Interview: Di Meglio ready to join MotoGP™
Di Meglio’s path to the FTR-Kawasaki he has been testing was a long and winding one, not least in 2013 as the then Moto2™ rider was left on the sidelines for much of the second half of the campaign following a multiple collision at Brno in which he was struck by fellow competitors.
The Toulouse rider and 125 title winner of 2008 is now feeling more than ready to make the significant step up to the MotoGP™ tier.
Mike, last week you made your return to on-track action for the first time in three months; how was your recovery period and what is the situation regarding your physical state?
With regards to my injury, I had no real trouble with it. I had to be careful not to have any falls, but everything is fine now. The test was hard, physically, because it had been three months since I was last on a motorcycle because I had been giving myself as much rest as possible. So it was hard physically, especially in Valencia because it is a twisty and physically demanding circuit. At first I wasn’t able to do more than three or four laps and so it was difficult to return doing only small stints.
What about the tests themselves?
Valencia was complicated and the result clearly showed what I had been coming from. It had been a while since I last rode and I was not at all physically prepared. That left me a long way off the guys in front and it was difficult to evaluate things when doing such small stints.
Then we went to Aragón and that was much better; I was able to be more consistent, study the track more and begin to really adapt to a MotoGP™ bike. That helped to make some progress with my riding, which I am pleased about. I think I can do much better but the problem is that I am somewhat physically limited. There will be more testing in Jerez next week (Wednesday 27-Friday 29) and I will be in better shape, but still not 100%. The key is to have a good winter programme for my fitness.
What do you make of the FTR-Kawasaki?
I really like it. I had tested it at Brno last year and it has evolved since then. I am very happy with the feelings I had with it.
How are the negotiations going with the team?
We are looking into the details and something could be signed next week.
This would be your first year in MotoGP™. How are you treating the challenge?
I am very happy with the work we have done over our four days of testing. I really appreciated having a large structure behind me - a very professional team - and all of the hard work that has been done. We will soon see how the new chassis is; I will have a good number of tests this winter and we will try and evolve it as much as we can so that, over the course of the season, I would be able to be closer to my teammate (Hector Barbera) and the other riders who will start ahead of us. I will also have to see how the motorcycle behaves compared to the others.
At first, though, I think it will be more about competing with yourself in order to go as far as possible, as opposed to focusing on others.
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