Capirossi ‘99%' certain of racing in Valencia
After his crash at Phillip Island, Ducati's Loris Capirossi was forced to sit out both the Australian and Turkish GPs where he was replaced by Japanese veteran Shinichi Ito. However, since returning to Italy, the 32-year-old has made good progress in his battle to regain fitness and believes he is almost certain to return to the saddle at Valencia.
In an exclusive interview with motogp.com, the Italian star has spoken about his current physical condition, his chances of being fit for Valencia, Bridgestone tyres and next year's Ducati bike.
Question: First question, quite obviously, is about you and your
fitness. How do you feel?
Answer: Things are going better, now. At the end of this week I'll have a final medical check to figure out how things are, but I'm feeling much better.
Q: What are your chances of being fit for Valencia?
A: If everything goes as it is supposed to, I'll be there. I want to ride in Valencia and there's a 99 percent chance you'll see me there on my Ducati.
Q: Did you see the Turkish GP on television? What did you think of the track, and of Melandri winning the race?
A: Yes, I saw the Grand Prix on the television. It was a real shame I wasn't there riding. The track seemed very demanding, but also very exciting to ride on. Marco's triumph was great! He deserved it – he was the fastest guy on the track from the Friday and I'm very happy for him.
Q: Tell us about the Bridgestone tyres. They seem to be working really well now, was it a gradual evolution or was there a specific moment when everything just clicked into place?
A: No, I think it was a gradual evolution. From the GP of Germany the tyres started to become very interesting in terms of performance, although there were a couple of other problems. I think we have built up a lot experience and have already obtained some useful data we can use for next season.
Q: Unfortunately your injury in Australia ended your hopes of finishing as runner-up in the championship. How has that left you feeling?
A: Yeah, I know, I'm totally out of the running for that now. But I must say I'm happy with how the season went. Also, with a bit of luck, that honour will go to an Italian without me challenging for it as Marco (Melandri) has a great chance of doing it.
Q: How do you feel about the news that Carlos Checa won't be riding for Ducati next season?
A: We'd never ridden together before this season and I must say we had a good feeling, I enjoyed be sharing the box with Carlos. To be honest I hope he will still be with the team the next season as well.
Q: What about the bike? Tell us about the next season's bike, have you already tested a new model?
A: Yes, sure. I think we will have something new to test in Valencia - the tests after the Grand Prix that is. We will have the new bike from Jerez. We are not talking about a brand new bike, no big changes, it's more of an evolution of the bike we have right now.
Q: Last question. You always seem to be very approachable and available for interviews of press conferences. That's quite strange in this age of the ‘superstar' rider isn't it ?
A: Well, it's quite true indeed. I think those kind of things, such as interviews, promotional events and so on, they are part of what our job is. It's all about being yourself, mainly. Being yourself always pays off.