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Q&A: Wilco Zeelenberg

A Q&A session with Jorge Lorenzo's new team manager Wilco Zeelenberg, released by the team to coincide with this morning's official unveiling of the 2010 Fiat Yamaha livery at Sepang in Malaysia...
Q:
What are you expecting from your new job as Jorge's team manager?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
It is a long time since I have been working in the GP paddock and it will be a long, demanding and exciting season. To be able to work with the youngest and best talented MotoGP rider is like a dream becoming true.

Q:
What are you doing to become familiar with the new bike and MotoGP in general? What are the major differences you'll now have to get used to?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
In my functions as team manager I need to know Jorge very well, so I am reading his book and secondly I have been reading the new rule book for 2010 to be exactly aware of the differences between Supersport and MotoGP. So, I read books!

Q:
When did you first meet Jorge and what were your impressions?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
I met him a couple of weeks ago for the very first time. He is a very young, intelligent and experienced rider. The first thing I noticed is that you do not have to motivate him…!

Q:
What do you think Jorge can achieve this year?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
Jorge is in his third year of MotoGP and he will try to do less mistakes than last year and he will try to be better than last year. Last year he finished second, so this year for sure his goal is the championship.

Q:
Do you plan to slot into the existing team set up or will you introduce new working practices?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
First of all I need to commit with the guys to see how they work and I am experienced enough to see if it is necessary or not. Anyway, I do not expect it is.

Q:
Did you ever get to ride a MotoGP bike in your capacity as Yamaha test rider? How easy or difficult was it?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
Lin Jarvis gave me this opportunity in 2003, the year before Valentino came to Yamaha. I rode five laps in Valencia and it was very difficult. I was not able to open the throttle, actually. I was more working to close the throttle, instead of opening it. So it was very difficult.

Q:
What does your riding and racing background mean you can bring to Jorge's side of the garage?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
I think it is very important to know exactly what is going to happen in a couple of hours or in the whole weekend. To learn those expectations you need to have much experience and that can already change the situation from losing to win. It is difficult to say precisely what it is, but to be aware of what is going to happen, that's very important.

Q:
How familiar are you with all the tracks on the MotoGP circuit?

Wilco Zeelenberg:
I raced on eleven of those tracks whilst I have never been in six of them, or maybe I have been there but I have never raced there. Nobody has been in one of them, so I am quite ….

Q:




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sepang MotoGP tests, 4th-5th February, 2010
Movistar Yamaha bikes at Brno test (Pic: Yamaha).
Rossi and team celebrate, Czech MotoGP Race 2014
Forward racing Yamaha, Czech MotoGP 2014
Forward racing Yamaha, Czech MotoGP 2014
Zeelenberg, Czech MotoGP 2014
Lorenzo, Indianapolis MotoGP 2014.
Jorge Lorenzo resigns for Yamaha (pic: Yamaha)
Rossi, Smith, Espargaro German MotoGP Race 2014
Poncharal and Jarvis,  German MotoGP 2014
Poncharal and Jarvis,  German MotoGP 2014
Rossi`s Yamaha, German MotoGP 2014
Rossi`s Yamaha exhaust, German MotoGP 2014
Rossi`s Yamaha exhaust, German MotoGP 2014
Changing discs on Rossi`s Yamaha, German MotoGP 2014
Changing discs on Rossi`s Yamaha, German MotoGP 2014
Changing discs on Rossi`s Yamaha, German MotoGP 2014
Poncharal, Pernat, Campinoti, Dutch MotoGP 2014

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