Ducati MotoGP Rider Andrea Dovizioso Has A Secret Weapon—His Mind | Cycle World

Ducati MotoGP Rider Andrea Dovizioso Has A Secret Weapon—His Mind

Professor Amedeo Maffei explains how athletes can harness their personal power to become champions. “On the Ducati, there is a new man.”

andrea dovizioso italian gp podium

Andrea Dovizioso, Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley 2017.

Courtesy of Ducati

What happens when the human mind calls on all its capabilities and is so focused on a target that the only possibility is winning? What happens when someone discovers he is the creator of his own success and can actually replicate it?

Professor Amedeo Maffei has been working with Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso for the past year, and he appears to have the answers to those questions and others.

“We are all born to win, but we just don’t know it,” Maffei says. “The good news is that the human mind is able to re-awaken the skills that are already present and make them permanent because they already belong to you.”

After his stunning victory at Mugello this past June, Dovizioso confessed that he had met a special person who has changed his life “as a man and as a rider.”

andrea dovizioso and Professor Amedeo Maffei

Andrea Dovizioso and Professor Amedeo Maffei.

Courtesy of Ducati

In eight seasons in MotoGP, the former 125cc world champion had one win. The second came last October in Malaysia. This year, Dovizioso already has four wins and is now on top of the world standings with the same points as three-time class champion Marc Marquez.

“Thanks to Amedeo Maffei,” Dovizioso said after his victory in Italy, “I discovered a power inside me that I didn’t know I had. I understood that if you face things in a certain way, they happen, and this doesn’t depend on others or by chance.”

An inventor, a mental coach, an eclectic visionary, and a psychologist, Maffei says that, “The engine inside us is fantastic; it’s a question of changing gears. Everybody can become the master of his life and a champion in his family, in the office, or on track.”

The process is possible if you are given the right tools, he explains. “I look for the creative skills that we lose with conditioning. The key is to re-awaken the skills that have been put down by fears and inhibitions.

andrea dovizioso motogp race action

Andrea Dovizioso.

Courtesy of Ducati

“The path to regain these skills passes through a process of deconditioning of all the superstructures that created limits so we can be open to new possibilities. This method works because we all have the same engine but different conditioning.”

Maffei has worked with businessmen, athletes, ministers of the Italian Parliament, as well as cardinals and even prisoners. “The value of a man can be measured by his results,” he says. “And the results speak for themselves.”

Professor Amedeo Maffei headshot

Professor Amedeo Maffei.

Courtesy of Ducati

For a rider, the bike becomes a vehicle to express his abilities. As such, riding becomes natural. Maffei makes an important distinction: “The rider doesn’t have to race to beat his rivals but to win.”

Dovizioso’s determination has impressed everyone this year. He has beaten Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez, and Maverick Viñales and reached the checkered flag with surprising freshness and lucidity.

Maffei works with people who aim for the highest target. “There are no limits outside those we create for ourselves,” he says. “Of course, there are natural limits, but if I don’t set a limit before you act, you are always able to push the bar higher.

More than 45,000 people have attended “Experience AM,” the intensive groups that Maffei hosts at Villa Futura at Sirtori (Lecco), outside Milan in Italy. The process of personal growth is supported by Keope, an ergonomic structure invented by Maffei with essential supports positioned in corporeal areas with a high density of mechanoreceptors.

“Keope is based on the conception of ‘proprioception,’ the perception of oneself in space,” he explains. “It is the result of 30 years of research. Its electromechanical activity applied to the 10 gravitational opposers allows the neurosensitive system to be activated, thus giving a physiological response with a broad therapeutic spectrum.

Keope structure


Courtesy of Ducati

“Proprioception assumes a fundamental importance in the complex control mechanism of movement,” Maffei adds. “It is evident in the capacity to perceive and recognize the position of the body in space and how one’s muscles contract and in the management of the muscles related to balance, even unaided by visual sense.

“It occurs through the presence of specific receptors, distributed in different areas of the body, sensitive to mechanical stimulations. The receptors that are stimulated transmit the signal to the central nervous system.

“Keope has important benefits for everybody and especially sportsmen because, besides strengthening the muscles responsible for the balance, it reduces the lactic acid in a few minutes and this allow fast recovery from an effort.”

As for the rider, awareness of the proprioceptive system is greatly increased. “As the mechanics work on the setup of the bike,” Maffei says, “the rider sets his mind to finish first. The mind determines the behavior, and this also influences what happens around him.”

andrea dovizioso sits with ducati team

Andrea Dovizioso.

Courtesy of Ducati

It’s a new world that Amedeo Maffei has discovered, and he will teach it in a master’s program at the University San Raffaele in Milan. “You don’t change the mind but the unconscious side of you that manages it,” he says.

“Think of the gravitation muscles responsible for balance. They are important for astronauts when they return from the space, for older people, and for athletes, as they tend to lose control following extreme performance efforts.

“Strengthening the tone and control of these muscles allows you to regain balance, and this can also be applied to riders to create exceptional balance with the bike. To explain this concept, we could say that Dovizioso feels the asphalt with his feet, not with the tires. He has brought his perception directly to the tarmac and the world around him.”

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