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Leopard Racing Team's Technical Director Christian Lundberg reflects on the brilliant victory of Joan Mir at Montmelo, which is the fourth victory for the Spanish rider in seven rounds - confirming his lead in the top-level of the Moto3™ championship, and then looks at Livio Loi and the two races that await the team before the mid-season break.
Last Sunday in Barcelona, Joan Mir was the author of another amazing race:
"We have come to a crucial points in the season: winning 4 races and taking 5 podiums sets us up well for the continuation of the Championship. After Mugello we had some fear that Joan [Mir] was the target of many riders who had hindered and touched him, and that from then on the scene could be repeated throughout the season. Instead, Joan, with that last lap at Barcelona, managed a difficult situation, even if at the limit, to win the race and not to settle for a podium. He demonstrated to his opponents that they will have to push for it and put up a real fight."
What's the climate inside the team, even in light of the announcement of his move to Moto2™?
"We are motivated, enthusiastic, in the box and hospitality we live in a nice atmosphere. We are also pleased that Joan has already closed the deal on his future: although next year he will go to Moto2, he will always stay in our hearts as one of our family. Now we have to be 100% focused on this Championship and not make any mistakes, trying to carry on what we have done so far."
Did you expect such a championship at the beginning of the season?
"I think this year there is the Championship of the highest level I have seen. There are a lot of riders able to fight to win, running much faster than last year. Last Sunday's Moto3 race was 6 seconds faster than the 2016 season. All this makes our job more difficult, but at the same time gratifying."
What aspect can you still and should improve?
"We still have a tough task: putting Livio [Loi] in the condition to ride to positions that count, in the Top Ten. At this moment he has not yet recovered the confidence and feeling with the bike after a good start (as in Argentina) in which he had battled with the Fenati, leaving him a winner: we are confident that history can be repeated!"
What do you expect from the next two races?
"We will go to Assen with the same mentality we had in the Barcelona race, although we know that there will be a large group of riders in the Netherlands and it will be really difficult to fight with only our rivals in the standings. It will be tough, but we know that in complicated races Joan has always had good results. Then we will go to the Sachsenring, which is perhaps the circuit where the game of slipstream counts less than on other tracks. If you have a good rhythm and a good setup, you can expect a small group to escape. As in 2015, when Kent and Vazquez were alone for a big double for Leopard ...it would be great to be able to repeat it!"
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