Efren Vazquez interview: “With more time we can get even more from the bike”
Efren Vazquez, Mahindra rider and teammate to the Portuguese Miguel Oliveira, comes from Bilbao in the Basque region of Spain – its colours proudly displayed on his helmet and in his logo – and whilst currently competing in Moto3 has previously raced in both 125cc and 250cc categories in a world championship career which began in 2007.
Silverstone saw Efren knuckling down to his 100th GP, one of those magical numbers that can sometimes put undue pressure on riders to perform unrealistically. It wasn’t a number that seemed to faze him though, as we sat down and he took us through his thoughts on the Mahindra squad, his current season,form and progress and what remains ahead in 2013…
This season, you’re in the Mahindra squad, you seem to have a really good team around you and a competitive bike that can let you really race up at the front.
The team is really professional, all mechanics and technicians have top experience in the world championship. And it’s a nice project, an interesting project, with only two riders this season. The team needs to make all the innovations and evolution of the bike on their own. It’s like a factory job. And I’m happy with the results this season. Right now we’re maybe going through a difficult patch with the engine problems, but overall it’s a nice project and I believe in it.
The bike itself, is it something you really enjoy riding? Is it a good chassis?
Yes the chassis works really well. In my opinion it’s maybe even the fastest one out on track in this category. But we change different part on the chassis and tried different settings, and finally we found a good solution for the riding. I think we just need more time to check all the components of the bike.
And it’s a good feeling racing up at the front of the field, without all the big battles you find further down the field?
Yes, it’s definitely better at the front. And I think with a bit more time, we can get even more out of the bike. It’s not easy to start from scratch in a category and start winning. You need to take things step by step and keep calm, that’s the most important thing.
What have been the highs and lows of this season so far?
In my opinion Barcelona was a good race for me. I was near the front every lap and then lead the group for two laps or so. It was my best race for sure, I’d also just come back from injury. It was a nice race.
What do you expect and hope for the rest of the season?
It all depends on the development of the bike. This is the most important thing, and it’s not really my job as such. It depends on the budget and the factory, and it also it depends on the mechanics. So it’s difficult to be able to specifically say what part I’ll play in this.
This weekend you’ll ride your 100th race. Is that something that puts pressure on you because you feel you need to do especially well?
It’s certainly very nice and a funny feeling to have 100 GPs in the world championship. I’m really proud of this race and my career. But at the end of the day, this is only one race. I need to remain calm and focused and give 100%, that’s the most important, and then I can go back home with a smile. That’ll be my objective for this weekend.
The outcome of the weekend was a very creditable 10th place for Efren in a typically tight and hard-fought Moto3 race. A great result to take away from his 100th race, and one that continues an essentially good run of form for the best part of the season.
The crew at Vroom are fans, and wish him nothing but luck for the remainder of 2013 – Why not follow him on Twitter: He’s @Efrentxu7 – and keep up with his progress for yourself.