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GP Week : Issue 125
Karel Abraham, son of a wealthy Czech businessman, was effectively bought a MotoGP team to go racing. Surprise: he’s actually doing rather well. People are now asking: Who is Karel Abraham? MICHAEL SCOTT finds out 5 Minutes with ... KAREL ABRAHAM GPWEEK: You’re in the news now because of your fight with Stoner at the Mugello tests. What happened? KAREL ABRAHAM: We came to the last turn and in my opinion I was out of the line, because Casey overtook me normally. I followed him down the straight, and at the first corner he turned and waved at me. I overtook him, and then he crashed me. So because he did that I crashed him back. BynowIwassoangry...Iknowheismuch faster than me, but nobody is spitting in my face. I came to the box, gave my bike to the mechanic, and said: “Come with me.” Because I didn’t want to go alone. I asked him what he thought he was doing. He said I was on his line. But if somebody did that to me and ruined my lap, I would complain immediately, and he didn’t . Then he said it wasn’t only here, but at every GP. I said: “Casey, I agree you are much faster than me. But if I break your lap it is not because I mean to, but I am trying to do my best. I also need to make a good lap time.” But I also told him: if you are going to be rude to me, and to the other riders, sure next time if it happens in qualifying, and it is three minutes to the end and I see him behind me, I will not go out of the line. Isn’t following faster riders how you learn? I need it sometimes. But if I am behind Stoner, 99 percent of the time I am not doing a better lap than him. If I do it one time ... what do you think will happen in the race? Maybe one or two corners, maybe even a lap if I’m very lucky. I understand he doesn’t like people following him, but this is how it is. How do you respond when people say you are just a rich kid, and now daddy has bought you a MotoGP team? I know a lot of people talk this way about me. Sure, we have a sponsor. Cardion is not my father’s company. Everybody thinks it is, but it is not. He is involved, but he is involved in many things. He is not the owner of Brno, as some say – he part-owns the rights, and some buildings there. Anyway, everybody has to find the money. Sure, without my father’s money it would have been very difficult ... but why does nobody talk about de Angelis? They have the money also, I think. There are other riders who are here and his parents sponsor him. Nobody talks about them. Do you think people are taking you more seriously now: your results are quite good. I hope people are looking at me from a different point of view, but there are still some who don’t like me and never will. I know there are some people in the Czech Republic who are very doubting and said bad things, even when I won. When did you star t taking yourself seriously as a racer? I never do. I still don’t. I’m taking things seriously. I try to practice and to concentrate, and work. But I never really realised I am a MotoGP rider. I’m just there. I don’t mean it badly – like I have my nose in the air. But I mean it from the point of view that when I was racing minibikes and I saw MotoGP or 500s, I thought it was only a dream to get there, to be in the World Championship. But I am in the World Championship. I didn’t think then it was possible to get a podium, or even win. But then when I was there I was so happy, and now I don’t think of it as impossible. Are you saying you are not a serious racer? I am trying to do everything for it. Did you sacrifice anything for racing – like university? I do go to university. I am studying law. If it goes well, in 2012 I will get a bachelor degree. But I want to continue, to get a master’s. I don’t know if I can make it. I am always doubting myself. So racing is not a career? I hope it is. I have other things I’d really like to do when I finish racing, but I hope it is very far from now. How rich are you? Unbelievably. I always have a back-pack full of money. Is it true you drive a Lamborghini? No. Iannone has a Lamborghini. I have a Porsche 911. It’s difficult to say how rich you are – from which point of view? Abramovich and people like him ... compared with him we are so poor. But if you look at people in Asia, we are very rich. I have the feeling that money is not everything in life. I save 80 percent of my money. I am still living with my parents, I have no reason to buy a house at the moment. I’m saving for the future. How does it feel to qualify better than Rossi? Three times I did it. It’s a very good feeling, but overtaking Rossi in qualifying doesn’t mean you are better than him. You can see his experience in the race. Maybe that is my problem. I already know before the race that he will finish in front of me. Maybe I need to get over this somehow, then I can fight with him. Do you see yourself as a future World Champion? I really, really want to, but I must say no. Even when I won a GP I never thought I could. In my dreams I see that, but it’s a dream. I never thought I could win, then I did it. Now I don’t see myself as a World Champion, but maybe in the future. I will do everything for it. I’ve met a lot of riders over the years, and most of them have such strong self-belief it borders on insanity. I never want to say something I cannot reach. So if I tell you know I can’t be World Champion, it will be a big surprise. But if I told you I want to be World Champion in three years, and I don’t do it, then ... 20