continued from Summer 2020 Newsletter…
So the question was always should he get the shoulder fixed or wait for it to get stronger and more secure? Of course there was always a race he didn’t want to miss. So Luca kept going back and forth with his decision but always in the end figured he could manage it and it would get better.
In 2019 when Luca scored a career best 11th in Schoolboy 2 at Loretta’s he thought the plan might be working. But in the weeks of training leading up to Mini O’s his shoulder popped out at least 5 times. Not good. Although he did get very good at putting it back in himself, sometimes having to bend over and touch his toes!
In the end Luca did race Mini-O’s even taking two top five finishes in 250B. But he knew he couldn’t carry on that way.
As Luca said, “Mini-O’s 2019 was a suffer fest for me. I gave it my all and had some decent finishes but I knew it was really holding me back and I was never confident in my riding knowing I wasn’t 100%”.
Luca had successful surgery on December 2nd last year to finally fix everything, including his labrum and the insertion of metal anchors.
Three months of rehab followed with fitness trainers Lauren Baker and Jacob Pennisi in the MTF gym. Fitness goals were designed to build him a very strong cardiovascular foundation beginning with the stationary bike and moving on to rowers and erg machines whenever he was cleared by Dr. Berg of Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic. Core strength and shoulder rehab followed.
But even the best goals mean nothing if the rider is not all in. And Luca has been nothing short of an “animal” in the gym. According to Lauren,
“Luca has executed every day with 150% effort and has become a leader in the gym. He is training like an elite professional. The personal growth I have seen in that young man since the end of Loretta’s has been exponential”.
By March this year ago and Luca was back on the bike and now says he feels stronger and more confident. In a recent hour long moto Luca laid down 26 consistent lap times and drew praise from trainer Bryan Johnson, “it amazed me, not only was he consistent but he was fast too”.
Luca’s cardio base is excellent and his core strength has never been better. Even his repaired right shoulder is almost as strong as his left one.
The plan is for Luca to Loretta’s this year in whatever format they can and he believes he can do well. How well?
“I’d like to win a title at Loretta’s in B class. I’m sure it will be tough but I’m gonna be ready”.
Sound technique and improved fitness should certainly boost his confidence in the racing to come but there are a lot of fast B guys. Can he be one of them? Colleen and Bryan think so.
His Mom and Dad are also fully supportive and his two brothers Joe and Freddy are constantly in his ear with advice and encouragement.
But ultimately Luca knows he has to believe in his own abilities and chances for success in order to reach his goals. He has been training like an “elite professional” in the gym. Can he focus like one in races?
If focus takes effort then I think we know the answer!
Good luck Luca!
Luca thanks his Mom and Dad for their support and also;
Deep South Kawasaki