21 March 2013
Interview with Santi Hernandez
"Looking at how testing has gone, we can say that Marc has adapted very well, but this does not really mean anything" - Santi Hernandez.
A Repsol generated interview with Santi Hernandez, crew chief for Moto2 champion and 2013 MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez.
Hernandez - a former suspension technician for the likes of Alex Criville and Valentino Rossi at Repsol Honda - is returning to the team alongside Marquez, whom he has worked with for the past two seasons in Moto2...
How did the three days in Austin go?
"I would say quite positive. It was the first time at the circuit, a new track where no one had ridden before. After seeing how these three days have gone and how Marc adapted, I think we can say that it went pretty well. The important thing is that we didn't have any other data from previous years because it is a new track, and so I think that both the team and Marc worked very well when it came to adapting the bike to both the rider and to this new track, which is quite complicated."
What can you tell us about this track on a technical level? The grip of the asphalt, the type of corners, is it fast, slow etc.?
"We expected that the entire first half would be a little more difficult, as on the linked corners where there are many changes of direction in rapid succession. It is a part of the circuit where the rider has to work really hard. Also you have the first turn on an uphill, and hard braking with different lines available. It is an unusual circuit, in which the rider has to change the lines a little. This is what we worked on most, especially in the first sector, the changes of direction and hard braking on the back straight –to make the bike stable, the first corner, the hard braking sections...”
Having seen Marc's adaptation to Moto2, did the performance at Austin surprise you in the slightest?
"Looking at how testing has gone, we can say that he has adapted very well, but this does not really mean anything. I guess that the other riders like Dani [Pedrosa], Lorenzo, Valentino [Rossi] and Bradl have also been testing other things with their setups with the Grand Prix in mind.
"I don't know how they have worked, nor what they have worked on, but I expect that when we come back here things will be different. The results of the three days in Austin don't mean anything. All we can say is that we have been working very well. The results are positive."
Do you think that the fact that you had no previous reference from Austin helped Marc learn better and faster?
"Yes, above all the important thing for Marc was to understand the electronics better, because there was no data to use. We had to try new things on every run. Logically, he understood more about the use of electronics with every corner: More engine braking, less traction, not to lift the front wheel up too much etc. All these things we have been working on, because it's a new circuit for which we had no data. It was also a positive experience in terms of understanding each change we made, in order to solve the problems that we had with the electronics."
In the end, you didn't undertake a race simulation.
"It was on the work plan for the three days, but in the end the team decided not to do one, because we had two days of testing in which we worked hard and made a lot of changes. We felt that there were many important things to test ahead of the Grand Prix, to understand the development of the bike more. Then you also have to think that we are off to Jerez for another test. We evaluated the test more things facing the Grand Prix and finish to understand more the development of the bike, to do the race simulation."
What is your assessment, as Marc's Race Engineer, of the whole adaptation process that he has had since he arrived in MotoGP?
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.