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Ruben Xaus feeling part of the MotoGP community

Ruben Xaus feeling part of the MotoGP community

Ruben Xaus feeling part of the MotoGP community

After an intimidating first few tests in Malaysia and Australia, Ruben Xaus admitted that three days of official tests at the Circuit de Catalunya helped him to feel a part of the MotoGP community at last. Despite starting preseason testing late and missing key track time through injuries sustained in a high-speed crash at Phillip Island, the friendly Spaniard clocked the eighth fastest time of the weekend and revealed that he hoped to be challenging at the top of the time sheets for a long time to come.

"For sure for me it was like a dream," smiled the 26 year old. "It's coming true and slowly I want to become part of this championship, you know, I want to be part of the show… I want to be just another member of the crew. At Sepang I was a bit surprised and a bit lost – looking at guys going ‘There's Biaggi!' or ‘Wow, it's Rossi!', which after only seeing them on the TV takes you aback.

"At Phillip Island it was a bit better because I was riding well, with a good rhythm, and they weren't escaping me – I could get references. Here (at Catalunya) I've been able to pass a couple of them and be up there among them… what can I say? I'm excited, the team is working well, Luis D'Antin is doing a great job of bringing everything together and I have to say thanks to Ducati and Michelin for their support."

Xaus, who finished runner-up in the World Superbike series last season, joins WSB Champion and team-mate Neil Hodgson in MotoGP this year and explained that the pair have clear references of the men they need to beat. "I'm in contact with a couple of the other guys that came from Superbikes, there are five of us now, and everybody is getting really good results. I've got a good thing that I've got two people in front that could help me, which are Troy Bayliss and Colin Edwards, people that I've been riding with for a long time and I'm hungry to beat them again."

On his lap time, which at 1'45.073 was just 0.502 seconds slower than Valentino Rossi, Xaus added: "The crash from McWilliams and all the guys there with the oil cost me one lap at the end because I reserved a soft tyre for the last exit and I only did one lap. I hoped to do two but I saw the finish flag before the normal time and maybe just another 30 seconds would have been enough time to go past and do another lap.

"I'm happy anyway because I did ‘45 flat with a soft tyre – a tyre I'd never used here and never used with that bike, so that's positive. It's also positive because later in the afternoon I tried a few race tyres and did exactly the same time as with the soft tyre so it's a good rhythm for the race and, well… what more can I ask? I think nothing else!"

To hear this interview in full, click the video link at the top of the page.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004

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