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The 2017 FIM CEV Repsol season came to an end last Sunday, with Andi Gilang and Dimas Ekky closing a year in which both have made progress as riders, in Moto3™ and Moto2™ respectively. Ekky also rode in the Moto2™ World Championship for the first time as an injury replacement for Jorge Navarro at Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 – on track at Sepang International Circuit for the Malaysian GP.
In addition, it has been a special season for both, as for the first time they have spent the year away from their native Indonesia and relocated for the season. The two give their thoughts on 2017…
What has been your best moment of the season?
Andi Gilang: "The race at Aragon; I think that at that moment something clicked in my head and I took a step forward with my riding. Things came naturally and that was a turning point for me."
Dimas Ekky: "Without a doubt Barcelona was the best moment, when I got my first podium in the FIM CEV. It was an incredible feeling and a result that the team and I had been chasing for a while."
And the hardest moment?
AG: "The weekend at Jerez, since last year I liked the circuit a lot, but this season, from the first day, I did not feel comfortable at all."
DE: "The first time we went to Valencia, in July, because I crashed in the first race when I was fighting for the podium."
How have you evolved the most during this year?
AG: "In many things, especially my riding. Although I have not achieved the results I would have liked, I feel that I have improved a lot and that I understand everything around me better. I feel that I’m better adapted to the European style too."
DE: "My riding has improved a lot compared to last year and my fitness is also better. The team have taught me to be strong throughout the weekend, since before it was normally just in the race that I did well."
On a scale of 1 to 10, what mark would you give to this season?
AG: "A 7. As I said before, we have not achieved the results we expected, but on a personal level I feel that I have improved a lot."
DE: "A 7.5. We have achieved our goal of getting on the podium, but we have also had bad luck in some races like last weekend, with the injury to my finger."
Tell us a funny anecdote from your time with the team during the season…
AG: "In our team we had a British rider making a wildcard appearance in Valencia, and after the warmup we stopped to practice the start. He approached me and asked me how the launch control buttons worked, because it was his first time with this bike! I explained it to him and he made an incredible start on his first attempt. When I told the mechanics, we all laughed a lot about it."
DE: "It's not an anecdote in itself, but as my chief mechanic is French, my mechanics are Spanish and I'm Indonesian, sometimes there's a fun mix of languages, because everyone starts talking in their own way inside the box. There are some funny situations that arise from that."
Describe each other in one word, as riders and people.
AG: "As a rider, I would highlight Dimas’ fighting character; he never gives up. On a human level, I like that he is very fun."
DE: "I would say that Gilang is an aggressive rider, and as a person he is a bit shy."
You have spent your first year away from home, living in Barcelona. What stands out about this part of your season?
AG: "I felt what winter is like for the first time! It was something I really wanted to see, as in Indonesia we always have a hot weather. I had a hard time training, as sometimes I was really cold (laughs). I also love the city of Barcelona."
DE: "All the training facilities that we had within a close distance. We’ve had many places nearby to go cycling and train with a bike. It’s been great."
What are your plans for the winter break?
AG: "I'm going to spend time in Indonesia with my family and friends. This season I have learned a lot and that makes me very motivated; I want to dedicate this break to training hard and to keeping improving for next year."
DE: "I'm going back to Indonesia to see my family and my friends. Also, in December I'm going to get married. There will also be time to prepare fully for next season."
Next season arrives in March, with the FIM CEV Repsol kicking off at Estoril in Portugal.
2 years ago