Joe Roberts happy to make mistakes because they reveal the right direction in Moto2


For Joe Roberts, the 24-year-old American rider in Moto2, mistakes are not a necessary evil, they are simply necessary.

Prior to the Grand Prix of Qatar, which can be seen Sunday, 1:30 ET on CNBC, Roberts joined NBC’s Parker Kligerman via Zoom from his home in Barcelona to discuss preseason testing and the end of his 2021 season. The complete interview can be viewed above.

“(Testing) was really important to understanding this bike; how we can get this thing running up front all of the time,” Roberts said. “Even laps that were terrible were valuable to me because I learned what not to do.

“We had a couple of fast laps that came together. I still think we have some work to do, but overall I’m happy because we went the wrong way, so I know which way to go. Which is the right way.

“When we started to go in that direction, things got quicker and quicker.”

After scoring his first Moto2 podium for American Racing in 2020 and finishing seventh in the points, Roberts hit the track in 2021 with a new team.

Expectations were high at Italtrans Racing. Roberts came close to earning a second podium in the Italian Grand Prix, but incurred a controversial penalty for exceeding track limits

Then he suffered a broken collarbone at Misano in October.

What should have been an easy repair turned out to be not so simple. He tried to come back too soon and the plate broke apart, taking bits of the bone with it, and Roberts was done for the season.

But that did not dull Roberts’ enthusiasm for fast, flowing tracks with long straightaways.

On this type of course, which includes this weekend’s venue in Qatar, “you feel like you’re flowing,” Roberts said. “When you hit the ground, you know how fast you’re going, but prior to that you just feel like you’re gliding on the track.”

Gliding down the straights is fun, but speed is gained in the corners. During the offseason, Roberts spent a lot of time on short road courses, drifting through tight corners like a sprint car.

“Supermoto for me is really fun to ride a bike like that and slide it into the corners, but it teaches a lot of mental discipline,” Roberts said. “I go to ride Supermoto – and I go alone most of the time – and I just hammer out laps. I try to be perfect every lap.

“It’s my kind of thing, because Moto2 comes down to those little tenths, those little margins that separate you from first to 10th or 20th.”

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images

Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.