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Author: Sienna Wedes

Title: Karel Abraham’s return to the MotoGP class

After spending 12 months away from one of the most addictive sports in the world, Karel Abraham has made his return to the premier class with Pull&Bear Aspar MotoGP Team. With plenty of work ahead of him and his team, the Sepang Test is the perfect time to test possibilities. The key is to make less mistakes and work hard to figure out the best way to make him comfortable on the bike. The focus is on the bike setup in order to feed his confidence as every rider is completely different. The team hope to be consistent and progressional in order to be fully prepared for Qatar.

In 2011/2012 Karel Abraham rode a Ducati and since then has noticed a drastic but most definitely positive difference which has him looking positive. The GP15 may not be the newest bike available to the team but it has potential to bring good results along with Karel’s passion and excitement for the season ahead.

Q: What is it like returning to MotoGP after some time away?

Well, the feeling it’s awesome. I’m really happy to be back here. The bike works again so I am really happy to be able to ride a bike. As I said, it’s really difficult but it’s awesome.

Q: Have your feelings on the bike been positive from the get go?

Definitely, definitely. We have a lot of work to do, but I think we are already making good steps.

Q: The Ducati performance of Aspar has been increasing season by season. What does it feel like to ride the Ducati Machinery and are you excited to charge for top results?

Definitely yes, I’m going to race GP15 this year which is not the newest model of the bike but it already is a pretty good model because I was talking to Barbera last year for example he told me that the step is huge compared to what he use to ride in 2011 and 2012 I believe it was. Now the bike is really working, the problem is that Ducati I had when I use to race is completely gone.

Q: So how different is the Ducati from when you use to raced it in 2011/2012 to now?

Very, in many ways. The electronics, especially the chassis. Front and the rear works so much better. I remember the bike that I use to use was not really good on the front. I was losing the front for no reason and even telemetry guys couldn’t say why. It’s not happening anymore so I can trust the front and I can really push the bike into the corner.  

Q: What about the Michelin tyre have you adjusted straight away?

I didn’t really have any problem adjusting to Michelin tyres because I was testing them last year already because I did some work for KTM developing their bike and we were using Michelin already. So, yeah no problems getting use to them. 

Q: What are you and the team looking to acheive from the Sepang Test?

We want to find a good set up for our bike to be ready to go to Phillip Island and again work on it. As soon as we get to Qatar we want to be fully prepared. Of course there are so many different options for a set up that it’s different for every rider so we really need to find the correct one for me.

Q: How did you physically prepare for this weeks testing schedule did you have to change anything?

I don’t think i’ve had to change what I was doing in the past but of course I was excited so maybe I was trying a little harder. But theres not really much you can do. I’m trying to keep myself hydrated, right now I picked some stuff up from Clinica Mobile, some electrolytes and magnesium and stuff like that which hopefully will work.

Q: What are your thoughts on the removal of winglets in the sport and seeing bodywork changes to work around it?  

Honestly, I don’t know. I used those little wings on the side in 2011 I think it was. No one else was using them, only me and I really liked it. Then everyone started to use it and now it’s banned. To be honest since 2011 I have not tried any bike with the wings so I don’t know what I am missing.

Q: Do you feel like the transition for you then will be easier compared to those who are use to the wings?

Yes, in that case definitely yes.

Q: Having Alvaro Bautista as your teammate this year, do you think you will work together to improve the team as a whole or are you two separate riders?

I think right now, we are really two separate riders and basically two separate teams. They help each other but I’m not working at all with the other side of the team so we are two separate teams and two separate riders but definitely his results or his lap times makes me want to go a bit faster right so thats definitely good!

Q: What areas do you think you are strongest in so far on this bike?  

We will see. I believe it will be acceleration. I always really like powerful bikes and i’m not afraid to open the throttle so I think i’m quite strong in the fast corners. But, I shouldn’t really say it out loud what are my strong and weak points right *laughs*.

Credit: Deborah Wedes

Credit: Deborah Wedes

Credit: Patrick Wedes

About The Author

Sienna Wedes
PR Communications

Sienna manages all FORMULA Magazine social media platforms covering news on a daily basis with higher emphasis during MotoGP rounds. She coordinates specific interviews with race engineers and chief mechanics. Growing up in a motorsport family Sienna understands the sport and what the supporters and fans enjoy.