Tamada set for his much anticipated GP return
Sidelined for the past three Grand Prix races after crashing during the qualifying practice back in Estoril, Makoto Tamada will be back in the saddle for the Gran Premio Alice d'Italia. The Japanese ace suffered a right scaphoid fracture, just like Alex Hofmann earlier this year and more recently Toni Elias. Before flying to Mugello, eager to get back into the action, the Konica Minolta rider shared his thoughts on his frustrating forced absence.
Q: We could say that your season is just beginning?
A: It's true, I only had the opportunity to race in the first round of the season at Jerez before the accident that caused to miss three important races. It has been very difficult for me to watch all my colleagues during this period, but now I am full of positive energy and I'm ready to give it my all for the rest of the season. I don't just love racing, but fighting for the positions that count and that's what I will do for the rest of the season.
Q: How do you feel physically and mentally and will you make it to participate in the Italian Grand Prix?
We'll only know how I feel physically when I get on my RC211V on Friday morning for the first free practice of the Italian weekend. I have been working hard to get back as soon as possible, and in the best condition. Hopefully, thanks to the therapy I have done over the last few weeks, I will not feel any pain at all while riding on the Mugello circuit. I believe in the project the Konica Minolta Honda Team has built up and I will do my best to satisfy them on each track, starting next weekend.
Q: Do you think you can still do better than you did last season?
A: I will surely try to do so. As we have seen in this first part of the season, there are always different names occupying the top positions. Therefore, apart from Rossi who has been very consistent, there are many riders who can fight to win on every MotoGP circuit – one of them, of course, is me.
Q: What are your objectives for the rest of the season?
A: Well, I had set my goals at the beginning of the season but I have had to revise them because you cannot fight for the Championship after missing three Grand Prix races. Now my goal is to achieve a better final position than last year, when I finished 6th. It will be very difficult because am very far behind in the point standings, but it's the least I can do… and who knows, maybe I could end in the top three, but we have to think and work one step at time.