“I thank J.JUAN and Avintia for helping me to fulfil my dream”
– Have you woken up or are you still dreaming of your unexpected MotoGP debut as a pilot during the last GP of Cataluña in Montmelo?
– The truth is that I woke-Ed.: Laughter … and it’s given me time to be aware of what we did that weekend. It was something great, within the reach of very few. Therefore, I would like to thank Avintia Blusens Racing and J.JUAN for helping me fulfil my dream. No doubt, both will be marked in my head forever.
– What do you remember of the conversation in which Raul Romero, Team Manager of the Avintia Blusens team sponsored by J.Juan-, proposed you mount on a MotoGP bike?
– Look, when he said it, my first thought was that it was a joke. When they call you and propose something like that, you first think that they have to be kidding. ‘Are you kidding?’ I said. ‘No’, Raul answered. ‘You sure?’ I insisted. ‘Sure’, he asserted again.
– And how long did it take you to decide?
– Nothing I did not hesitate for a moment.
– Where you not scared to go from the stands to the track, with the best drivers in the world, in a flash?
– I will tell you that fear no; respect, yes. If you’re afraid, you will not get on a motorcycle.
– As I have thoroughly explained in these days, I only knew the circuit. Nothing more. Neither the bike or tires or electronics … what was the most difficult to assimilate?
– The electronics. Because today we are at such a sophisticated level that people think the bike rides on it’s own, that each time there’s less merit on the part of the pilots. Well I would say they are partly right, but I would like to tell you that there are things that make the bikes do themselves, yes, but your mind is not able to assimilate what they can do. Let me explain. You know that this curve can be done completely in fourth gear, but your mind is able unable to assimilate that. Come on, it’s a half-truth.
– Yet you qualified for the race on your own merits; there was no need to give you a second chance.
– It was clear, perhaps it was the only thing that was clear-Ed.: Laughter-, yes, that I would qualify because Montmelo is like my backyard. And what the hell! Sunday I was going to be on the track.
– How did it feel to share the track with Rossi, Lorenzo, Pedrosa or Marquez for the first time?
– To be honest, on that particular aspect, nothing, because in 2011 when I was test driver for Swiss manufacturer Suter, when they were developing their own MotoGP project, the Suter-BMW 1000, I shared a track with most of them. It was in Cheste, in some tests. But even there, sharing a track with World Cup candidates for the first time, left no impression on me but respect. I guess they must have felt and thought the same towards me in the last GP of Cataluña.
– Did you get any advice from your new rivals for the weekend?
– From Ivan Silva, the pilot who in 2012 competed with Avintia Blusens Racing during the entire MotoGP and who this year is their reserve driver. Basically, he warned me about the behaviour of the carbon discs, of their peculiar functioning. More than anything, he gave me advice to understand how they worked.
– Your idea was to finish the race and at the most compete with Pesek, the pilot who was with you in the time-trials. However, in the end, apart from that you succeeded in scoring.
– The truth is, the fact that I scored is in the end anecdotal. I think it would have been with Pesek if he hadn’t fallen. It was a race with many falls, the track was very slippery, so that it was a case of being as prudent as possible insofar as you can by riding a bike with the characteristics of a MotoGP.
– You are Spanish pilot number 17 to compete in the MotoGP since its inception in 2002. Will you repeat the experience?
– After that weekend, I cannot say no. I don’t know myself! -Ed.: Laughter-.
– This season you are carrying on in the CEV, the Spanish Speed Championship, but after 15 years not as a pilot, but as Chief Mechanic of the Laglisse Team that participates in Stock Extreme. After your performance in Catalonia, do you think you’ve won a seat for the remainder of 2013?
– I’d like to not be misunderstood but what I’m going to say is, I don’t need to run in MotoGP in order to have a bike. I think if in 2013 I’m back on track in the CEV it’s not going to be due to my career in Montmelo. Retired I’m not. I do a lot of bike work as J.JUAN tester, as well as for Michelin. Also, without going any further, the next 5th of July I will be taking part in the 24 Hours of Motorcycling Circuit de Cataluña with Suzuki Català, the team that last year we proclaimed champions. So if I was actually retired… this weekend I would go to the beach or I would stay quietly at home watching TV.
– By the way, around social networks a picture of you with Lorenzo has become very famous. Were you congratulating him or towing?
– I’m towing him. Jorge ran out of gas. Aleix Espargaró was towing him, but had a problem with the clutch and so I took the baton so he could reach the podium in time. A friendship unites Lorenzo and me; I’m not a complete stranger to him and his family. In fact, with his father Chicho, I have a good relationship. I happened to meet Jorge when he was competing for the Copa Aprilia 50. Moreover, by that time so did I, but in the Copa Aprilia 250. We happen to meet at podiums, awards ceremonies, as well as the occasional publicity event. The truth is that the possibility of being together on the same track ten years afterwards was very nice.