Weren’t you scared?
D.S. – I can’t really remember. It was like a game to me, like children when they play football or learn to ski. Of course there were risks, but I guess my parents made sure everything was safe. If you learn a sport when you are very young, you learn to gain control very easily. That is probably the most positive aspect in taking up a sport discipline very early in your life.
Int. – But I’m sure you liked other sports. Didn’t you prefer to play football or basketball with your friends at school, rather that running around on those bikes?
D.S. – Of course I liked playing football, or marbles, the usual things my classmates liked playing. Fortunately, I had time to play with them as well. My life at 7 or 8 was very much like that of my friends. I used to ride my bike at weekends. The rest of the week was like theirs: I did my homework, watched the telly, and played with my friends; that’s all!!
Int. – Later on, you met your present manager, Albert Hill. When was that?
D.S. – I was running in the Movistar Cup. I was only thirteen, and he was a famous driver at that time. I was amazed to meet such a famous person. I got very excited, and nervous! I couldn’t find the words when I tried to speak to him. He said he would give me some advice to become a good rider in the future.
Int. – What was the first thing he taught you?
D.S. – Probably one of the first things was to learn discipline. That has been very important in my career as a race runner.
Int. – We all admit that you have run a fantastic world championship. Do you feel you need a rest? The effort you have made must have been exhausting.
D.S. – The truth is I wish I could have some rest. This season has been really hard. My training, my everyday schedule, my fitness…everything was programmed. I really need some time for myself.
Int. – Some time with no obligations, I guess.
D.S. – Yes, that’s right. I want to get up in the morning and say: What am I going to do today?
Int. – What are your hobbies… apart from bikes, of course!!
D.S. – I like going to the cinema, going out with friends, and mostly enjoying a quiet life. But I also like going dancing.
Int. – Tell me Danni, what are your future plans? Are you going to run the GP championship next season?
D.S. – That is something I prefer to keep to myself.
Int. – That is an honest answer, Dani. Some newspapers say that sometimes you look very sad. They have given you the nickname “The Sad Boy”. Do you agree?
D.S. – How can I be sad!! I have won three world championships. Things are going well, my family is happy and my friends love me. I enjoy my job and I earn a lot of money. It wouldn’t be fair to be sad.
Int. – You’re quite right! It’s not easy to have the chance of speaking to a young champion like you, Dani. I hope you’ll visit our programme again and I’m sure we will talk about new world championships as number 1.
D.S. – I hope so. I’ll be glad to join you.
Int. – Thank you very much, Dani. Next week we’ll be talking to…