1) Three podium finishes in five races, including one victory, how do you see the beginning of the season?
In general I feel that we’ve been very regular and we tried to adapt to the circumstances of each race, giving the maximum in each of them. It’s been three podium positions which just as well could have been three victories. We didn’t precipitate at any moment and that is something very positive. In the last GP we did a good race since we’ve never been fighting for the lead in a wet race before. It was a very nice round and if it wasn’t for the incident we had we certainly would have fought for the victory. There we demonstrated that we can be fast in any type of condition.
2) In France you seemed very prudent in the wet conditions, but in Italy you went for the win, what was different?
In France, after the infinity of falls happening in 125, we saw that the track conditions were very delicate and the smartest option was to just finish the race. Even though both were rain races, Le Mans has much less has grip than Mugello and the asphalt was much colder, therefore it was much easier to crash after the slightest error. In Italy despite the rain the track gave us much confidence, because there’s a good grip and it was possible to still go very fast. I knew that I could take the risk and that is what I did. In Le Mans I figured that if I took the risk I could lose more than I could win.
3) What championship analysis can you do after this crazy start with all the rain?
Each race was won by a different rider, therefore I believe that it is a very open championship with a very high level. And of course rare weather conditions shook things up in the beginning of the season, but I believe that it will be a hard fought season where in the end consistency will be the key to become champion. It is important to be ahead in all the races and not to lose the spirit.
4) Do you think that it’s easier to get confidence after a good season start?
Absolutely, to begin well gives you a lot of confidence and at the same time you have less pressure. To have a little point cushion allows you to take risks even when the track conditions are not the best, as we could see in Italy. You go on the circuit more confident and when you are leading the championship you feel a bit stronger than the rest of the riders, even when this is just a psychological perception.
5) Somehow you seem to have regained the aggressiveness of 2006, when you became world champion, and 2007, when you moved up to 250cc.
It is all a question of confidence. When you improve your riding and see that everything goes as you want, then in the end you are able to do anything. At the moment we are on a good way and I believe that we made a very important step when we showed in Mugello that we can be competitive in the wet as well. We did a very good job, in the training sessions we rode really fast and we finished almost always on top of the classification. I believe that this will progressively let us continue gaining confidence, the team as well as me. That is the security/confidence necessary to improve and be fast.
The rest of the translated interview can be found here.
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