At the Monaco Grand Prix I had the chance to sit down with Lucio Cecchinello as the Italian discussed his team’s performances so far this season, how Stefan Bradl’s development is progressing and his hopes to expand his team in MotoGP…
Stephen English: It looked like Stefan had a pretty solid race at Le Mans. Even taking into account his crash he looked fast all weekend, do you think will Mugello be a strong race?
LC: Of course we hope that in Mugello we’ll do a good race. In general we must say that we have been not so lucky in the first four races. We had three crashes, this is the reality and I have to admit that, but what is important is we understood the reason that we crashed.
SE: What was the reason?
LC: Mainly it was that we had too much weight over the front tyre. We had maybe not the right engine braking setup.
SE: So have you changed to the same electronics package as the Repsol team?
LC: Absolutely and for us what is important is to be fast and to be able to go fast. That is what is most important and definitely we are able to go fast. Even at Le Mans we were a few tenths to pole position and the top three guys were all only three tenths from pole position which is nothing. So for us this is what is most important.
SE: Stefan was fourth there last year wasn’t he?
LC: Yeah. We are looking forward to going to Mugello and hopefully a good race.
SE: It looked that if it would have been a dry race he looked much more confident on the bike, particularly in the front end. Do you think can Stefan now make the jump from a good midfield rider to challenging for the podium?
LC: Definitely I think that he has the potential. I have to admit that we followed some direction from him for the setup but probably it wasn’t the best setup solution. So we’ve now changed the setup and definitely now he is riding better. I think that he has the potential because what is positive is that he really understands and he tries to make what is suggested in terms of riding style. Now we have said that he must use the rear brake more on entry to the corner.
SE: So the rear brake as opposed to the engine braking?
LC: Yeah. So we need to use the rear brake more. We need to, lets say, pick up the bike quicker on the corner exit to use the centre area of the tyre and have more drive. He is improving and I’m confident that we will be in better shape than now.
SE: Is there any chance of expanding the team next year?
LC: We are trying to involve another rider that can bring in some support because at this moment with our sponsor we are not able to do this.
SE: Would you go back into Moto2?
LC: Our primary target is to have a two rider team in MotoGP and then maybe to look at the smaller categories.
SE: How likely is it to have two riders in MotoGP next year?
LC: 30%, we have to be realistic.