2 years ago
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French rider Fabio Quartararo talks to motogp.com before preparing for his second season in Moto3 ™.
The 2013 and 2014 FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ champion completed his first full season in the Moto3™ World Championships this year, after the rules were changed to allow the then 15 year old to compete. Immediately he impressed, justifying the rule change by claiming his first podium (2nd) in just the second race of the season in Austin. It was all plain sailing though, as a heavy injury at Misano interrupted his season and forced him to miss a number of GP’s, but he had done enough to secure a ride with Leopard Racing for 2016 on a KTM. This will see Quartararo team up once more with engineer Christian Lundberg, the man who played such a key role in his title winning season in the CEV Repsol, with the aim clear: Win the Moto3™ World Championship in 2016:
Fabio, what conclusions did you take from your debut year in the World Championship?
“This first season was slightly complicated. I expected better results after my time spent preparing in the FIM CEV Repsol. Despite good results in the early season, I was then very inconsistent. I think my engineers and I perhaps did not have the right feeling with the bike at each track. I think that was the great difficulty.”
How did you feel when you had to pull out of the Aragon GP and miss the flyaway rounds with your injury?
“We had to be apprehensive towards the end of the season. I had to be realistic, because I knew it was hard for me to come back at 100%. I'm still not at my best today and that is why I am preparing all the more for next year to return to 200%. I want to win the championship. For me, this is the main objective for 2016.”
How is your injury now?
“My leg is much better but I still have some pain. It will take me a few weeks to be back at 100%. I plan to do a lot of motocross to help with the rehab to start with, especially to work my leg. Then I will do a lot of running and cycling.”
The 2016 season see you on a new bike, with a new team, what are your goals?
“My objectives are clear: to win the championship. This year has been very difficult, but I am convinced that I have the ability to win a race and to be in front. I have always been very consistent throughout my career. This season was different because I thought I could still be consistent, but I hardly ever rode on the same bike from one race to another, and that really set me back. My confidence will grow when I get some consistency with the bike. I'm already looking to 2016 with the Leopard Racing team and my engineer Christian Lundberg. My first contact with them will be in early February. I think it will take a lot of work for us to win in Qatar.”
Unlike most riders, you didn’t get a chance to race as a wildcard before stepping up to the Moto3™ World Championship, how did you find making this leap?
“I knew that the World Championship would be a different story. I knew Danny Kent and Miguel Oliveira were going to be very strong. I expected to be up there competing with these two at the beginning of season after the successful winter tests.”
Many see you as a future World Champion; did this put any extra pressure on you?
“Not really, I knew it was just my first season. After the winter tests, I actually expected to do much better. Obviously, there is always a bit of pressure, maybe a little more at the French GP after I achieved pole position. But once the race started, I forgot everything and I knew that the public would support me. Unfortunately, it's from that time that we changed to a different bike with a lack of power compared to others.”
With Danny Kent and Miguel Oliveira stepping up to Moto2™ in 2016, who do you think your main rivals will be?
“It may seem surprising, but I think the biggest threat will be Niccolo Antonelli. He is a rider that is very fast both in the wet and in the dry. Of course, there is also Romano Fenati and Enea Bastianini. I think this trio of Italians will be hard to beat.”
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