Nico Terol interview: “We know we can be up there winning races”
As honest as anybody you’re likely to meet, Nico Terol rarely looks for a place to hide when it comes to assessing his own performance. The Spanish rider started the season on top form after a productive preseason and his first Moto2 victory came early, at Austin in round two. He followed up with solid rides in Spain and France before returning to the podium in Italy, confirming the MAPFRE Aspar rider’s complete adaptation to the intermediate class in his second season. After two difficult rounds Nico rediscovered his form in Germany and with the summer holidays now in full swing he already has one eye on the next race at Indianapolis, one of his favourite circuits, and the second half of a season that he hopes to finish as strongly as he started.
How do you reflect on the first half of the season?
We performed well in preseason and that helped us start the championship on the right foot. We managed to win the second race at Austin and continued to set a high standard at Jerez and Le Mans, which was a strange race. We were back on the podium at Mugello, which confirmed that we had fully adapted to this category. For the next two races we got a little lost with the set-up of the bike and went backwards, which was difficult for me to take, having been running at the front. The Argentina test helped me to get a feeling back and in Germany we were back on the pace. We just needed to have qualified better there because my feeling in the race was good, up until the engine had enough. Still, it was a good weekend for me because I got my confidence back.
Which has been your best race?
Austin, no doubt! [laughs] Apart from the win it was a great weekend for us, I really enjoyed myself on the bike and everything went well. It was a great feeling to get my first win in Moto2.
Would you delete any race of the races from memory if you could?
Yes. Montmeló and Assen because I didn’t have a good feeling and didn’t feel like myself on the bike. We made so many changes and lost track of what we were doing, but luckily things changed in Germany.
What does Nico Terol need to be even better?
My motto is to fight every day to improve. We went through a little dip but our work ethic got us through it. I am very headstrong and I believe that hard work pays off, which my career is testament to. I have to learn not to get nervous at difficult moments and try to get the best out of every situation no matter how tough it is.
What more do you need from the bike?
It is a very sensitive bike and that can be a double-edged sword. When we arrive at a circuit and the set-up is good, everything works perfectly – it’s incredible. But you have to be very careful making changes with it because the feeling changes dramatically and that is when you are at risk of getting lost.
What do you hope for from the second half of the season?
We have been through a bit of everything in the first half so we’d like more stability from the second half. We know we can be up there winning races so we have to keep believing that. I am keen to run at the front again because that’s where I think I belong.
What do you have planned for the holidays?
A few days relaxing in Formentera, enjoying the beach with my family and friends and that’s it really. Then I will start getting active again, which is what I most enjoy. I will get back into my regular routine of cycling, gym work and motocross.
Who has been the strongest rider so far this season?
Redding is the current leader and the guy who is doing the best job. He has been a little further back than usual in the last couple of races but in general he is having a very consistent season.
Of the circuits that are left, which do you most prefer?
Indianapolis, Brno and Aragón. They are circuits where things tend to come easily to me and I can usually get on the pace very quickly. And of course Valencia, where I had my first podium in Moto2 last year and where we set a strong pace in preseason. It’s a track I used to struggle with but now I go well there.
There are two sets of triple-header races within the space of three months after the break. Is that an advantage or disadvantage for you?
Well, it’s the same for everybody. You have to stay focused and be motivated in the first race so that it carries through the other two. It is a difficult time of the season but also an enjoyable time and I am looking forward to it. The most important thing is to think from race to race and not get distracted.
Source: Aspar Media