Cluzel hoping to clarify his future in Portugal

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Tuesday, 29 September 2009

French rider Jules Cluzel (Matteoni Racing) reviews his season so far, previews the closing stages of the championship and outlines his hopes for the future.

Jules Cluzel started the 2009 season with the aim of demonstrating his talents in the 250cc category, where several riders have had their moments of glory but where few have been able to reach the podium this year – other than the elite group of top five classified riders in the standings.

The Frenchman is amongst that select bunch of 250cc rostrum finishers and in fact is the only rider to have done so on a non-factory machine thus far in the current campaign.

Providing motogp.com with his thoughts on his results over the season so far, Cluzel commenced by stating, “Early in the year I had a few doubts in my mind about things. I was returning to 250cc competition after a season in the 125cc class and I had not ridden during the winter. The first time I got back on a bike was at the Official Test at Jerez and I had recently picked up a hand injury in Supermotard training. Anyway, the tests went very well and I got the third best time on the last day. It was a nice surprise but I kept my feet on the ground.”

“After the test I wasn’t thinking about the podium but the race at Qatar was amazing and even though the conditions were unusual it was the same for everybody. Everyone was really going for it 100% as it was the first GP. To get that first podium was unexpected and therefore it was an ideal start to the season.”

However, that podium at the Losail International Circuit was not an indicator of the irregular form that was to follow for Cluzel and the 20 year-old admits that his desire to stay at that level ended up backfiring on him. He continued, “The period which came after that was difficult, I didn’t want to lose my focus but perhaps I didn’t manage things too well and then, I broke my collarbone twice.”

After that rough patch earlier in the year Cluzel has re-found his way in recent months and has achieved two decent top ten finishes in the last two races. Adding to his assessment he said, “I’m calm about things, the bike is working well, we have some good base settings and the aim is to stay consistent and stay in the top ten in races. If the opportunity to get on the podium comes along then I have to grab it. I’ve had some good results recently and since I first started riding my dream is always to be the best and fight for the podium. Things are coming together this year and it is very encouraging for us.”

“My four years of experience are starting to show, but also I have never had such a good bike as the one I have this year, which is not far off the level of the factory machines. I’m very comfortable riding it and the Matteoni Racing team are doing a very good job. I have to thank them for that.”

With four races remaining Cluzel wants to keep up his recent good form and he hopes to clarify his situation for 2010 as soon as possible. He wants to be involved in the new Moto2 class and this weekend’s visit to Estoril could be key to his next move.

“The interest which Hervé (Poncharal) has shown in me for Moto2 is very flattering, it’s very positive and it’s a sign of recognition. However, it is just a bit too early to say what I will do next year. The Matteoni team have opportunities for next year so I will sit down with Massimo Matteoni (Team owner) and Paolo Tajana (Team Director) in Portugal to go through their offer for next year and make a decision with my manager Eric Mahé,” concluded Cluzel.

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