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Fenati: ‘We want to close the gap to KTM’

Fenati: ‘We want to close the gap to KTM’

In this extensive interview with, Italy’s Romano Fenati looks back at the issues that have plagued him so far in 2013, as well as talking of his desire to return to the top at the helm of his San Carlo Team Italia FTR.

In stark contrast with his brilliant start to the 2012 Moto3™ season which included a glorious victory at Jerez, Fenati has struggled so far this year. To date, after four races, his personal best result is seventh last time out at Le Mans. Before achieving that particular result in France, the 17-year-old caught up with Before testing, what expectations did you have for the 2013 season?

Romano Fenati: During the pre-season, the team worked very hard along with HRC and together with FTR. The development was huge, but when the bike went out on-track there were several problems. It was difficult to solve and we still have many. We lack power on straights, but also handling in the corners. It's hard entering corners and we do not have enough acceleration. So, overall, it is really difficult to be fast.

At the same time, KTM have made much progress…

The KTMs have made a big step forward and it is the bike to beat. It is the bike that has found the right balance between chassis and engine and also has the best riders in the championship because Maverick (Viñales) is very strong, but also Rins, Salom, Folger and all of the others like Niklas Ajo. They're all good. So KTM has a strong mix of bikes and riders that really worries me!

You have a lot of problems, but they have at least been identified. Will you be running anything new for Mugello?

We will have new components from FTR, as the frame itself is not our weak point. More than anything else, what we should improve on is the rideability and the performance of the engine. I still don’t know anything from Honda. I cannot tell you what will happen, whether they will do something or not, as I don't have that information.

The next race will be taking place at home for you…

Mugello is a great track, probably the most beautiful one, and my home track with so many fans; with each overtake you can hear all of them cheering. It is a long track, very fast, but very technical at the same time. Let's say as technical as Sachsenring and as fast as Malaysia. I don’t think there is pressure on me, though. At the end of the day we are not pressurised by anything.

Many believe you can still become the next ‘big star’ for Italian motorcycling…

I hope so! I hope to be the next strong Italian rider, perhaps along with Niccolo (Antonelli). We grew up together and now he is riding very well and doing good things, so maybe the two of us have potential.

How do you see the future panning out?

I don't mind which team it happens with, but I hope to one day to win the World Championship in Moto3™ and then jump up to Moto2™; but the main focus at this time is to solve the current problems and have a nice end to the season. If I find myself with the chance of some podiums that would be great - then I can start thinking about the future.


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