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GP Week : Issue 25
>>Moto GPInsight have a lot of experience you can try 100 percent when the bike is really right. But when you are young you try all the time, even if you understand nothing about the bike … the throttle full, the brake full. This is why I fell off many, many times! I don’t know who would win, but it would be a big fight! racing 19 years later? LORIS CAPIROSSI: No. I started in the World Championship at 17, and when I looked at riders of 30, I said ‘Wow, this is really old. I can’t do that. I’ll ride for maybe 10 years.’But the life changes year by year. I am 35 now, but I feel young, and the most important thing is to enjoy riding the bike. When I am home, like now for three weeks, I miss something. I have to come back, to jump on the bike, to spin and slide, and do these things. This is my life. G I don’t want to race when I am slow. I don’t want to ride only for money. I want to have an opportunity to win, or fight to win. I’m talking with Suzuki for next year. The agreement is almost done. But I say one year only. I’m thinking year by year. If you were to race against a 20-year- old Loris now, which would win? Nice question. When you PWEEK: When you started, did you anticipate you would still be You’ve ridden so many different bikes. The best and the worst? The best was the 500cc two- stroke. It needed a strong man to ride it. I think the best was the last Honda NSR, in 2002. The worst bike was the 1997 Aprilia. I broke the engine many times and had many problems. Unreliable. None of them had traction control. How do you feel about the electronics? I am still fighting against the organisation. I think it is just me and Valentino trying to limit the electronic technology on the bike. The problem is each company can just spend more and more to get better at that, but for me it is worse – for the spectators, and for us to ride. When you reduce the electronics you can go faster. It becomes more physical, and you can feel it again. But it is easier to crash. What about the comparison of MotoGP 990s to these 800cc bikes? I’d say there is not that much difference. The 990 had a lot of electronics on, but when the 800 came the electronics were doubled. The problem of the 800 is less torque. The power curve is more peaky, and this is why you need more electronics to help. But now, after two seasons, they are really close in feeling to the old 990. And the switch from 250 two- strokes to 600cc production- based engines? I don’t really agree about that. It’s impossible to change 125, and then it is a good step to go 125 to 250 … double the power and much faster. To go 600 with production engines and chassis made by I don’t know who – it’s not really a prototype. Sure, a full prototype is really expensive, but to make something not really a race bike is … strange. Maybe in a few years things will change. For me it would be better to continue with 250: really quick, good handling. Really beautiful to ride. You became a father in 2006. Is it harder to race as a father? One hundred percent no. To become a father is the best thing you can do in life, and I am really happy about that. It changed my life in a better way. I really love my son, with all my heart. But when I leave home and I put my helmet on, I am again the old Loris, not changed. I can ride to win, and I don’t care about nothing. Will you let him race? (Long pause) I am maybe egoistic to say this, but I really hope he doesn’t race. If he comes one day and says: I want to race, I won’t say no. But I hope he will do something different. With your interest in ecology, and with the F1 fuel economy initiatives, what would you like to see change in MotoGP? When we talk about that, we have to talk about cutting motor sport completely. What about the research side? It’s impossible for us to ride electric bikes, a 300kg bike that handles badly. Fuel consumption has already reduced a lot. But the problem of going fast with reduced fuel is that the bike becomes really difficult to ride – very peaky, very aggressive. In a car you have two big back wheels to control everything: a motorbike has a few centimetres of tyre on the ground. When the engine is not clean it is difficult to ride. When we went from 24 to 22 litres (tank capacity), it was harder to ride already. Away from the track, what do you like to do? Where did you go during the summer break? For me a holiday is to stay home. We live in Monaco, so for us it’s always a holiday. What was the last film you saw? I really love horror films. The last one I saw was 30 Days of Night … really good. And music? I really love Country. I have a lot – because it is so relaxing. I know my English is not good, but when I started to learn English, it was by country music. I’d buy a CD and look at the words. Finally, your best rival? I can think of many, but my favourite is still Valentino. I have great respect for him, and he has great respect for me. And we have always good fun. We had many fights in the past, but always so correctly, and always we have fun. And finally? I think we have to enjoy our life. We do what we love, we get money. What do you want more than that? 41